Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

22
Career and Employment

The two major economic crises of the Weimar Republic, the inflation at the beginning and the Depression at the end, accelerated the stagnation and economic decline that had already begun before World War I. As early as 1933, a social worker predicted that German Jews would experience such grave restrictions in their "economic sphere" that their standard of living would be reduced to the point of ending their "middle-class existence."1 Sadly, this prediction came true, with the onslaught of discrimination, boycotts, and ultimately "Aryanization"—a euphemism for the Nazi expropriation of Jews.


Jewish Businesses and Work in the Weimar Republic

In the Weimar Republic, Jews active in trade and commerce made up 61 percent of all wage earners. The next largest group, 24 percent, worked in industry and the trades; and members of the civil service and independent professionals amounted to almost 10 percent. Moreover, the percentage of those who were "independent without an occupation," that is, those who lived from pensions, savings, or the like, was significantly higher among Jews than in the population at large; the figure was 15 percent in 1925 and even 20 percent in 1933.2 However, when these figures are compared with those for groups in similar living situations—essentially urban residents—rather than with the total German population, Jewish occupational structures more closely resemble those of the general population.

Jews' concentration in trade and commerce corresponded to the higher percentage of Jews who were self-employed. This status, independent of an employer, was the only way for some Jews to observe religious law. The long

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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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