White Slaves: The Trafficking of Jewish Women

January 24, 2007

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Isabel Vincent

From the 1860s to 1939, thousands of poor young women from Eastern Europe were sold into prostitution by a notorious Jewish gang called the Zwi Migdal.  The "white slaver" even became a figure of literature in works like I.B. Singer's Scum and Sholem Aleichem's The Man from Buenos Aires.  

In her book Bodies and Souls, Isabel Vincent describes how Jewish women were lured to cities like New York, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro. She also shows how these women, shunned by the Jewish community, banded together to form their own cultural institutions.

 

Recorded Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at The Woman's Club of Evanston.