Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

Hardcover | February 16, 2005

EditorMarion A. Kaplan

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From the seventeenth century until the Holocaust, Germany's Jews lurched between progress and setback, between fortune and terrible misfortune. German society shunned Jews in the eighteenth century and opened unevenly to them in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, only to turnmurderous in the Nazi era. By examining the everyday lives of ordinary Jews, this book portrays the drama of German-Jewish history -- the gradual ascent of Jews from impoverished outcasts to comfortable bourgeois citizens and then their dramatic descent into genocidal torment during the Nazi years.Building on social, economic, religious, and political history, it focuses on the qualitative aspects of ordinary life -- emotions, subjective impressions, and quotidian perceptions. How did ordinary Jews and their families make sense of their world? How did they construe changes brought about byindustrialization? How did they make decisions to enter new professions or stick with the old, juggle traditional mores with contemporary ways? The Jewish adoption of secular, modern European culture and the struggle for legal equality exacted profound costs, both material and psychological. Evenin the heady years of progress, a basic insecurity informed German-Jewish life. Jewish successes existed alongside an antisemitism that persisted as a frightful leitmotif throughout German-Jewish history. And yet the history that emerges from these pages belies simplistic interpretations that Germanantisemitism followed a straight path from Luther to Hitler. Neither Germans nor Jews can be typecast in their roles vis a vis one another. Non-Jews were not uniformly antisemitic but exhibited a wide range of attitudes towards Jews. Jewish daily life thus provides another vantage point fromwhich to study the social life of Germany. Focusing on both internal Jewish life -- family, religion, culture and Jewish community -- and the external world of German culture and society provides a uniquely well-rounded portrait of a world defined by the shifting sands of inclusion andexclusion.

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From the seventeenth century until the Holocaust, Germany's Jews lurched between progress and setback, between fortune and terrible misfortune. German society shunned Jews in the eighteenth century and opened unevenly to them in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, only to turnmurderous in the Nazi era. By examining the every...

Marion A. Kaplan is Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University. Robert Liberles is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, Israel. Steven Lowenstein is the Isadore Levine Professor of Jewish History at the University of Judaism. Trude Maurer is Professor of East European and Mo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:244 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 1.69 inPublished:February 16, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171640

ISBN - 13:9780195171648

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"A rich history that points to important new avenues of research. This marvelous book enriches our understanding of Jewish and German history considerably. Essential reading." --Journal of Interdisciplinary History