How ageing and gender—notably the performance of masculinity—have shaped the process of identification of Jewish migrants from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe in contemporary time? Which patterns of community and the intergenerational transmission of (Jewish) masculinity models and migration trauma can we apprehend by this experience?
In the summer of 1970, almost 20,000 Italian nationals were expelled from Libya and “came back home” to Italy. There, they struggled to reconstruct their lives in patria, a “homeland” that received them with indifference, incredulity, if not suspicion and overt hostility. Fifty years later, this chapter of Italian colonial past remains largely invisible.
In the wake of decolonisation movements, an impressive number of Europeans and non-Europeans were repatriated to Europe from former colonies, including North Africa. Despite the scale of this phenomenon, the impact that these return migrations had on migrants themselves and on host nations in Europe, remained until recently an “invisible” subject in academic literature as recalled by Andrea Smith [A. Smith (ed.), Europe’s Invisible Migrants, 2003]. Jews were also part of these mass migration movements.