Abstract

Abstract:

This essay considers the ways in which German Jews negotiated the new experiences of time and space during their vacations in the Third Reich. We argue that their reflections on vacations facilitated a rich discourse on the essence of Jewish bourgeois identity at a time of fundamental transitions. Our analysis utilizes three types of sources that encompass a variety of perspectives and sensibilities: personal diaries of Jewish vacationers, photo albums of Jewish families on vacations, and writings on vacations in Jewish newspapers. Following insights from the sociology of time, the article examines how reflections on vacations participated in the formation of the Jewish "lived time" under Nazism. Within this framework, our analysis indicates the dual function of vacation: as a realm of (bourgeois) normality, which underscores continuity, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, as a break with the normal flow of time, an ephemeral shelter from the experience of crisis. Consequently, the essay illuminates the roles that vacations played in the transformation of the spatial identity of German Jews. The steadily narrowing choice of vacation resorts accessible to them instigated various reactions among German Jews. In their reflections on the places of vacations, some conceived taking a vacation as an act of defiance, underscoring continuity in middle-class experiences, whereas others depicted the new spatial experiences as an opportunity to rethink Jewish identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0604
Print ISSN
0021-6682
Pages
pp. 523-552
Launched on MUSE
2020-08-25
Open Access
No
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