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Historicizing Emancipation: Jewish Historical Culture And Wissenschaft In Germany, 1912–1938

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Chapter Summary

Volume one of the Germania Judaica, which presented the earliest records of Jewish life in hundreds of German places in the Middle Ages, was completed at a time, in 1934, when attempts were underway to systematically eliminate Jews from German society. Just as Lessing’s Nathan the Wise could only be performed before a closed Jewish audience, and the only critical press were the remaining Jewish papers, unbiased research on Jewish topics in Germany after 1933 continued in the cultural ghetto of Jewish teaching and research institutions. This chapter briefly discusses the two most important works published in Nazi Germany: Jacob Katz’s Frankfurt dissertation of 1934, “Die Entstehung der Judenassimilation in Deutschland und deren Ideologie” (The Origins of Jewish Assimilation in Germany and its Ideology) and Max Wiener’s Jüdische Religion im Zeitalter der Emanzipation (Judaism in the Time of Emancipation) (1933).

Keywords: cultural ghetto; German society; Germania Judaica; Jewish life; Jewish teaching; Judaism; Nazi Germany



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