Between Home and Homeland
Youth Aliyah from Nazi Germany
Publication Year: 2006
Although the several thousand youths who were saved by removal from the Holocaust were a small percentage of the young Jewish population, the Youth Aliyah program is widely celebrated by those who seek examples of Jewish agency, of attempts to resist the coming horror.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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A number of individuals and institutions must receive proper credit for allowing me to finally bring this work to publication. The Interuniversity Fellowship in Jewish Studies sponsored a year of archival research in Israel, and New York University’s Institute for Advanced European Studies supported a summer in Germany. My doctoral research was ...
List of Abbreviations
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Introduction: Dealing with the Nazis
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While the synagogues were burning throughout the Third Reich on November 10, 1938, not all Jewish institutions were targeted for destruction. In a strange turn of events, Gestapo officials could be found protecting some Youth Aliyah training facilities, where Jewish teenagers prepared for emigration from Germany to the land of Israel. On other ...
1. 1932—The Decisive Year
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The history of Youth Aliyah most accurately begins during Weimar Germany’s closing year. Historians of modern German Jewry have recognized 1932 not just as a watershed of German history but also as a time of singular significance for Germany’s Jewish population.1 Yet this chronological classification does not only revolve around the ...
2. Spreading the Word
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As the Weimar Republic collapsed during the early 1930s and while Recha Freier envisioned a mass exodus of young Jews to Palestine, Chanoch Reinhold (later Rinnot) seemed destined to follow the path of the stereotypical bourgeois German Jew. Though an ardent Zionist and former member of the youth group Kadimah, at the beginning of 1933 ...
3. Emigration or Welfare Movement?
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Though Nazi policies became more oppressive, not all Jews were yet convinced that the time had come to evacuate. Even for those seriously considering emigration, Palestine was not generally viewed as the optimal destination. Among younger Jews, however, the notion of a new life in the land of Israel grew increasingly attractive. This generation ...
4. After the Pogrom [Includes Image Plates]
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From a confidential interview given by a Youth Aliyah representative in Austria: “Hitler entered Austria on a Friday and many were taken to Dachau. From one family all four sons disappeared—they are still in Dachau. The youngest is a girl who is now left alone with her parents. When the Youth Aliyah office offered to give her a certificate, ...
5. Conflicts and Resolutions
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From Youth Aliyah’s inception, the participation of Orthodox Jews received special consideration and posed unique challenges to the program’s unity and its ideological integrity. The organization committed itself to the immigration of observant Jews within the Youth Aliyah framework, yet realizing this goal proved troublesome. Of approximately ...
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On the night of November 8, 1938, Margit went to sleep in the Frankfurt orphanage as usual, but she was woken up by terrible shouts and banging on doors. The door was broken open as Nazis stormed the building, destroying everything. She heard shouts of “fire” and when she finally left ...
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Publication Year: 2006