Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

Part III
As Germans and as Jews
in Imperial Germany

Marion Kaplan

The unification of Germany in 1871 granted legal equality to Germany's Jews.1 They could live, marry, and worship as full citizens and take advantage of unparalleled opportunities in business and the professions. Jews had been in public life for about two decades before legal emancipation and had already begun to enter the middle classes. In Imperial Germany, they solidified their middle-class status, growing wealthier, giving their children advanced educations in numbers far beyond their proportion of the overall population, moving to the cities, enjoying bourgeois culture, and integrating with other Jews and Germans in lively and burgeoning associations.

As Jews became more acculturated, their religious attitudes increasingly diversified, stretching from Orthodox to secular. Some even converted and intermarried. Still, very few left the Jewish community, and many felt satisfied with a Judaism that encompassed family, bourgeois culture, and community.

Antisemitism limited Jewish attainments, intensifying and later subsiding in Imperial Germany only to rise up again during World War I. Some of the most important institutions of the German Empire—the army, the universities, the civil service, and the Imperial Court—shunned Jews, as did high society. And even when the antisemitic political parties faced resounding parliamentary defeat in prewar Germany, antisemitism infiltrated many political and semipolitical organizations as well as society more generally.2 Antisemitism thus restricted Jewish success but also created the boundaries against which Jews relentlessly pushed, often successfully.

-173-

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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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