The German-Jewish legacy in America, 1938-1988 : from Bildung to the Bill of Rights
The essays in this volume were written to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, the fateful pogrom in early November 1938 which was a watershed in the treatment of Jews in Germany and signaled the end to more than a century of specific Jewish culture there.
Historian George Mosse in the opening essay characterizes this spirit as represented by Bildung, a post-emancipation notion that included character formation, moral education, the primacy of culture, the acquisition of aesthetic taste, and the belief in the potential of humanity. Bildung became to large portions of German Jewry an important, if not central, expression of their Jewishness. It is this legacy that this volume explores and seeks to understand. Among the questions contributors examine are the meaning of this legacy in our time, what has happened to it in its American context, whether it has found a home in the United States or whether it remains in exile, and which elements of the legacy are worth preserving for the next generation.
Two groups address this range of questions. The first is made up of Jews born in Germany but who reached their professional maturity in the United States. The second is made up primarily of American-born individuals whose Jewish parents had either fled Nazi Germany or who, as German Jews, survived the Holocaust.
The Germany Jewish Legacy in America commemorates the end of one of the greatest communities in Jewish history and explores those elements of its greatness which may still be relevant in insuring a vibrant and productive Jewish community in a free and democratic American society.
Wayne State University Press
Jews, German, Immigrants, Judaism, United States, Intellectual life, 20th century
Peck, Abraham J. PhD, "The German-Jewish legacy in America, 1938-1988 : from Bildung to the Bill of Rights" (1990). Faculty and Staff Books. 310.