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Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany by Marion A. Kaplan

By Marion A. Kaplan

Among Dignity and depression attracts at the outstanding memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters of Jewish men and women to provide us the 1st intimate portrait of Jewish existence in Nazi Germany. Kaplan tells the tale of Jews in Germany now not from the hindsight of the Holocaust, nor through targeting the persecutors, yet from the bewildered and ambiguous viewpoint of Jews attempting to navigate their day-by-day lives in an international that was once changing into a growing number of insane. Answering the cost that Jews must have left prior, Kaplan exhibits that faraway from seeming inevitable, the Holocaust was once very unlikely to foresee accurately simply because Nazi repression happened in abnormal and unpredictable steps until eventually the big violence of Novemer 1938. Then the stream of emigration changed into a torrent, in simple terms to be stopped by way of the conflict. through that point Jews were evicted from their houses, robbed in their possessions and their livelihoods, kept away from by means of their former pals, persecuted via their associates, and pushed into compelled hard work. For these trapped in Germany, mere survival grew to become a nightmare of more and more determined thoughts. Many took their very own lives to continue no less than a few dignity in dying; others went underground and continued the fears of nightly bombings and the even higher terror of being came upon by way of the Nazis. such a lot have been murdered. All have been pressed to the restrict of human patience and human loneliness. concentrating on the destiny of households and especially women's adventure, among Dignity and depression takes us into the neighborhoods, into the kitchens, outlets, and colleges, to provide us the form and texture, the very think of what it used to be wish to be a Jew in Nazi Germany.

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Extra resources for Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (Studies in Jewish History)

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German patrons also caused commotions in restaurants if they identified Jews eating there. One Jewish woman from a small town dined with colleagues from work. "46 Germans often believed Jews resembled the antisemitic caricatures in Nazi newspapers. This had two results. The first was that non-Jews frequently mistook Jewish people for "Aryans" and vice versa. Such faulty "expertise" could lead to altercations, as when a man commented about a "fat Jewish woman," provoking a punch from her husband.

The so-called Aryan Paragraph of the April laws forced the dismissal or early retirement of Jewish doctors, lawyers, judges, and civil servants (along with political "undesirables"), with the exception, insisted upon by the aging President Hindenburg, of those who had fought in World War I or had been in their jobs before August 1914. About half of Jewish judges and prosecutors and almost a third of Jewish lawyers lost their jobs. A significant proportion of Jewish doctors lost their German National Health Insurance affiliation (severely limiting or ruining their practices).

Why should they have risked losing a position only taprove to me that we still had friends in Germany? Appel came to understand the processes at work. In early April 1933, she had expressed delight at the constancy of her non-Jewish friends, many of whom purposely came to her home to voice their dismay: But after some months of a regime of terror, fidelity and friendship had lost their meaning, and fear and treachery had replaced them— With each day of the Nazi regime, the abyss between us and our fellow citizens grew larger.

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