The Rise and Destiny of the German Jew

The Rise and Destiny of the German Jew

The Rise and Destiny of the German Jew

The Rise and Destiny of the German Jew

Excerpt

After centuries of silent suffering, the dawn of democracy in America and France spurred the Jews of Germany to hope for emancipation. In 1871, after a tense hundred-year struggle, the Jews were finally granted "formal equality" in the German Empire. The victory was far from complete, however, for neither the rulers nor the dominating landed and military aristocracy were minded to reverse their traditional unsympathetic attitude toward the Jews; individually they did all they could to stifle Jewish advance and to prevent absolute equality. Few Jews were allowed to become full professors at the universities; even fewer were commissioned as officers of the Imperial Army; and it remained practically impossible for a Jew to be appointed to either the diplomatic, the consular, or the civil service. The equality afforded to Jews was, thus, formal but not all- embracing.

This position of "formal equality" continued throughout the existence of the Second Empire (1871-1918). However, there came in close succession the War, the collapse of the Empire (November, 1918), the flight of the erratic Kaiser William II, and the rise to power of new elements: the business man and the working class.

With these changes came a more liberal attitude toward the Jews. They were now admitted into the various branches of civil service, although not in proportion to their numbers. In the field of education, too, there was a change for the better; more Jews were accepted as teachers in the secondary schools and as instructors in the universities. More Jews engaged in politics; a few . . .

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