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140 SHOFAR Fa1l2000 Vol. 19, No.1 the establishment of a Jewish state? To be sure, the incredible indifference to their courage reinforced the Zionist illusion that only Jews raised in a Jewish homeland could stimulate the dynamics ofhistorical change. Ironically, myth and reality stood not only in tension but also in opposition. Donna Robinson Divine Department ofGovernment Smith College Die jiidische Presse im Dritten Reich: Zwischen Selbstbehauptung und Fremdbestimmung , by Katrin Diehl. Conditio Judaica 17. Tiibingen: Niemeyer, 1997. 362 pp. DM 142.00. The study in question addresses an area for which there have been until now only a few studies and essays, even though it is an important field in the history ofGerman media. As a consequence of the "ghettoization" ofthe Jewish people under National Socialist dictatorship, the authorities limited, supervised and regulated, but did not completely end the effectiveness ofa relatively strong Jewish news and daily press. Even in 1938 almost 300,000 community sheets were maintained in the individual regions; they must have had far more than a million readers. Together with the periodical press around a hundred newspapers and periodicals ofvarious journalistic types and content specialization could be read in the German Empire in the 30s. The circulation for the national Jiidische Rundschau (Zionist orientation), the Israelitische Familienblatt, and likewise the C{entral} V{erein} Zeitung, which circulated throughout the entire Empire (both representing the assimilated movement), amounted to between 25,000 and 50,000. In 1935, however, the Imperial Ministry for Popular Instruction and Propaganda forbade the open display and public sale, and in November 1938 even the production, ofany of these periodicals-justified as one of the "expiatory measures" after the Rath assassination-in order to make way in the future for the publication of the Jiidischen Nachrichtenblatt, a unique national paper. With 70,000 copies, this National Socialist project was conceived as a news sheet. This study is based on periodicals, surveys ofnewspapers, and numerous European and Israeli archival materials, as well as journalistic literature. The book Diejiidische Presse im Dritten Reich (1987) by Herbert Freeden, director ofthe cultural division of the "Zionistischen Vereinigung fur Deutschland" ("Zionist Union for Germany") between 1933 and 1938, was used extensively. Diehl begins with an account of the history ofthe Jewish press (since 1675) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The account offers many interesting cultural-historical details, without however clarifying . the role of this section in the overall study. Two excursuses about the Hebrew and Jewish presses contain self-evident observations or information on the level of a standard lexicon. The subsequent account of basic journalistic concepts proceeds Book Reviews 141 similarly. Facts ofvarying defmitional quality are strung together unsystematically and incompletely, without their value for the subject being discernible. Just as uncritical is the sub-chapter on "opposition," resistance, and the special form of the "Jewish opposition"; the attempt to fmd a "typology ofpossible reactions to the dehumanizing intentions of the National Socialists" is, in any case, unconvincing because of the lack of conceptual clarity and the combination of various levels ofproblems. The largely superficial and undifferentiated three introductory sections do not lay a sufficient basis for a sophisticated study. The author strings together known facts and events, informative details and interesting particulars, citations from newspapers and contemporary documents, and opinions and views of differing provenance. On the whole, therefore, the orientation to the problem and the systematic and critical interpretation are too brief. Not once is her central question of the possibilities and forms of "oppositiOIial" relations satisfactorily answered, even though numerous suggestions, discriminating comments and profound results can be found in the historical and media literature of recent years. The tabular overview, the short biographies, and the richness of the individual details of the publications agents should be of use for further research. On the other hand the portraits ofthe three newspapers and the daily work ofthe journalists remain very vague; only in the exceptional case do the examples have the quality of real exemplars, and the conclusions do not offer basic insights. The present research convincingly distinguishes sharply between the "Jewish press" and different agents which were distributed by National Socialistpublishers or other institutions. Diehl does expressly include in her study...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 140-141
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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