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The German-Jewish Economic Elite, 1820-1935: A Socio-Cultural Profile

Synopsis

This unique study makes an important contribution to an understanding of the changing problem of "Jewishness" in a German environment as it presented itself to a privileged group of German Jews. A group biography, the book examines the socio-cultural profile of members of the German-Jewish economic elite. It presents a detailed picture of the group, based largely on autobiographical material; it covers matters such as attitudes to Judaism, relations at different levels with Gentiles and with other Jews, marriage patterns, the public role, political culture, cultural activities, and patronage. The major underlying theme is the conflict between the preservation of the Jewish identity, and integration into the surrounding society. Different forms of self-identification are examined, as well as various patterns of conformity.