Süssen Is Now Free of Jews: World War II, The Holocaust, and Rural Judaism by Gilya Gerda SchmidtSüssen Is Now Free of Jews: World War II, The Holocaust, and Rural Judaism by Gilya Gerda Schmidt

Süssen Is Now Free of Jews: World War II, The Holocaust, and Rural Judaism

byGilya Gerda Schmidt

Hardcover | July 9, 2012

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Sussen Is Now Free of Jews offers a close look at the legacy of a few Jewish families from Sussen - a village in the District of Goppingen, which is located in the state of Baden Wurttemberg in southern Germany. The author, Gilya Gerda Schmidt, looks at this rural region through the lens oftwo Jewish families - the Langs and the Ottenheimers - who settled there in the early twentieth century. As a child, she shared with the Langs the same living space for just a few months. She remembers her mother's telling her of the Jews who lived in Sussen until the Holocaust. More than thirty years later, in a used bookstore in Knoxville, Tennessee, the author accidentally found documentation verifying the Jewish presence in a book about the surviving Jews of Wurttemberg. In it, she found confirmation that there had been Jews living in Sussen until the Holocaust. For thefirst time, she had the proof she needed to look into the reality behind this lingering mystery. Here began her detective-like journey to find out what happened to the Jews of Sussen. A decade of research into local and regional archives ensued, and this very penetrating study is the result. In it, the author attempts to shed light on not just the original question of what happened to the two families during the Holocaust but also on a host of other questions: What was it like tobe Jewish in rural southern Germany a century ago? What were the Jewish traditions of this region? What were the relations between Jews and Christians before the Holocaust? And where did those family members who were able to escape or who survived the concentration camps go when they left Sussen orGoppingen? Few witnesses came forward, yet the documents in the archives spoke volumes. This micro-history records the not-so-romantic journey of two Jewish families who lived in the Fils Valley. The study also addresses issues of being an American prisoner of war; of resuming life after theHolocaust; of the bureaucratic nightmare of requisitions, restitution, and reparations; and of life in America. This unique book will be of interest to a general readership and is an important book for scholars in German and Holocaust studies.
Gilya Gerda Schmidt is Professor of Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, and Director of the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She has written three books and edited and/or translated five from German into English.
Title:Süssen Is Now Free of Jews: World War II, The Holocaust, and Rural JudaismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:236 pages, 9 × 6 × 0 inPublished:July 9, 2012Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:082324329X

ISBN - 13:9780823243297

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Editorial Reviews

"Sussen is Now Free of Jews features an enormous amount of original research and illustrates the inherent importance of talking about Landjudentum (village Jewry) to an English reading audience. Schmidt's ability to combine archival material, memoir literature, interviews and personal recollections is both impressive and moving."