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Being Jewish in the New Germany

Jeffrey M. Peck

Publication Year: 2006

In Being Jewish in the New Germany, Peck explores the diversity of contemporary Jewish life and the complex struggles within the community—and among Germans in general—over history, responsibility, culture, and identity. He provides a glimpse of an emerging, if conflicted, multicultural country and examines how the development of the European Community, globalization, and the post–9/11 political climate play out in this context. With sensitive, yet critical insight into the nation’s political and social life, chapters explore issues such as the shifting ethnic/national makeup of the population, changes in political leadership, and American, Israeli, and European Jewish relations with the growing Jewish population in Germany.

Published by: Rutgers University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xvi

As a Jewish American scholar who focuses on Germany, I have been repeatedly asked, or even reproached, by Americans, especially Jewish Americans, about my intellectual interests and academic career that has now lasted for over twenty years. Questions such as Why are you interested in Germany? or How can you live in that country? have pursued me as I...

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pp. xvii-xvii

A lengthy project such as this that integrates my professional and personal lives will necessarily need to recognize many colleagues, friends, and students. It must also acknowledge institutions that have supported my re-search financially and intellectually. In both cases there are so many in the United States, Canada, and Germany that I fear I am sure leave out some ...

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Chapter 1: A New Jewish Life in Germany: From “Why” to “How”

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pp. 1-20

As is often the case with everyday moments that turn into ethnographic material, my visit to a Berlin bagel shop on a Saturday morning, the Jewish Sabbath, in the mid-nineties, was auspicious. My best friend, a tall,blue-eyed, blond German named Wolfgang, suggested we have breakfast in this new establishment. Knowing his penchant for Jewish specialties, I ...

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Chapter 2: Shadows of the Holocaust in Germany and the United States

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pp. 21-39

There is no question that the Holocaust continues to cast its shadow over Jewish life in Germany, the United States, and of course, Israel. The resonance of the organized genocide of Europe’s Jews is pervasive in its immense scope, emotional depth, and discursive power. Often the invocation of the Holocaust in debates is quite literally about memory, monuments, ...

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Chapter 3: Russian Immigration and the Revitalization of German Jewry

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pp. 40-59

Since 1990 a mass migration of Russian Jews has been under way, primarily to the United States and Israel. However, literally tens of thousands have also settled in Germany. The Jewish immigrants have since transformed the life of a community that had an uncertain future at best. Ironically, this massive population movement has certain parallels with a ...

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Chapter 4: Representing Jews in Germany Today

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pp. 60-85

Representing Jews or Germans is not only about “real Jews” or “real Germans,” but also about how these and other groups conceive of and understand each other as depicted in various forms, such as television, film, literature, art, advertising and of course, the Internet. Even before the notion of the “virtual” became commonplace, knowing what is “real” and ...

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Chapter 5: Jews and Turks: Discourses of the "Other"

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pp. 86-109

“I look at everyone in the face, she says, and wonder if he could also be a murderer."1 Ominous words from a German or Polish Jew in postwar Germany or from a Russian Jew in Germany after 1989? In fact, this reference is not a Jewish voice, but rather the outcry of a Turkish resident of Berlin after Solingen. This small town was one of the sites of deadly violence in 1991–1992 ...

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Chapter 6: Creating a Continental Identity: Jews, Germans, Europe, and the "New" Anti-Semitsim

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pp. 110-132

In 1989–1990, the epicenters of Europe’s profound transformation were Germany and the Soviet Union, the Continent’s central powers. The fault lines that cracked open old regimes spread from East to West redefining the boundaries of citizens’ relationships to their national, ethnic, and religious identities. As we saw, Russian Jews were now free to become both ...

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Chapter 7: The United States and Israel: Super-Powering German Jewish Identities

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pp. 133-153

Although the growing European Jewish community is ambitious, it still lives in the shadow of Israel and the United States. The internal development and sustainability of Jewish communities on the Continent are dependent on these two powers, even as European Jews establish themselves as a larger and more diverse community, unified through their ...

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Chapter 8: Toward a New German Jewish Diaspora in an Age of Globalization

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pp. 154-174

The preceding chapters have contributed to my thesis that the dramatic fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and its geopolitical repercussions precipitated the creation of a new Jewish and Diaspora identity in Germany. The movement of peoples and ideas, as well as their representations in public spheres - in literature, journalism, and museums - support this viewpoint. ...


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pp. 175-188


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pp. 189-198


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pp. 199-214

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About the Author

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pp. 215-215

Jeffrey M. Peck is a professor in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, D.C. After occupying positions at the University of Washington and Georgetown University, he was director of the Canadian Centre for German and ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780813539355
E-ISBN-10: 0813539358
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813537238
Print-ISBN-10: 0813537231

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2006

OCLC Number: 71845725
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Being Jewish in the New Germany

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Subject Headings

  • Jews -- Germany -- History -- 1990-.
  • Jews -- Germany -- Identity.
  • Germany -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- 20th century.
  • Germany -- Ethnic relations.
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