Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

Part II
The Beginning of Integration:
1780-1870

Steven M. Lowenstein

The period from 1780 to 1870 was a period of thoroughgoing political, social, and economic change for Germany in general and for its Jewish population in particular. A largely agricultural land divided into over three hundred separate sovereign states of widely differing size in 1780, the "geographical expression" that was Germany went through a long process of political reorganization and consolidation that culminated in 1871 in the creation of a united German Empire. Beginning in the 1840s, the German states began to experience the Industrial Revolution, first in the textile industry, then in railroads, and eventually in such heavy industry as coal and steel. This economic transformation eventually made it possible for Germany to become the strongest economic and military power on the Continent. Germany's Jews were affected not only by these general political and economic changes but also by specifically Jewish ones. The discussion about ameliorating the oppressive civic conditions of Jews began in 1781 with the publication of Christian Wilhelm von Dohm's work On the Civil Improvement of the Jews. A long-drawn-out process of gradually increasing Jewish political and civil rights ("Emancipation") ensued. The first attempts at granting equality, during the period of French domination of Germany, ended after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Some Jewish gains were rolled back after 1815, and Jews in most parts of Germany remained in an inbetween status, not as restricted as in the eighteenth century but lacking many basic political and economic rights. Often Jews were expected to demonstrate that they were "worthy" of increased rights by changing their occupational structure and increasing their cultural Germanization. Only in 1871, in the German Empire, did they receive full legal equality. Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution affected the Jewish population, concentrated as it was in commerce, to a much greater extent than the rest of the German population. Eventually it would lead to a greatly improved economic position for the bulk of Germany's Jews. These global changes in the economic and political situation of Germany and Germany's Jews affected the daily life of individuals in a great variety of ways, differing greatly among various regions, classes, and families. The political emancipation and rapid

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Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • English Glossary ix
  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction: Marion A. Kaplan 3
  • Part I: On the Threshold of Modernity 9
  • 1: The Environment of Jewish Life 11
  • 2: Family Life 24
  • 3: Childhood and Education 41
  • 4: Economic Life 54
  • 5: Religious and Communal Life 70
  • 6: Social Relations 84
  • Part II: The Beginning of Integration 93
  • 7: Jewish Residential Patterns 95
  • 8: Family Life 107
  • 9: Education 118
  • 10: Economic Life 130
  • 11: Religious Practice and Mentality 144
  • 12: German Jews and Their German Jews and Their 159
  • Part III: As Germans and as Jews in Imperial Germany 173
  • 13: Surroundings 175
  • 14: Family 182
  • 15: Education 201
  • 16: Work 215
  • 17: Religious Practices, Mentalities,And Community 235
  • 18: Social Life 252
  • Part IV: From Everyday Life to a State of Emergency 271
  • 19: Housing and Housekeeping 273
  • 20: Family Life 283
  • 21: Education and Vocational Training 291
  • 22: Career and Employment 306
  • 23: Religious Practice in the Synagogue and at Home 323
  • 24: Leisure Time and Social Life 333
  • 25: Constricting and Extinguishing Jewish Life 346
  • Conclusion 375
  • Notes 387
  • Bibliography 477
  • Index 507
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