Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany (Studies in Jewish History)

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9780195065855: Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany (Studies in Jewish History)
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When East European Jews migrated westward in ever larger numbers between 1870 and 1914, both German government officials and the leaders of German Jewry were confronted by a series of new challenges. What policies did government leaders devise to cope with the seemingly unending tide of Jews flooding across Germany's borders? What was the actual, as opposed to the perceived, character of these Jewish migrants? How did native Jews respond to the arrival of coreligionists from the East? Drawing on archival research conducted in East and West Germany, Israel, and the United States, Unwelcome Strangers probes into these questions, touching on some of the most troubling issues in modern German and Jewish history--the behavior of Germans toward strangers in their midst, the status and self-perception of emancipated Jews in pre-Nazi Germany, and the responses of "privileged" Jews to needy, but alien, coreligionists.

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About the Author:

Jack Wertheimer is Joseph and Martha Mendelson Associate Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Archives of Conservative Judaism at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Review:


"A book which at times makes fascinating reading, but whose greatest contribution is to bring a dose of common sense to an agonized topic."--Times Higher Education Supplement


"Wertheimer's valuable and well-researched study seeks to explain these unhappy circumstances. In its analysis of both the govenment's and German Jewry's practical dealings with immigrant Ostjuden, his book stands alone in the German and English literature."--Journal of Modern History


"A major contribution to both European and Jewish history."--Paula Hyman, Yale University


"Original, well-conceived, and interestingly written. [Wertheimer] has given us new insight into an important confrontation between two very different kinds of modern Jews."--Michael A. Meyer, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion


"Wertheimer's carefully researched and closly argued book dispels a number of myths and supplies the materials for a comparative history of Jewish migration...We now have a sophisticated and comprehensive analysis of East European Jewry's place in German and German-Jewish history."--English Historical Review


"A major contribution to both German and Jewish history. Through a skillful use of archival sources, Wertheimer is able to shift the thorny question of how German Jewry related to eastern European Jews from issues of attitude to action, from matters of perception to policy. Above all, he sets the problem squarely in its German context. The result is an incisive and balanced study which for the first time does justice to the complexity of the subject."--Ismar Schorsch, Jewish Theological Seminary of America


"Well thought out and conceptualized, clearly and at times elegantly written, and superbly researched--it is well worth reading by student and scholar alike."--Shofar


"With arresting scholarship, Wertheimer has written a first-class analysis of the German and German-Jewish reception of East European Jews immigrating to Germany, 1871-1914. Testing and often exploding stereotypical myths about the character of these Jews, their putative threats to Germany, and their relation to native German Jews, Wertheimer illustrates how the Jewish immigration affected the German public policy on aliens...Replete with much new historical data, this compelling work is social history at its best; it is the best book on the subject. Essential for historians and students of history."--Library Journal


"[Wertheimer] has gone through voluminous secondary works, published sources, and archival materials in this country as well as abroad. The methodological apparatus is impressive, the scholarly technique impeccable."--History: Reviews of New Books


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9780195048933: Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany (Studies in Jewish History)

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1987
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