Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

Part IV
From Everyday Life to a
State of Emergency: Jews in
Weimar and Nazi Germany

Trude Maurer Translated from the German by Allison Brown

After the experiences of World War I, in which all hopes for complete integration had been disappointed, and the collapse of the monarchy, which came as a surprise to most, Jews initially continued living in the Weimar Republic much as they had before. But the inflation and the Great Depression threatened middle-class lifestyles, and many had to cut back drastically, due to lost assets, business losses, and increased unemployment. On top of financial insecurity came contradictory experiences in Jews' social lives. While integration continued to develop in public as well as private spheres, antisemitism also continued to spread. In the later years of the republic, a certain caution in public seemed advisable to some, and relations between Jews and non-Jews began to erode.

Nonetheless, January 30,1933, represented a major break. The government forced Jews out of the civil service, independent professions, business, and higher education; it clearly intended to force them out of middle-class society altogether. Despite impoverishment and attempts at career restructuring, Jews held on to their bourgeois habits, seeking therein a kind of security. In the face of such social ostracism, the family took on renewed significance as the nucleus of middle-class life, and the Jewish community became the center of Jewish life, with its diverse offers of aid, both material and spiritual. But the increasing terror, the increasing strictures on normal life once the war started, and finally the deportations destroyed the constant attempts to adapt and survive. Everyday life was replaced by a permanent state of emergency.

-271-

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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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