Germans, Jews, and Antisemites: Trials in Emancipation (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 24, 2006 - History - 311 pages
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The ferocity of the Nazi attack upon the Jews took many by surprise. Volkov argues that a new look at both the nature of antisemitism and at the complexity of modern Jewish life in Germany is required in order to provide an explanation. While antisemitism had a number of functions in pre-Nazi German society, it most particularly served as a cultural code, a sign of belonging to a particular political and cultural milieu. Surprisingly, it only had a limited effect on the lives of the Jews themselves. By the end of the nineteenth century, their integration was well advanced. Many of them enjoyed prosperity, prestige, and the pleasures of metropolitan life. This book stresses the dialectical nature of assimilation, the lead of the Jews in the processes of modernization, and, finally, their continuous efforts to 'invent' a modern Judaism that would fit their new social and cultural position.
  

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Contents

interpreting the danger signs
13
Excursus on SelfHatred and SelfCriticism
33
Past Shadows Present Needs
47
antisemitism as a cultural code
67
Functions and Meaning
91
Two Case Studies
119
Comparing Germany with the French Republic
145
the germanjewish project of modernity
159
Paradoxes of Becoming Alike
202
Jewish Success in Science
224
The Ambivalence of Bildung
248
Forces of Dissimilation
256
Inventing Tradition
276
Closing the Circle
287
Index
299
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Shulamit Volkov is the Konrad Adenauer Chair for Comparative European History and Professor of Modern European History at Tel Aviv University. She was previously a fellow at St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Wissenschaftskolleg, and the Historisches Kolleg. Volkov is the author of The Origins of Popular Antimodernism in Germany: The Urban Master Artisans, 1873–1896 (1978) and the editor of Deutsche Juden und die Moderne (1994) and Being Different: Minorities, Aliens, and Outsiders in History (2000).

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