Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany

Paperback | April 26, 1999

byMarion A. Kaplan

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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 thatJews 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 tobe 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 increasinglydesperate 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 humanloneliness. 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.

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From Our Editors

Memoirs, letters, diaries and interviews paint a picture of what it was like to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. Between Dignity and Despair examines the daily lives of Jews and how they become progressively worse. It is a powerful book honoured with the title of New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1998.

From the Publisher

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 be...

Marion Kaplan is Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of The Making of the Jewish Middle Class: Women, Family, and Identity in Imperial Germany (OUP), which won the National Jewish Book Award and the German History Prize and The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germa...

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Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi German...

Kobo ebook|Jun 10 1999

$10.79 online$13.99list price(save 22%)
see all books by Marion A. Kaplan
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 5.31 × 7.99 × 0.59 inPublished:April 26, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195130928

ISBN - 13:9780195130928

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From Our Editors

Memoirs, letters, diaries and interviews paint a picture of what it was like to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. Between Dignity and Despair examines the daily lives of Jews and how they become progressively worse. It is a powerful book honoured with the title of New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1998.

Editorial Reviews

"Of all the descriptions of Jewish life in Germany during the Nazi era, this is probably the most complete as well as the most poignant and sensitive one. Marion Kaplan has written an outstanding book."--Saul Friedlander, Professor of History at Tel Aviv University and UCLA