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Being Jewish in the New Germany
Author: Jeffrey M. Peck
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813537231
Pages: 215
Year: 2006
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Germany today boasts the fastest growing population of Jews in Europe. The streets of Berlin abound with signs of a revival of Jewish culture, ranging from bagel shops to the sight of worshipers leaving synagogue on Saturday. With the new energy infused by Jewish immigration from Russia and changes in immigration and naturalization laws in general, Jeffrey M. Peck argues that we must now begin considering how Jews live in Germany rather than merely asking why they would choose to do so. In Being Jewish in the New Germany, Peck explores the diversity of contemporary Jewish life and the complex struggles within the community-and among Germans in general-over history, responsibility, culture, and identity. He provides a glimpse of an emerging, if conflicted, multicultural country and examines how the development of the European Community, globalization, and the post-9/11 political climate play out in this context. With sensitive, yet critical, insight into the nation's political and social life, chapters explore issues such as the shifting ethnic/national makeup of the population, changes in political leadership, and the renaissance of Jewish art and literature. Peck also explores new forms of anti-Semitism and relations between Jews and Turks-the country's other prominent minority population. In this surprising description of the rebirth of a community, Peck argues that there is, indeed, a vibrant and significant future for Jews in Germany. Written in clear and compelling language, this book will be of interest to the general public and scholars alike.
A Jew in the New Germany
Author: Henryk M. Broder, Sander L. Gilman, Lilian M. Friedberg
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252028562
Pages: 151
Year: 2004
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This volume collects eighteen of Broder's essays, translated for the first time into English. The first was written in 1979 and the most recent deals with the post-9/11 realities of the war on terrorism and its effects on the countries of Europe. Other essays address the debate over the construction of a Holocaust memorial in Berlin, the German response to the 1991 Gulf War, the politics of German reunification, and the rise of the new German nationalism. A Jew in the New Germany showcases Broder's biting wit, his sense of history, and his ability to draw broader connections between what appear at first glance to be minor or isolated incidents. In these essays he charts the recent evolution of German Jewish relations, using his own outsider status to hold up a mirror to the German people and point out that things have not changed for German Jews as much as non-Jews might think. Again and again he shows himself to be chillingly prophetic, especially regarding Israel and the crisis in the Middle East.
Stranger in My Own Country
Author: Yascha Mounk
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429953780
Pages: 272
Year: 2014-01-07
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A moving and unsettling exploration of a young man's formative years in a country still struggling with its past As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country's past, fawned over him with a forced friendliness he found just as alienating. Vivid and fascinating, Stranger in My Own Country traces the contours of Jewish life in a country still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich and portrays those who, inevitably, continue to live in its shadow. Marshaling an extraordinary range of material into a lively narrative, Mounk surveys his countrymen's responses to "the Jewish question." Examining history, the story of his family, and his own childhood, he shows that anti-Semitism and far-right extremism have long coexisted with self-conscious philo-Semitism in postwar Germany. But of late a new kind of resentment against Jews has come out in the open. Unnoticed by much of the outside world, the desire for a "finish line" that would spell a definitive end to the country's obsession with the past is feeding an emphasis on German victimhood. Mounk shows how, from the government's pursuit of a less "apologetic" foreign policy to the way the country's idea of the Volk makes life difficult for its immigrant communities, a troubled nationalism is shaping Germany's future.
Why the Germans? Why the Jews?
Author: Götz Aly
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 080509704X
Pages: 304
Year: 2014-04-15
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A provocative and insightful analysis that sheds new light on one of the most puzzling and historically unsettling conundrums Why the Germans? Why the Jews? Countless historians have grappled with these questions, but few have come up with answers as original and insightful as those of maverick German historian Götz Aly. Tracing the prehistory of the Holocaust from the 1800s to the Nazis' assumption of power in 1933, Aly shows that German anti-Semitism was—to a previously overlooked extent—driven in large part by material concerns, not racist ideology or religious animosity. As Germany made its way through the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution, the difficulties of the lethargic, economically backward German majority stood in marked contrast to the social and economic success of the agile Jewish minority. This success aroused envy and fear among the Gentile population, creating fertile ground for murderous Nazi politics. Surprisingly, and controversially, Aly shows that the roots of the Holocaust are deeply intertwined with German efforts to create greater social equality. Redistributing wealth from the well-off to the less fortunate was in many respects a laudable goal, particularly at a time when many lived in poverty. But as the notion of material equality took over the public imagination, the skilled, well-educated Jewish population came to be seen as having more than its fair share. Aly's account of this fatal social dynamic opens up a new vantage point on the greatest crime in history and is sure to prompt heated debate for years to come.
Between Dignity and Despair
Author: Marion A. Kaplan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195313585
Pages: 303
Year: 1999-06-10
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Between Dignity and Despair draws on the extraordinary memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters of Jewish women and men to give us the first intimate portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany. Kaplan tells the story of Jews in Germany not from the hindsight of the Holocaust, nor by focusing on the persecutors, but from the bewildered and ambiguous perspective of Jews trying to navigate their daily lives in a world that was becoming more and more insane. Answering the charge that Jews should have left earlier, Kaplan shows that far from seeming inevitable, the Holocaust was impossible to foresee precisely because Nazi repression occurred in irregular and unpredictable steps until the massive violence of Novemer 1938. Then the flow of emigration turned into a torrent, only to be stopped by the war. By that time Jews had been evicted from their homes, robbed of their possessions and their livelihoods, shunned by their former friends, persecuted by their neighbors, and driven into forced labor. For those trapped in Germany, mere survival became a nightmare of increasingly desperate options. Many took their own lives to retain at least some dignity in death; others went underground and endured the fears of nightly bombings and the even greater terror of being discovered by the Nazis. Most were murdered. All were pressed to the limit of human endurance and human loneliness. Focusing on the fate of families and particularly women's experience, Between Dignity and Despair takes us into the neighborhoods, into the kitchens, shops, and schools, to give us the shape and texture, the very feel of what it was like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany.
How Jews Became Germans
Author: Deborah Hertz
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300150032
Pages: 288
Year: 2008-10-01
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When the Nazis came to power and created a racial state in the 1930s, an urgent priority was to identify Jews who had converted to Christianity over the preceding centuries. With the help of church officials, a vast system of conversion and intermarriage records was created in Berlin, the country’s premier Jewish city. Deborah Hertz’s discovery of these records, the Judenkartei, was the first step on a long research journey that has led to this compelling book. Hertz begins the book in 1645, when the records begin, and traces generations of German Jewish families for the next two centuries. The book analyzes the statistics and explores letters, diaries, and other materials to understand in a far more nuanced way than ever before why Jews did or did not convert to Protestantism. Focusing on the stories of individual Jews in Berlin, particularly the charismatic salon woman Rahel Levin Varnhagen and her husband, Karl, a writer and diplomat, Hertz humanizes the stories, sets them in the context of Berlin’s evolving society, and connects them to the broad sweep of European history.
A Jewish Family in Germany Today
Author: Y. Michal Bodemann
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822334216
Pages: 280
Year: 2005
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DIVShares the life experiences of the children of 4 siblings who out of eight siblings, parents and grandparents, survived the Holocaust. It explores the ways in which these children from the same socio-cultural background have built diverse lives in German/div
Memory, History, and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe
Author: Saul Friedländer
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253324831
Pages: 142
Year: 1993
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"No one has written more incisively about the dynamics and divergences of German and Jewish memory of the Third Reich than Saul Friedlander. His new book is a singularly important contribution to our understanding of the evolving memory of the Nazi period within German and Jewish historical consciousness." --Alvin H. Rosenfeld "... This volume is of importance not only for Holocaust research itself, but also for understanding German and Israeli societies." --Bulletin of the Arnold and Leora Finkler Institute of the Holocaust Research A world-famous scholar analyzes the historiography of the Nazi period, including conflicting interpretations of the Holocaust and the impact of German reunification.
Being Jewish in 21st-Century Germany
Author: Olaf Glöckner, Haim Fireberg
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110395746
Pages: 266
Year: 2015-09-25
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The unexpected immigration wave from the former Soviet Union has stabilized and enlarged Jewish life in Germany up from the 1990ies. No doubt: Jews will continue to live in Germany. But what does it mean to live a Jewish life in present Germany? How is it reflected in culture? Who are the new Jewish elites, and how successful is the fight against old and new forms of anti-Semitism? 20 authors look for answers on these and on related questions.
Space and Spatiality in Modern German-Jewish History
Author: Simone Lässig, Miriam Rürup
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1785335545
Pages: 384
Year: 2017-06-28
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What makes a space Jewish? This wide-ranging volume revisits literal as well as metaphorical spaces in modern German history to examine the ways in which Jewishness has been attributed to them both within and outside of Jewish communities, and what the implications have been across different eras and social contexts. Working from an expansive concept of "the spatial," these contributions look not only at physical sites but at professional, political, institutional, and imaginative realms, as well as historical Jewish experiences of spacelessness. Together, they encompass spaces as varied as early modern print shops and Weimar cinema, always pointing to the complex intertwining of German and Jewish identity.
Rebirth of a Culture
Author: Hillary Hope Herzog, Todd Herzog, Benjamin Lapp
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1845455118
Pages: 193
Year: 2008
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After 1945, Jewish writing in German was almost unimaginable—and then only in reference to the Shoah. Only in the 1980s, after a period of mourning, silence, and processing of the trauma, did a new Jewish literature evolve in Germany and Austria. This volume focuses on the re-emergence of a lively Jewish cultural scene in the German-speaking countries and the various cultural forms of expression that have developed around it. Topics include current debates such as the emergence of a post-Waldheim Jewish discourse in Austria and Jewish responses to German unification and the Gulf wars. Other significant themes addressed are the memorialization of the Holocaust in Berlin and Vienna, the uses of Kafka in contemporary German literature, and the German and American-Jewish dialogue as representative of both the history of exile and the globalization of postmodern civilization. The volume is enhanced by contributions from some of the most significant representatives of German-Jewish writing today such as Esther Dischereit, Barbara Honigmann, Jeanette Lander, and Doron Rabinovici. The result is a lively dialogue between European and North American scholars and writers that captures the complexity and dynamism of Jewish culture in Germany and Austria at the turn of the twenty-first century.
Jews in Weimar Germany
Author: Donald L. Niewyk
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351303627
Pages: 229
Year: 2018-01-16
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The first comprehensive history of the German Jews on the eve of Hitler's seizure of power, this book examines both their internal debates and their relations with larger German society. It shows that, far from being united, German Jewry was deeply divided along religious, political, and ideological fault lines. Above all, the liberal majority of patriotic and assimilationist Jews was forced to sharpen its self-definition by the onslaught of Zionist zealots who denied the "Germanness" of the Jews. This struggle for the heart and soul of German Jewry was fought at every level, affecting families, synagogues, and community institutions.Although the Jewish role in Germany's economy and culture was exaggerated, they were certainly prominent in many fields, giving rise to charges of privilege and domination. This volume probes the texture of German anti-Semitism, distinguishing between traditional and radical Judeophobia and reaching conclusions that will give no comfort to those who assume that Germans were predisposed to become "willing executioners" under Hitler. It also assesses the quality of Jewish responses to racist attacks. The self-defense campaigns of the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith included publishing counter-propaganda, supporting sympathetic political parties, and taking anti-Semitic demagogues to court. Although these measures could only slow the rise of Nazism after 1930, they demonstrate that German Jewry was anything but passive in its responses to the fascist challenge.The German Jews' faith in liberalism is sometimes attributed to self-delusion and wishful thinking. This volume argues that, in fact, German Jewry pursued a clear-sighted perception of Jewish self-interest, apprehended the dangers confronting it, and found allies in socialist and democratic elements that constituted the "other Germany." Sadly, this profound and genuine commitment to liberalism left the German Jews increasingly isolated as the majority of Germans turned to political radicalism in the last years of the Republic. This full-scale history of Weimar Jewry will be of interest to professors, students, and general readers interested in the Holocaust and Jewish History.
My Germany
Author: Lev Raphael
Publisher: Terrace Books
ISBN: 0299231534
Pages: 224
Year: 2009-04-07
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Haunted by his parents’ horrific suffering and traumatic losses under Nazi rule, Lev Raphael grew up loathing everything German. Those feelings shaped his Jewish identity, his life, and his career. While researching his mother’s war years after her death, he discovers a distant relative living in the very city where she had worked in a slave labor camp, found freedom, and met his father. Soon after, Raphael is launched on book tours in Germany and, in the process, redefines himself as someone unafraid to face the past and let it go. Bookmarks, “Top Ten Nonfiction Titles of 2009”
Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
Author: Francis R. Nicosia, David Scrase
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1845459792
Pages: 256
Year: 2010-07-30
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German Jews faced harsh dilemmas in their responses to Nazi persecution, partly a result of Nazi cruelty and brutality but also a result of an understanding of their history and rightful place in Germany. This volume addresses the impact of the anti-Jewish policies of Hitler's regime on Jewish family life, Jewish women, and the existence of Jewish organizations and institutions and considers some of the Jewish responses to Nazi anti-Semitism and persecution. This volume offers scholars, students, and interested readers a highly accessible but focused introduction to Jewish life under National Socialism, the often painful dilemmas that it produced, and the varied Jewish responses to those dilemmas.
German Idealism and the Jew
Author: Michael Mack
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022611578X
Pages: 237
Year: 2013-11-01
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In German Idealism and the Jew, Michael Mack uncovers the deep roots of anti-Semitism in the German philosophical tradition. While many have read German anti-Semitism as a reaction against Enlightenment philosophy, Mack instead contends that the redefinition of the Jews as irrational, oriental Others forms the very cornerstone of German idealism, including Kant's conception of universal reason. Offering the first analytical account of the connection between anti-Semitism and philosophy, Mack begins his exploration by showing how the fundamental thinkers in the German idealist tradition—Kant, Hegel, and, through them, Feuerbach and Wagner—argued that the human world should perform and enact the promises held out by a conception of an otherworldly heaven. But their respective philosophies all ran aground on the belief that the worldly proved incapable of transforming itself into this otherworldly ideal. To reconcile this incommensurability, Mack argues, philosophers created a construction of Jews as symbolic of the "worldliness" that hindered the development of a body politic and that served as a foil to Kantian autonomy and rationality. In the second part, Mack examines how Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Franz Rosenzweig, and Freud, among others, grappled with being both German and Jewish. Each thinker accepted the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, in varying degrees, while simultaneously critiquing anti-Semitism in order to develop the modern Jewish notion of what it meant to be enlightened—a concept that differed substantially from that of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Wagner. By speaking the unspoken in German philosophy, this book profoundly reshapes our understanding of it.

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