New PDF release: Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany

By Jack Wertheimer

ISBN-10: 0195048938

ISBN-13: 9780195048933

Drawing on archival examine performed in East and West Germany, Israel, and the us, this publication probes into the questions, bearing on one of the most troubling matters in glossy German and Jewish historical past - the habit of Germans towards strangers of their midst, the prestige and self-perception of emancipated Jews in pre-Nazi Germany, and the responses of "privileged" Jews to needy, yet alien, coreligionists.
When East ecu Jews migrated westward in ever greater numbers among 1870 and 1914, either German executive officers and the leaders of German Jewry have been faced by way of a sequence of recent demanding situations.
What rules did executive leaders devise to deal with the possible endless tide of Jews flooding throughout Germany's borders?
What used to be the particular, in place of the perceived, personality of those Jewish migrants?
How did local Jews reply to the coming of coreligionists from the East?

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Drawing on archival learn carried out in East and West Germany, Israel, and the USA, this ebook probes into the questions, referring to essentially the most troubling concerns in smooth German and Jewish heritage - the habit of Germans towards strangers of their midst, the prestige and self-perception of emancipated Jews in pre-Nazi Germany, and the responses of "privileged" Jews to needy, yet alien, coreligionists.

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3 Although such perceptions hardly disappeared, German leaders muted their criticism of Eastern Jews during the last decade of the nineteenth century. The change in tone had much to do with domestic considerations: The 1890s were a time when governments sought to rally support for commercial treaties with the Hapsburg and Tsarist empires that would facilitate the free movement of foreign merchants in Germany; accordingly, this was hardly the time to inflame public opinion against East Europeans.

As a result of their efforts, localities throughout the Reich scrutinized their populations of Eastern Jews, and in some cases instituted severe curbs on the newcomers. In Munich, for example, the local branch of the anti-Semitic Christian-Social Party submitted a petition in late 1904 urging the municipal government to ban Jewish immigrants. " At the instigation of Councilman Herrmann, a member of the Center Party, the municipal government took up the question of whether to pass a law singling out foreign Jews for expulsion.

The bigoted approach of government leaders reduced chances for a judicious and fair resolution to the problem of Jewish migration because it defined Eastern Jews as a menace to the physical, economic, and political health of German society. Through their intemperate public remarks, government leaders fostered an air of hysteria, rather than calm. Their scare tactics set the tone for public debate over Eastern Jews. The Strategy of Anti-Semites Public discourse about Jewish mass migration was further inflamed by the rhetoric of outspoken anti-Semites.

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Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany by Jack Wertheimer


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