Housing and Housekeeping
Jews lived in a wide variety of homes in the 1920s but increasingly faced housing shortages under the Nazi regime, when their living arrangements deteriorated from cramped apartments to small rooms in "Jews' houses." Similarly housekeeping, especially cooking, shifted between tradition, modernity, and terrible scarcity.
After World War I, German Jewry's demographic profile evinced a dropping birth rate and an aging population, both of which accelerated dramatically in the Nazi era. In 1933, more than half (55 percent) of the half million Jewish inhabitants of Germany lived in 10 major cities with populations over 100,000, almost one-third of them in Berlin. Generally, however, German Jewry spread out over 2,000 towns of different sizes, and there were more than 1,600 official Jewish communities.1 Almost one in five Jews lived in rural areas or small towns; the proportion in southern Germany was significantly higher than the average for the country as a whole. The main settlement areas of rural Jewry were in Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, and Hesse.2
Despite being scattered in many residential areas, the Jewish population retained a certain cohesion, usually living in certain districts. In 1925 in Berlin, for example, 80 percent of all Jews lived in 6 out of 20 administrative districts in the city, mainly Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg.3 New Jewish residential centers developed in the late nineteenth century as a result of intraurban migration, a sign of economic and social advancement. The Grindel quarter, in the Hamburg district of Rotherbaum, where Jews made up 15 percent of the