German Jewish identity and German Jewish response to national socialism 1933-1939 / by Carolyn S. Blackwell
Includes bibliographical references (p. 291-306)
The dissertation is a study of German Jewish identity and its influence on the response of German Jews to National Socialism during the years 1933-1939. German Jewish response was influenced by the relationship with the dominant culture, self-identity, political actions, previous experience and perception of the existing situation. The findings reveal that German Jews were not integrated into German society as fully as they perceived themselves to be. The majority of German Jews identified themselves as Germans of the Jewish faith and were caught between desiring full assimilation into German society and preserving their Judaic customs and traditions. Conflict among the Jewish leaders/organizations over what constituted German Jewish identity and the method to combat antisemitism created divisions within the Jewish community. The divisiveness prevented a unified response to National Socialism during the years 1933-1939. Individual German Jews responded according to their self-identity, degree of acculturation (as exemplified by the categories cultural, secular and practical), and perception of the existing situation. After November 1938, the findings do not apply because Jews realized Jewish life in Germany would not be allowed to exist. Jewish response then was influenced by concern for family/personal safety and availability of funds.
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