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Jewish Self-Presentation And The "Jewish Question" On The German Stage From 1900 To 1930

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Chapter Summary

The nature of the term "Jewish question" embraced, in a highly politicized, generalized, and aggressive manner, the most common stereotype of "the Jew" in European and particularly in German anti-Semitic traditions. Thus the period in which Jewish self-presentation on the German stage became brilliantly evident in many ways and on different levels coincides with the years in which Jewish participation in German theatre was aggressively challenged from a chauvinist and anti-Semitic viewpoint. This chapter discusses the double-bind problem that increasingly marked Jewish participation in the German theatre from the turn of the century to the end of the Weimar Republic, from the point of view of the leading German-Jewish playwrights and theatre artists. Despite the fact that their plays and theatre productions can by no means be reduced to mere reactions to anti-Jewish attacks, the author maintains that most German-Jewish theatre artists regarded themselves as members of the majority culture.

Keywords: anti-Jewish attacks; double-bind problem; German stage; German-Jewish playwrights; Jewish question; Jewish self-presentation; theatre artists; Weimar Republic



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