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The ‘Jewish Question’ in German Literature 1749–1939Emancipation and its Discontents$
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Ritchie Robertson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248889

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248889.001.0001

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(p.77) 2 Liberalism
The ‘Jewish Question’ in German Literature 1749–1939

Ritchie Robertson

Oxford University Press

Throughout the nineteenth century, Jews were conspicuously associated with liberalism, the political expression of the aspirations of the Enlightenment. Earlier in the century, liberalism implied the search for universal human rights. Despite much diversity, liberals broadly agreed in desiring constitutional government with a large measure of popular participation; with freedom of expression, abolition of censorship and national unity as a means of evading the oppressive power of the German princes. This chapter focuses on varieties of nineteenth-century liberalism with which Jews were identified, and examines how three Viennese writers, Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, and Sigmund Freud, exposed the limitations of the enlightened liberalism to which they were vitally attached.

Keywords:   Jews, liberalism, Enlightenment, human rights, Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Sigmund Freud, enlightened liberalism

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