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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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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The ‘Jewish Question’ in German Literature 1749–1939
Author(s):

Ritchie Robertson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248889.003.0006

The ‘Jewish Question’, the problem concerning the position of Jews in Germany and Austria, was widely discussed from the 1770s onwards. Emancipation culminated in 1871 with the bestowal of equal rights on all Jewish citizens of the newly formed German Empire. Along with progress towards emancipation, the Jewish presence in German and Austrian culture became increasingly conspicuous, reaching a peak of brilliance and diversity in the Weimar Republic, before being annihilated or sent into exile by the National Socialist regime. The focus of this book is on the Jewish presence in German literature. It aims to render the ‘Jewish question’ more intelligible by looking at its literary expressions. While the main focus is on the period 1880–1930, it also goes back to the eighteenth century to show how the project of Jewish emancipation was closely tied to an Enlightenment philosemitism which was problematic from the outset.

Keywords:   Jewish Question, Jews, Germany, Austria, emancipation, Weimar Republic, National Socialist regime, German literature, Enlightenment philosemitism

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