This paper reviews ten historical-literary Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew works written late in the Second World War in Morocco: eight works I refer to as praise poems, by Moroccan Jews; one work I refer to as lament, written by a Jewish European refugee who found a safe wartime haven in Morocco, and another work, which I refer to as a utopian treatise, by a local Jewish man. All ten works were inspired by the war and recount its course in Europe, Asia and North Africa, while some also engage with the Holocaust. The comparison drawn here between the works – praise poetry, lament and utopian treatise–allows us to examine the authors’ various outlooks on the war, informed by their personal, familial or communal experience. These outlooks assume an actual form in the literary patterns of the authors’ works, as well as in the narratives, contents and ideas selected to feature in them. The reception varied among the Judeo-Arabic and Hebrew speaking community, in which a Jewish religious and modern national presence was predominant. Therefore, contents that had a universal concern were pushed to the margins of the local discourse.
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- Second World War