Events

Book Event-- Sarajevo Rose
with author Stephen Schwartz

September 20, 2005 // 2:30pm3:30pm

5th Floor Conference Room

Tracing the movements of the Sephardic Jews to the Balkans - following their expulsion from Spain during the Inquisition - Schwartz draws on place names, historical chronicles, epitaphs, folk ballads, banned books, and the media. He explores the travails, and remarkable cultural achievements of these communities who, hundreds of years after the trauma of forced exile, were almost entirely destroyed in the Holocaust.

The richness of the literature, poetry, myth, and printing, and the intermingling of Orthodox, Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim communities in the Balkans is explored - from Sabbatai Zvi, who declared himself the Messiah in the 17th century, and who, under pain of death chose conversion to Islam; the rare and wondrous scripts of Aramaic languages known almost from the beginning of human history; the evolution of the Jewish mercantile industry; to the 'Renaissance Jewish Traveller' Abraham Kohen Herrera, a convert under duress during the Inquisition who later discovered his Jewish heritage through mysticism, and who may have been the model for Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

This is not only an historical analysis, but also a personal journey. The author's poignant descriptions of attempted pilgrimages to Jewish cemeteries and synagogues throughout the Balkans are testament to his yearning for historical pride and proof of existence.

Stephen Schwartz is Executive Director at the Center for Islamic Pluralism, as well as, an author and journalist.

Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • Kristina N. Terzieva // Program Assistant
  • Emily R. Buss // Program Assistant

Wilson Center Photo Gallery

Browse or share photos from the Wilson Center’s events.

To Attend an Event

Unless otherwise noted:

Meetings listed on this page are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required unless otherwise noted. All meetings take place at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Please see map and directions. Allow time for routine security procedures. A photo ID is required for entry.

To confirm time and place, contact Maria-Stella Gatzoulis on the day of the event: tel. (202) 691-4188. Check this page for the latest updates and notices.