- Von der Emanzipation zur Entrechtung: Deutsch-Jüdische Lebenswege
Published yearly, Sachor is an eclectic journal run by graduate students at the Rohr- Universität Bochum. The broad focus of the journal is on antisemitism, Jewish history, and contemporary Jewish issues. The central theme of this issue (Volume 9) is the more general question of German-Jewish relations between the period of Emancipation and the deprivation of legal rights during the National Socialist period.
German-Jewish personalities bridging the German and Jewish worlds are considered throughout the volume. In the first article by Heike Catrin Bala, Gabriel Riesser is examined, particularly regarding his political efforts during the German National Assembly in Paulskirche (1848/49). Bala traces the tension and opposition between Riesser’s religious affiliation and many of his political initiatives. Thomas Rink next discusses the question of “double loyalty,” that is, the relationship between German and Jewish identity, in Fritz Rathenau, a cousin of the famous Walther Rathenau. Rink is particularly interested in Rathenau’s thoughts and actions regarding assimilation and acculturation, antisemitism, and emigration; Rathenau’s view of Zionism is also explored. Andrea Löw and Kerstin Robusch sketch the life history of Simon and Karola Freimark, whose children, with the help of their uncle, were able to emigrate to the United States in 1938. The parents, however, suffered under the anti-Jewish measures of the National Socialists; they were deported to Theresienstadt, survived the Red Army and a DP camp, and were eventually reunited with their now-grown children in New York, after eight years. Löw and Robusch have also contributed to this volume a conversation with the historian Saul Friedländer that probes into the ways in which Friedländer’s childhood under the National Socialists affected his later life, identity, and perspective. Benedikt Faber assesses the grappling with and understanding of “Deutschtum” in the diaries of Victor Klemperer at various times of Klemperer’s life, especially during the National Socialist period. Mirjana Stancic analyzes the work of the author and journalist Manès Sperber (1905–1984), whose sentiment was caught between his post-exile home in cosmopolitan Paris and his memories of childhood in the east Galician shtetl and Vienna. Finally, Lothar Mertens offers an obituary for George L. Mosse (who died on January 22, 1999 at the age of 81), the modern historian who taught for many years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mosse was born in Berlin in 1918, studied history at Cambridge beginning in 1937, and then emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1939. The obituary lists his major published works.
Sachor offers a very welcome mix of short essays, an interview, and an obituary focusing on individuals as a means of addressing the central theme of the volume. But [End Page 142] the volume also includes reviews of ten books related to the theme as well as reviews of nine additional books related to a variety of themes and periods in German-Jewish history. Rounding out the volume is a poem, an obituary for Ignatz Bubis, an article on representations of Israeli religious extremism in German publications, and a useful bibliography of recent studies and sources focusing upon German-Jewish biographical and autobiographical writing.
Overall, the volume includes studies of some fascinating subjects that may be less likely to appear in other forums. Much of the material is useful, if at times rather general. Throughout the essays and reviews there is a penchant for short biographical and chronological presentations and summary, rather than extended analysis. Nevertheless, the volume is well conceived and offers something for everyone; it is, in some ways, a model for a more reflective journal.