he did not want to become a Christian and that he would pray night and day to God to forgive him the lie into which he had been forced by desperation. He wanted to live and die as a Jew, because the God of our Fathers had obviously helped him and stood by him. ( Dühnen- und Berggeschichten II: 74) [ Dune and Mountain Stories]
" Sarah" thus becomes Lewald's standard tale of upward mobility -- her major theme-from working class to middle class to aristocracy-with the added fillip of a woman being able to run a business as well as or better than a man.
Lewald considered all organized religions, and especially the patriarchal basis of Judeo-Christianity, a propogation of the concept of the autocratic tyranny of arbitrary monarchs, ruling by "divine right." And she had learned that Judaism was especially male-dominated early in her life, when her father gave her the example of the old Hebrew morning prayer, in which the man thanks God, because he was not made a woman, while the woman has to give thanks for being created according to His will. Yet in many ways, although she found Judaism archaic and inconvenient, she remained essentially Jewish although nominally Christian, because her critics saw her as such and she had so many close relationships with Jewish intellectual and political figures. Especially in the reviews of Prinz Louis Ferdinand did these opinions surface, as for example, when Sternberg, the book reviewer for the Preußische Zeitung, stated that Lewald was "a Jewess and all her earlier novels were written to glorify Judaism" and that she apparently was the only one who seemed to present the prince as a secret propagandist for the. Jews. He also accused her of being democratic and a friend of such known Jewish liberals as Simon and Jacoby-a far more justifiable statement. In a basically laudatory and lengthy 1874 article about Lewald by Julian Schmidt in the Deutsche Illustrierte Monatshefte, which had first published many of her emancipatory essays, he states that German liberalism and the emancipation of the German Jews were so bound up with one another that Lewald's generally pro-Jewish position was predetermined (98). As woman and as Jew, as Prussian patriot and liberal democrat (who realized democracy and liberalism had no future in the Germany of her time), and as author and journalist, Fanny Lewald is an interesting and underestimated figure in German culture.