Listed here are the meanings to some of the words, terms and phrases that appear on the Gathering The Voices website.
For more information, please visit the following links:
A Teachers’s Guide to the Holocaust by Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida (c) 2005: available at : https://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/resource/glossary.htm#i
Holocaust Encyclopedia by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum available at : http://www.ushmm.org/learn/students/the-holocaust-a-learning-site-for-students
A.J.R – The Association of Jewish Refugees
Anti-semitism – Prejudice against Jewish people.
Arrow Cross party – See Nyilaskereszt.
Avrom Greenbaum Players – A Jewish drama company formerly based in Glasgow, previously known as the Glasgow Jewish Institute Players.
Auschwitz-Birkenau – A concentration camp in Poland, used as a death camp where thousands of Jews and others hated by the Nazis were killed.
Barlinnie – A prison in the north-east of Glasgow.
Barmitzvah – The male coming-of-age ceremony, held at age 13. After Barmitzvah, Jewish males may fully participate in the rituals and obligations of Judaism.
Benito Mussolini – The Fascist dictator of Italy, in power before and during the Second World War.
Bernard Leach – The leader of the British craftman potter movement and a major influence on Gretl Shapiro
Broo – Slang term for the Labour Exchange, the forerunner of today’s Jobcentre, a Government organisation set up to find work for the unemployed.
Caritas – Catholic international charitable organisation
Chazzan (or hazzan) – A Jewish singer who leads the congregation of the synagogue in the sung parts of the service. Often called a cantor in English.
Cheder – Classes for children and young adults, focusing especially on Torah study.
Chief Rabbi – Head of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
Chumash – Hebrew term for the five books of Moses. Strictly speaking, it applies to them only in book form, not as a Torah scroll.
Dachau – A concentration camp in Germany, near Munich.
David Sassoon – Artist (1888-1978). Lived in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
Dr Cosgrove – Rabbi of Garnethill synagogue
Dunkirk – Town in France from which British troops in the British Expeditionary Force and a substantial number of French troops were evacuated in 1940 after their defeat by German forces.
Flying Scotsman – Express passenger train service running between London and Edinburgh.
Freie Deutsche Jugend – Free German Youth, founded in 1936 by communist and socialist youth groups as an underground anti-Nazi movement. It was unable to operate in Germany, so moved its activities abroad and developed a network in the UK which was active until 1946. After the war it became the official youth movement of the communist German Democratic Republic in East Germany. It still exists as a left wing movement in Germany.
Gauleiter – Leader of a regional branch of the Nazi party.
Glasgow Caledonian University – A university based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Hakenkreuz – German name for the swastika. Originally an Indian symbol of peace, but taken over by the Nazis as a sign of their supposed Aryan origins.
Hauptshule – German secondary school
Henry Kissinger – American diplomat, born 1923 in Fürth, Bavaria, Germany. Escaped to America in 1938. Served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford.
Holocaust – The mass murder of Jews under Nazi Germany, during 1941-1945. In all, over six million Jews were killed, along with many other persecuted groups.
Horthy, Admiral Miklós (1868-1957) – Prince Regent of Hungary from 1920 to 1944. Deposed by Hitler when he tried to sign an armistice with the Russians.
Internment – Refugees of German descent, including Jewish refugees, were interned at the start of the Second World War in camps on the Isle of Man. Many were intellectuals and carried on a lively cultural life while in internment. Those regarded as low risk were gradually released but the camps remained in use throughout the war. Famous inmates included the members of the internationally famous Amadeus String Quartet.
Isle of Man – An island in the Irish Sea, where many Jews were interned.
Jewish Brigade – Brigade of Jewish Soldiers in the British army which served in Europe from 1944.
Jewish Institute – Glasgow Jewish Institute, based in the community centre of South Portland Street, Glasgow
Ketuba: – Jewish marriage document.
Kindertransport – A rescue mission carried out in the year before the Second World War, through which over 10,000 children, mostly Jewish, were transported to the United Kingdom.
Kosher – (of food) that is permitted to eat, having passed certain conditions designated in Jewish law, known as kashrut.
Kristallnacht – ‘The Night of Broken Glass’, 9-10 November 1938, in which a series of violent attacks were made against Jews and their property, across Nazi Germany and parts of Austria.
Langside College – A further education college on the south side of Glasgow. Now part of Glasgow Clyde College.
Maccabi – A Jewish youth organization directed towards sports and other social activities.
Montgomery, Field Marshall (1887-1976) – British army commander of the Eighth Army in North Africa and Italy, and then overall commander of Allied forces during the D-day landings.
Mrs Churchill’s Aid to Russia Fund – Fund set up in 1941 under the auspices of the Red Cross to provide aid for Russia after the German invasion, chaired by Mrs Clementine Churchill, wife of Sir Winston. Mostly raised money for warm clothes and medical supplies.
Neville Chamberlain – British prime minister before the Second World War, who advocated a policy of appeasement with Nazi Germany. Succeeded by Winston Churchill.
Naturalization – Becoming a full national of one’s country of residence, usually after a specified period, and under certain conditions. In the UK, naturalization is currently possible after 5 years of continuous residence.
Norland’s College – A college in England which trains nannies for child minding.
Numerus clausus – A restriction in the numbers of people allowed to enter university. Can be an overall cap but has often been used to prevent entry of applicants of a particular religious or ethnic group. In Europe and USA, this was used against Jews, and also against African Americans.
Nürnberg (Nuremberg) Laws – Antisemitic laws passed by Hitler’s government in 1935. They defined a Jew as having three or more Jewish grandparents and deprived them of citizenship. Those with one or two Jewish grandparents were known as Mischlings.
Nyilaskereszt – Arrow cross. A cross made up of two double headed arrows, the symbol used by one of the Hungarian fascist parties. They took power after Horthy’s removal in 1944, murdered many thousands, and deported many more to extermination camps.
Or Somayach Yeshiva (also spelt Ohr Samayach) – Yeshiva (college of higher Jewish learning) in Jerusalem, set up in 1970 for young men.
Palestine – Before the war Palestine consisted of the current territories of Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan. It was ruled by Britain under a League of Nations Mandate.
Pesach – Passover, the Jewish spring festival celebrating the exodus from Egypt.
Pioneer Corps – British Army combatant corps used for light engineering tasks. Many Jews and other anti-Nazi Germans served in it in WW2, this being the only corps they were allowed to serve in at the beginning of the war. If captured, they ran the risk of being immediately shot as traitors.
Potke (Potchky) – Yiddish for a gentle slap or to work for little gain.
Pogrom – An organized attack on Jews, particularly as carried out in Russia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends is an international Christian movement, members of which are known as Friends or less formally as Quakers. Quakers played a major role in pressuring the British government to supply Visas for Jewish children to come to the UK. The Quakers chaperoned the Jewish children on the trains, and cared for many of them once they arrived in Britain.
Qualifying examination – Inter-war Scottish school examination at the end of primary school to determine whether a child had successfully completed primary education.
Rabbi – The leader of Jewish religious ceremonies.
Raoul Wallenberg – Swedish diplomat who protected Jews in Hungary from 1944 and enabled many to escape deportation to Auschwitz using a Schutzpass (qv). He set up protected houses where they could live until the end of the war. After the war, he was arrested by the Russians and disappeared.
Rogano – Restaurant in Art Deco style in Glasgow, opened in 1935, specialising in fish dishes.
Rosh Hashana – The Jewish new year festival.
SAROK – Scottish Association of Reunion of Kinder – an independent group whose members largely came as part of the Kindertransport. Initiated in 1990 by Doritt Sim and managed from 1995 by Rosa Sacharin.
Schutzpass – A document issued by Wallenberg (qv) which identified the holder as a Swedish subject awaiting repatriation. It had no legal standing but looked official.
She’arim College of Women’s Studies – A college in Har Nof, Jerusalem, for women to study Torah.
Shul – The synagogue, the Jewish place of prayer.
Slagging – A series of insulting, mocking, or critical comments. (Scots slang)
South Portland Street Synagogue – a synagogue in Glasgow ( now closed).
Starred houses – Ghetto set up in Budapest in 1944. About 2000 houses were set aside for Jewish use and 200,000 Jews were settled in them. They had a prominent yellow star on the wall.
Steptoe and Son – BBC TV comedy show in the 1960s, depicting a poor family of scrap metal merchants. The son constantly tried to improve himself but his efforts were always sabotaged by his father.
Tallis / Tallit – A prayer shawl worn by Jewish men, post Barmitzvah
Talmud – A major Jewish body of law, comprising the Mishna (the oral law) and the Gemora (the rabbinical discussion of this). Separate from the Torah.
Talmud Torah – The Glasgow Hebrew Talmud Torah was a Hebrew school which provided religious education to Jewish children in Glasgow.
Tefillin – A set of two black leather boxes, worn in prayer. One is worn on the head, the other on the upper left arm.
Territorial Army – The British volunteer force.
Theresienstadt – A concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic.
The Barras – A large market in the East end of Glasgow, selling all kinds of goods.
WAAC – Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. A branch of the British army in the First World War.
WRAC – Women’s Royal Army Corps. Corps to which all women in the army (with a few exceptions) belonged from 1949.
Weimar – A German city, at which the Weimar Republic was convened.
Weimar Republic – The government of Germany between the wars, disbanded by the Nazis.
Weizmann Institute – An Israeli university and scientific research centre
Wiedergutmachung – compensation, reparation
Yellow Star houses – Houses reserved for Jews in Budapest during the war. They were marked with a yellow star on the wall. See Starred houses.
Yiddish – A language spoken by many Jews at the time of the Second World War, originating as a German dialect with some Hebrew vocabulary.
Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement, the most important Jewish festival, at which Jews atone for the sins of the past year.
Yomtov – A festival or holy day. Examples of this include Passover and New Year.
Zionism – The belief that the Jewish people have the right to a self-determined state, specifically Israel.