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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Although the oedipal elements in Ruppin's life story and psyche are striking, this chapter presents an interpretation of his cultural identity, as this concept provides a framework in which both individual and cultural processes can be staged as a series of mutually reinforcing interactions. In addition to their numerical and material superiority, the Germans had also substantial cultural and symbolic capital, a fact which placed the Polish population in a difficult cultural situation. Ruppin's attraction to the new trend in the cultural atmosphere of Germany reflects his growing discontent with the model of emancipation, both for himself personally and as a solution to the general Jewish question. His identification with anti-Semitism was an expression of his disappointment with German Jewish liberalism and his aversion to its enlightened plans for emancipation, which he saw as superficial and artificial.

Keywords:Arthur Ruppin; cultural identity; Germany; Jewish liberalism; psychological identity

10.1163/ej.9789004203792.i-418.5
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