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February 08 , 2009

Germans into Jews

Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic


Germans into Jews turns to an often overlooked and misunderstood period of German and Jewish history—the years between the world wars. It has been assumed that the Jewish community in Germany was in decline during the Weimar Republic. But, Sharon Gillerman demonstrates that Weimar Jews sought to rejuvenate and reconfigure their community as a means both of strengthening the German nation and of creating a more expansive and autonomous Jewish entity within the German state. These ambitious projects to increase fertility, expand welfare, and strengthen the family transcended the ideological and religious divisions that have traditionally characterized Jewish communal life. Integrating Jewish history, German history, gender history, and social history, this book highlights the experimental and contingent nature of efforts by Weimar Jews to reassert a new Jewish particularism while simultaneously reinforcing their commitment to Germanness.

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