Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This volume grew out of a series of six panels at the German Studies Association in 2010 to explore the topic of German-Jewish Transnationalism, “Jews and the Transnational Public Sphere,” organized by Lisa Silverman, Elizabeth Loentz, and Leslie Morris. We are indebted in particular to the insight of Elizabeth Loentz and to her early involvement in this project. ...

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Introduction

Jay Howard Geller, Leslie Morris

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pp. 1-20

The title of this collected volume of essays, Three-Way Street: Jews, Germans, and the Transnational, pays homage to Walter Benjamin, the emblematic German Jew “on the move.” Benjamin’s work, which throughout expresses the urgency of collecting the fragments and pieces of the past as they are about to recede and insists on the necessity of reading history as a collection of fragments, ...

Part 1: To Germany, from Germany: The Promise of an Unpromised Land?

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1. Love, Money, and Career in the Life of Rosa Luxemburg

Deborah Hertz

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pp. 23-45

The legacy of Rosa Luxemburg is very much alive in our time, almost a century after her murder in 1919, during the German Revolution after World War I. Rosa Luxemburg was a well-known socialist intellectual, active in Polish and German affairs, whose personality has achieved cult status. Indeed, few of her admirers today are likely to entirely comprehend or endorse the political stance for which she gave her life. ...

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2. The “Triple Immersion”: A Singular Moment in Modern Jewish Intellectual History?

Alan T. Levenson

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pp. 46-65

Migration, exile, and refugee existence constitute major themes in modern Jewish history.1 The delineation of these phenomena, however, poses challenges. Take, for instance, sociologist Lewis Coser’s attempt at differentiation: “Immigrants leave their country for the most part voluntarily to make a permanent change of residence. . . . Exiles, in contrast, are forced to leave, yet hope, at least in the beginning, ...

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3. Yiddish Writers/German Models in the Early Twentieth Century

Jeffrey A. Grossman

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pp. 66-90

The standard accounts of Yiddish-German relations in the early twentieth century tend to focus on how fraught they were with tensions, misunderstanding, and at times even antagonism. German Jews stereotyped the Yiddish language, or some variant thereof, as the expression of a distorted kind of Jewish existence, reminiscent of ghetto life, ...

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4. The Symphony of a Great Heimat: Zionism as a Cure for Weimar Crisis in Lerski’s Avodah

Ofer Ashkenazi

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pp. 91-122

In the mid-1930s, shortly after the National Socialists secured their control in Germany, a very unlikely team of German-speaking bourgeois émigrés with ambivalent relations to Zionism set off to produce a groundbreaking Zionist-socialist propaganda film in Palestine. According to a contemporaneous report, the crew included the producer, a “Berlin stockbroker”—who “was also the driver”— ...

Part 2: Germany, the Portable Homeland

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5. “I Have Been a Stranger in a Foreign Land”: The Scholem Brothers and German-Jewish Émigré Identity

Jay Howard Geller

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pp. 125-143

As German Jews dispersed around the world in the 1920s, and particularly in the 1930s, they took with them their attitudes toward the practice of the Jewish religion and their attachment to German culture. While it would be an enormous project to track the development and decline of Jewish Germanness in emigration, the example of the Scholem brothers provides an interesting case study of how some German Jews related to Germany and Germanness after having emigrated from their homeland. ...

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6. Lost in the Transnational: Photographic Initiatives of Walter and Helmut Gernsheim in Britain

Michael Berkowitz

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pp. 144-168

A glut of studies, including documentaries in diverse media, reveal seismic shifts in mid-twentieth century British culture. Art, literature (at all levels), music, education, the press, and fashion are among a host of phenomena that scholars and other commentators identify as fomenting and indicative of such changes. Visual culture, in this regard, has come under increasing scrutiny. ...

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7. Transnational Jewish Comedy: Sex and Politics in the Films of Ernst Lubitsch—From Berlin to Hollywood

Richard W. McCormick

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pp. 169-196

Ernst Lubitsch (1892–1947) was the most successful of all the German film directors who came to Hollywood, and his influence on American film comedy was unparalleled.1 Not only was his career, like the cinema itself, shaped by transnational movements of peoples, stories, artists, technicians, and technologies, but his very perspective was also a product of transnational experience. ...

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8. America Abandoned: German-Jewish Visions of American Poverty in Serialized Novels by Joseph Roth, Sholem Asch, and Michael Gold

Kerry Wallach

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pp. 197-219

In 1930, Hungarian-born Jewish author Arthur Holitscher’s book Wiedersehn mit Amerika: Die Verwandlung der U.S.A. (Reunion with America: The Transformation of the U.S.A.) was reviewed by one J. Raphael in the German-Jewish Orthodox weekly newspaper, Der Israelit. This reviewer concluded: “Despite its good reputation, America is a strange country. ...

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9. “Irgendwo auf der Welt”: The Emigration of Jews from Nazi Germany as a Transnational Experience

Joachim Schlör

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pp. 220-238

In January 1936, Arthur Prinz published an article, “Voraussetzungen jüdischer Auswanderungspolitik,” in the journal Der Morgen. Prinz, a leading member of the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden (German Jewish Aid Society) and editor of the organization’s bulletin Jüdische Auswanderung, took a close look at the existential need of kleine Leute1— ...

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10. Transnational Jewish Refugee Stories: Displacement, Loss, and (Non)Restitution

Atina Grossmann

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pp. 239-258

Stories of Jewish migration and transnationalism have always, it seems, been deeply ambivalent, carrying the promise of adventure and new beginnings away from a rooted home, but also freighted with the panic of persecution and flight, the need as well as the desire to escape. For many German Jews, what was romantic and “modern” in the 1920s—to be cosmopolitan and to travel to exotic places, ...

Part 3: A Masterable Past? German-Jewish Transnationalism in a Post-Holocaust Era

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11. “Normalization and Its Discontents”: The Transnational Legacy of the Holocaust in Contemporary Germany

Karen Remmler

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pp. 261-276

On a field trip with college students to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, an eighty-year-old German woman joined us. After the tour of the section on the Holocaust, led by a Holocaust survivor, himself also eighty years old, the woman pulled him aside, looked him straight in the eye, and exclaimed: “You must admit that you encountered some good Germans!” ...

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12. Between Memory and Normalcy: Synagogue Architecture in Postwar Germany

Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

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pp. 277-301

Not long ago, on September 21, 2008, one of Germany’s newest synagogues, Congregation Beit Tikvah, was formally dedicated in the Westphalian city of Bielefeld. Architecturally, Beit Tikvah is a simple whitewashed structure with striking arched forms that evoke the rounded stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. ...

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13. Klezmer in the New Germany: History, Identity, and Memory

Raysh Weiss

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pp. 302-320

The sound of traditional Klezmer music popularly evokes images of sage-looking, bearded men in long, dark coats; babushka-clad women; decrepit little houses dotting winding, narrow roads; and a host of other iconic trappings of a bygone era in eastern Europe. For many, Marc Chagall’s The Fiddler, perhaps the classic portrait of the klezmor—the itinerant Jewish musician— ...

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14. (Trans)National Spaces: Jewish Sites in Contemporary Germany

Michael Meng

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pp. 321-340

In 1945, the physical markers of Jewishness in Germany were ruins—defiled synagogues, destroyed Jewish cemeteries, silent Jewish neighborhoods. Although a significant number of Jews rebuilt their lives in occupied and divided Germany, ruined spaces of prewar Jewish life were all that was left in most villages, towns, and cities. Jewish ruins have elicited a wide range of responses from Germans since 1945. ...

Contributors

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pp. 341-344

Index

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pp. 345-352