Germans and Jews

History 280B.001

Fall 2016

This seminar is designed to introduce students to an intensive examination of the major themes and issues concerning the history of the Jews in Germany from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.  German Jews made defining innovations in Jewish life while at the same time, they also contributed to general western culture to a degree disproportionate to their numbers.  No other Jewish community has had such a profound effect on both Jewish and European civilizations concurrently. Among the topics to be explored are the debates over Jewish emancipation, the scholarly and religious life of German Jews, integration into and separation from the mainstream, German antisemitism and Jewish responses, economic transformations, communal organization and family life, Jewish culture in the Weimar Republic, life under Nazi rule, Jewish life in postwar Germany.