Unwelcome strangers : East European Jews in imperial Germany /
Jack Wertheimer.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.
ix, 275 p. --
More Details
New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 250-267.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-12:
In Mein Kampf, Hitler noted his reaction to seeing an alien-looking East European Jew. Wertheimer's study traces the impact of the immigration of East European (primarily Polish) Jews on Germany during the Second Empire, i.e., between 1870 and the outbreak of WW I. Most German governments were hostile to this unwanted influx of individuals; opposition frequently masked anti-Semitism. Prussia was not alone in using measures of dubious legality to expel Jews and harass them in various ways. Wertheimer argues that the frequently cited contempt of German Jews for their Polish coreligionists has been exaggerated, and documents the attempt on the part of the German Jewish community to provide aid for settlers and help them integrate into German Jewish life. The influx of these Polish Jews produced, at times, bitter conflicts-the German liberals wished to integrate into German culture, to become Germans of the Mosaic persuasion. This led to an alliance among Polish Jews who sought to maintain orthodoxy in religion, use of Yiddish (held in contempt by Germans and German Jews), and a separateness of culture with Zionists, who, rejecting assimilation to German culture, supported the development of a Jewish nationalism. Upper-division undergraduates and above.-G.M. Kren, Kansas State University
Appeared in Library Journal on 1987-04-15:
With arresting scholarship, Wertheimer has written a first-class analysis of the German and German-Jewish reception of East European Jews immigrating to Germany, 1871-1914. Testing and often exploding stereotypical myths about the character of these Jews, their putative threats to Germany, and their relation to native German Jews, Wertheimer illustrates how the Jewish immigration affected German public policy on aliens and crystallizes the governmental responses which, together with the East European Jews' particular demographic, economic, and organizational status, elicited German Jewry's ambivalent response to the immigrants. Replete with much new historical data, this compelling work is social history at its best; it is the best book on the subject. Essential for historians and students of history. Benny Kraut, Judaic Studies Dept., Univ. of Cincinnati
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, April 1987
Choice, December 1987
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