Download Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and by Steven E. Aschheim PDF

By Steven E. Aschheim

Brothers and Strangers strains the heritage of German Jewish attitudes, rules, and stereotypical photographs towards japanese eu Jews, demonstrating the ways that the old rupture among japanese and Western Jewry built as a functionality of modernism and its imperatives. through the Eighteen Eighties, such a lot German Jews had inherited and used such unfavourable photos to represent rejection in their personal ghetto earlier and to stress the distinction among glossy “enlightened” Jewry and its “half-Asian” counterpart. additionally, stereotypes of the ghetto and the japanese Jew figured prominently within the development and disposition of German anti-Semitism. now not all people shared those adverse preconceptions, notwithstanding, and through the years a competing post-liberal snapshot emerged of the Ostjude as cultural hero. Brothers and Strangers examines the genesis, improvement, and outcomes of those altering forces of their frequently advanced cultural, political, and highbrow contexts.

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Additional info for Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German Jewish Consciousness, 1800-1923

Example text

One need only cross the Russian border to find an almost unknown human type full of mystery and wonder . . to look with astonishment at these people with their dirty caftans, the exotic faces which, like ghostly apparitions from times long lost, still haunt the modern present. . "31 The nineteenth-century transformation of the German Jew into the Bildungsjude was complete. It was across the border, in the Eastern ghettoes, that Jewish Unbildung was to be found. The transformation was not completed until the second half of the nineteenth century.

Dohm grasped the sociological nature of the problem and attributed Jewish defects to Christian maltreatment, but like most other Enlighteners, he never doubted the existence of the defects themselves. Jewish habits and superstitions, products of the long historical experience in the ghetto, would have to be overcome. Emancipation was conditional upon the successful transcendence of the inheritance of the ghetto. This identification of the ghetto with social pathology was to become the norm in almost all modern discourse concerning the Jews.

Already at the beginning of the nineteenth century the ghetto symbolized the distinction between enlightenment and superstition, progress and reaction, even beauty and ugliness. The German Jew's attack upon his own and later upon the East European ghetto was made easier by the fact that the attack was in the mainstream of Enlightenment humanism. Jewish reformers GERMAN JEWRY AND THE OSTJUDE, 1800-1880 7 quickly agreed that integration required emphatic rejection of ghetto traits, traits which Goethe in his caricature of the traditional rabbi had summed up as "fanatic zeal.

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