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Modern Jewish History Slides 4
Transcript of Modern Jewish History Slides 4
Greek Revolution, 1830
"After an estrangement of twenty years, I am back with my people. I have come...to take part in the spiritual and intellectual warfare going on within the House of Israel on the one hand, and between our people and the surrounding civilized nations on the other; for though the Jews have lived among the nations for almost two thousand years, they cannot, after all, become a mere part of the organic whole.
A thought which I believed to be forever buried in my heart, has been revived in me anew. It is the thought of my nationality, which is inseparably connected with the ancestral heritage and the memories of the Holy Land, the Eternal City, the birthplace of the belief in the divine unity of life, as well as the hope in the future brotherhood of men.
We are on the eve of the Sabbath of History and should prepare for our last mission through a thorough understanding of our historical religion.
We cannot understand a single word of the Holy Scriptures, so long as we do not possess the point of view of the genius of the Jewish nation which produced these writing... Judaism has never drawn any line of separation between and the family, the family and the nation, the nation and humanity as a whole, humanity and the cosmos, nor between creation and creator. Judaism has no other dogma but the teaching of the unity. But this dogma is with Judaism, not a mere fossilized and therefore barren belief, but a living, continually recreating principle of knowledge. Judaism is rooted in the love of the family; patriotism and nationalism are the flowers of its spirit, and the coming regenerated state of human Society will be its ripe fruit. Judaism would have shared the fate of other religions which were fossilized through their dogmas and which will finally disappear through the conflict with science, had it not been for the fact that religious teachings are the product of life. Judaism...is primarily the expression of a nationality whose history for thousands of years coincides with the history of the development of a humanity and the Jews are a nation which, having once acted as the leaven of the social world, is destined to be resurrected with the rest of civilized nations.
R. Yehudah Alkalai
R. Tsvi Hirsch Kalisher, 1795-1874, Thorn (Prussia)
The Russian Model:
Economic strife and turmoil
Emergence of far-right political parties (Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationalism)
Ingrained cultural models
Image of "the Jew" as parvenu
New, pseudo-scientific model
Panic of 1873
Arthur de Gobineau
Wilhelm Marr, "anti-Semitism" 1879
The Jews comprise a distinctive element among the nations under which they dwell, and as such can neither assimilate nor be readily digested by any nation.
Hence the solution lies in finding a means of so readjusting this exclusive element to the family of nations, that the basis of the Jewish question will be permanently removed.
No previous civilization has been able to achieve it, nor can we see even in the remote distance, that day of the Messiah, when national barriers will no longer exist and all mankind will live in brotherhood and concord. Until then, the nations must narrow their aspirations to achieve a tolerable modus vivendi.
The world has yet long to wait for eternal peace. Meanwhile nations live side by side in a state of relative peace, secured by treaties and international law, but based chiefly on the fundamental equality between them. But it is different with the people of Israel.
There is no such equality in the nations' dealings with the Jews.
With the loss of their country, the Jewish people lost their independence, and fell into a decay which is not compatible with existence as a whole vital organism…But after the Jewish people had ceased to exist as an actual state, as a political entity, they could nevertheless not submit to total annihilation -- they lived on spiritually as a nation. The world saw in this people the uncanny form of one of the dead walking among the living..This spectral form without precedence in history, unlike anything that preceded or followed it, could but strangely affect the imagination of the nations.
We must look no more to the slow progress of humanity. And we must learn to recognize that as long as we lack a home of our own, wuch as the other nations have, we must resign forever the hope of becoming the equals of our fellow men.
Of course, the establishment of a Jewish refuge cannot come about without the support of the governments...we must have one single refuge, the existence of which...would have to be politically assured.
The Jews are not a living nation; they are everywhere aliens; therefore they are despised.
The civil and political emancipation of the Jews is not sufficient to raise them in the estimation of the peoples.
The only solution is the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the autoemancipation of the Jews.
We must not persuade ourselves that humanity and enlightenment alone can cure the malady of our people.
Basel Platform, 1897
The promotion by appropriate means in Eretz Yisrael of Jewish farmers, artisans and manufacturers
The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, both local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country
The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness
Preparatory steps towards obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism
Cultural versus Political Zionism
The Democratic Faction
R. Y.Y. Reines, Mizrahi
The Bund (Algemayner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Poylen, Rusland, und Lite) 1897
The Poalei Tsiyyon, 1905
Jewish Folksparty, 1904-1919
World War I, 1914-1918
As a citizen of my country, I participate in its civic and political life, but as a member of the Jewish nationality I have, in addition, my own needs, and in this sphere I must be independent to the same degree that any other national minority is autonomous in the state.
The Agudah, 1912/1916
The Moetses Gedoylei haTorah
Political engagement to preserve Torah communities
Rise of radical right: Beerhall Putsch, 1923
Collapse of German Economy, 1919-33
Walter Rathenau, assassinated 1922
Success of NSDAP (Nazi), 1933
Krystallnacht, 1938 (Frankfurt Temple)
Operation Barbarossa, 1941
Nuremberg Laws, 1933-35
Arab Revolt, 1936
Paris Peace Conference, 1919: Wilson, Clemenceau, Lloyd George
Prince Faisal and Chaim Weizmann, c. 1919
The Mandates, 1919-1948
The Balfour Declaration, 1917
Hilsner Affair, 1899-1900
Prague Jewish Literary Circle
Bar Kochba Society
Jewish Population on Eve of WWI (Rough)
Russian Empire: 5.3-4 Million
Austria-Hungary: 3 Million
United States: 3 Million
Ottoman Empire/North Africa: 300,000
Early Zionism 1:
Kadimah, Vienna (Founded 1883)
Early Zionism 2: Russia and Ottoman Empire
Moshe Lieb Lilienblum
The End of Modern Jewish History:
Does the Holocaust and the creation of The State of Israel represent the "end" of modern Jewish history?
Two events, two crucial questions: how do these two moments fit into the broader questions of Jewish history?
The "transcendent" dimension
Jews of Germany at 1871: A Snapshot
German Jewish population, c. 1900: +/- 550,000
Mixture of native and immigrant elements (approx. 200,000 East European Jewish immigrants by turn of the century)
Most "native" German Jews: middle class, urban dwelling with some exceptions in less urban regions (more rural=more traditional)
Immigrants mostly drawn to cities, esp. Berlin
Jews in 19th Century German Culture: A major force
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-47)
Giacomo Meyerbeer (Jacob Liebmann Beer)(1791-1864)
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
Max Liebermann, 1847-1935
Jews and German Unification, 1860s-70s
Otto von Bismark, 1815-1898
Kaiser Wilhelm I, 1797-1888
Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1859-1941
The Precursors of Nationalism
Johann Gottlieb Fichte, 1762-1814
Johann Gottfried von Herder, 1744-1803
Treatise on the Origin of Language
Address to the German Nation
Post -1881: The New Dynamic and the Old
The Old (integrationist):
Integration (as choice or demand)
Civil rights and equality
Dominant in Western and Central Europe, Americas, Ottoman Empire
The New (nationalist):
Separation (as necessity)
Full social reconstruction: economic, cultural, political
Dominant in Russia, to some extent in Central Europe
Occur among Jewish communities in ALL territories
No clear religious/socio-economic or cultural predominance
Gradual transition of international opinion from one to the other
East and West: Origins and Conflict
Ost und West:
Karl Emil Franzos
Degeneracy, Renaissance and Nationalism
Jewish Renaissance: the idea of renaissance
Jacob Burckhardt: The "civilization of renaissance"
Friedrich Nietzsche: Overcoming the "slave morality"; the "Overman," "eternal return" and creation of self
Expressions of Renaissance in German culture:
Politics of degeneration and redemption -- Lueger, Schoenerer
The rise of anti-Semitism as degeneration narrative
Youth movements (the Wandervoegel and Gustav Wyneken)
Burschenschaften and university
Values: return to the land and nature; social and cultural revolution
German-Jewish culture and the discourse of Renaissance
Zionism as renaissance ideal
Max Nordau: Degeneration
Land or no land? Culture or politics?
Jewish youth movements
Nathan Birnbaum, Martin Buber, Ost und West and the Jewish Renaissance Movement (
Juedische Renaissance Bewegung
German Jews on the Eve of World War I
Population and marriage patterns:
Increase in intermarriage after 1874
(1874: introduction of secular marriage)
Year Jewish Mixed Ratio
1901 3878 658 16.9
1910 3880 1003 25.8
1914 2617 1344 51.3
1918 2171 1084 49.9
(Huge jump in ratio, 1914-1918 -- 70-104%)
1920 7497 2211 29.4
1925 2904 1413 28.6
1929 2817 1663 59
The Scholem Brothers:
Complexity of Jewish Identity
Gershom Scholem, Zionist
Jewish Politics on the eve of World War I
Orthodox Politics: The Agudah
The Freies Juedisches Lehrhaus:
Franz Rosenzweig and the "New Learning"
The Lehrhaus Model
To Brenner, what are some of the defining characteristics of Jewish cultural revival in the Weimar period? (authenticity, quest for knowledge, meaning/structure of community)?
Hobsbawm: "modern societies constantly redefine the framework of traditions that constitute the very basis of their existence. They resurrect certain elements of an allegedly golden tradition and adpt them to the new conditions of a changing society, or use them for different purposed than originally intended. What seems to be a retrieval of authentic traditions becomes, rather, a modern construction or invention of a tradition.” Thoughts?
Revolt against the fathers -- what was it in this case? Convincing?
Optimistic or pessimistic?
How does the Lehrhaus idea fit with other contemporary models of German Jewish identity (liberal, religious, nationalist)?
How does this period (Weimar) resonate with current Jewish community (in America? in Israel? Europe?)
The quest for authentic life and community
Structural model: the Volkshochschule (extension programs, adult education)
Deeper philosophical significance?
Wholeness of knowledge, search for rootedness, demand for living philosophy, "What shall we do and how shall we live?
The "New Learning"
Use of German adult ed movement model
Impact on German Jewry
Origins of idea: Frankfurt Gesellschaft fuer juedische Volksbildung (Nobel)
"Journey of 'dissimilation"
Creation of cultural distinctiveness
The "new learning"
Format - ideal and actual
Instructors - who and why?
Size and impact?
Interwar Jewish German Intellectuals: Left and Right
The Left: The Frankfurt School for Social Research
The Right: Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, and Orthodox Public Intellectuals
The crisis of Marxism (Soviet and SD)
The new Weimar climate
New Marxism and social critique
The Frankfurt School of Social Research
The Rediscovered Early Marx
Encyclopedic study of culture
Substructure and superstructure
Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Loewenthal, Walter Benjamin
Lebensphilosophie and the turn to ontology
Post-war alienation and crisis of culture
Anxiety at rise of Bolshevism
German University system
Freie Juedische Lehrhaus
Zionism, Volkist Nationalism
Spirit, Volk, Tradition
Return to Origins
Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, R. J.B. Soloveitchik, Isaac Breuer, Nathan Birnbaum
Progress of Totalitarianism in Germany
1919-1923: Early years of Weimar
Social and political disorder, significant rejection of Weimar government esp. by radical right and left
Significant economic turmoil, hyperinflation ends only after 1923
Political assassination, incl. Walter Rathenau
1923-1929: Height of Weimar gov't
Stabilization of economic and political turmoil
Stabilization of economy, end of hyperinflation
moderate abatement of anti-state pressure
1929-1933: Crisis of Weimar:
Sudden recrudescence of economic turmoil with collapse of US stock market and forfeiture of debt
Increasing radicalization of politics favoring far left and far right
1932-33: Endgame of Weimar:
Dramatic shift to plurality of support with far right gaining significantly
Installation of Hitler as Chancellor, Reichstag fire, Enabling act, outlawing of all political opposition; withdrawal of Germany from international treaties and agreements, beginning of remilitarization
Selected Federal German Election results
: SPD, 38%; Centre: 20%; DDP, 19%; DNVP: 10%
: SPD, 20.5%; DNVP, 20%; Centre: 13%; KPD, 13%; DVP, 9.2%; NSDAP, 6.5%
: SPD, 24.5%; NSDAP, 18.3%; KPD, 13%; Centre, 11.8%; DNVP, 7%; DVP, 4.5%
(Second election, November): NSDAP, 33%; SPD, 20%; KPD, 17%; Centre: 12%; DNVP, 8%
: NSDAP, 44%; SPD, 18%; KPD, 12%
: NSDAP: 92% (all other parties banned)
Jewish Immigration from German territories:
Total: 432,000 immigrants by end of 1939
281,900 from Old Reich territories (pre-1938 Germany)
117,00 from Austria
20,000 from Sudetenland
13,000 from Saar, Danzig and Memel (free cities)
150,000 redistributed throughout Europe, mostly western Europe
90,000 to US
84,000 Central and South America
48,000 Other parts of the world
Trends in Nazi Policy towards Jews:
Initial theory (1920s): Jews as traitors (Ruckschlag), return to pre-emancipation
On electoral success (c. early 1930s): Re-ghettoization, exclusion of Jews from civil society
1933-1939: The "Racial State": Racial theory as foundation of social, political and electoral policy (Nurenberg Laws) in German-occupied areas
1939-1941: Militarization of racial policy in wake of Polish occupation (Einsatzgruppen, 1:1 mass murder, disorganized)
1941-1945: Post-Wansee conference, industrialized mass murder
Summary, Jews of Germany
Historical intertwining of German and Jewish history -- is there a German history without Jewish history? (early origins)
Repetition of German-Jewish models as modern paradigm
Enlightenment and modernization: Jews as exemplars ("ideal human" as exotic and tamed through education)(Enlightenment period)
Rise of nation and crisis of self-definition (the Vormaerz period)
Period of arrival (1848 through 1900)
Meaning of acceptance on eve of rejection (rise of anti-Semitism, 1870s-1914)
Final arrival and collapse (Weimar and Nazi periods)
Does the "Jewish question" still exist?
Was there a "German-Jewish dialogue"?