Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and by Steven E. Aschheim

By Steven E. Aschheim

Brothers and Strangers lines the heritage of German Jewish attitudes, guidelines, and stereotypical photographs towards jap ecu Jews, demonstrating the ways that the old rupture among japanese and Western Jewry constructed as a functionality of modernism and its imperatives. via the Eighteen Eighties, such a lot German Jews had inherited and used such adverse photographs to represent rejection in their personal ghetto earlier and to stress the distinction among glossy “enlightened” Jewry and its “half-Asian” counterpart. furthermore, stereotypes of the ghetto and the jap Jew figured prominently within the development and disposition of German anti-Semitism. no longer each person shared those unfavourable preconceptions, in spite of the fact that, and through the years a competing post-liberal photograph emerged of the Ostjude as cultural hero. Brothers and Strangers examines the genesis, improvement, and outcomes of those altering forces of their frequently complicated cultural, political, and highbrow contexts.

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Additional info for Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German Jewish Consciousness, 1800-1923

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Gradual emancipation in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe would remove a potentially explosive force across the border that threatened German Jewish assimilation. It satisfied the nagging sense of Jewish responsibility at the same time. That sense of responsibility had much to do with the fact that Geiger's early program never became normative. Beneath acculturation the "purely traditional, half-national and half-ordinary content" did indeed prevail. Such sentiments were the emotional stimulus for the increasing aid given the Ostjuden.

Ree's diagnosis of and solution to the problem is a marvelous illustration of nineteenth-century assimilationist assumptions. 27 He perceived the problem largely in terms of etiquette, almost as an exercise in impression management. Manner of speech became a key to social acceptance. By "dialect" Ree meant not only the Jargon but also the tone and manner and the particular gesticulations Jews used, even when speaking German. It was to these particularly "Jewish" elements that he referred when he proposed setting up special schools to be run by teachers committed to the correct use of German and who knew how to combat the Jewish dialect in the proper manner.

Emancipation eventually made it possible for the vagrants to become citizens of their various cities and states, by which time they had become integral parts of the German Jewish community. 65 Precisely the opposite attitude prevailed in the nineteenth century, and Jews did everything they could to remove the renewed lumpen presence. Embourgeoisement was so rapid for German Jews that by 1840 the schnorrer was almost exclusively Eastern Jewish and designated as Fremder (alien). Class distinctions and geocultural differences meshed, and the class distinctions were often decisive, as they had not been in previous centuries.

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