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Das ich der stadt: debatten über Judentum und urbanität, 1822-1938

Schlör, Joachim (2005) Das ich der stadt: debatten über Judentum und urbanität, 1822-1938, vol. 1, Göttingen, Germany, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 512pp. (Jüdische Religion, Geschichte und Kultur (JRGK), 1).

Record type: Book


This book is the published version of the author’s Habilitation thesis at Potsdam University. It uses a broad inter-disciplinary approach and a variety of methods in order to analyze one of the most important and long-lasting images about modern Jewish culture: the idea of modern Jews as “city-dwellers par excellence” (to use a quotation by Karl Kautsky). In a variety of contexts, we can find the notion that “Jews have always been an extraordinarily urban people” – what does this mean? The book starts out with a close reading of sources from a region that had become part of Prussia after the partition of Poland; in the early 1820s, Prussian reformers set out to “modernize” the region, tearing down city walls as a means to open these places to modernity – and destroying the traditional Jewish “Sabbath border”, the eruv, at the same time. Communities that accepted the change began to either move to the big cities in the west – or to try and turn their towns into big cities. Urbanization is a process and an experience: What happens when a community opens itself up to urban culture? Does the promise of freedom hold? In 1938, the journalist Moritz Goldstein draws up the balance: The promise was broken, at least in Germany. But Goldstein proposes, as a means to save the Jews of Europe from imminent danger, the building of a “World Jewish City”. The book tries to understand his project and reads it in opposition to the Zionist project of bringing Jews back to “the land”, to agriculture and physical work. Jewish urban culture has been transformed, the “Berlin-Jewish spirit” of old can today be found in New York City or Buenos Aires, but also in Tel-Aviv.

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Published date: 2005
Additional Information: 1938 plant der Berliner Journalist Moritz Goldstein im Exil die Rettung der Juden Europas. Weil die Not groß ist und die Errichtung eines Staates »lange, lange Zeit« erfordert, schlägt er die Gründung einer »Stadt Israel« vor – ein utopisches, ein chancenloses Projekt. Um Moritz Goldstein zu verstehen, analysiert Schlör Debatten über Judentum und Urbanität. Er untersucht die Geschichte modernen jüdischen Lebens in der Stadt, namentlich in Berlin, sowie die Geschichte einer Imagination: der des jüdischen »Stadtbewohners par excellence«. Nicht nur durch die Thematik, sondern auch durch die Einführung von Methoden und Fragestellungen der kulturwissenschaftlichen Stadtforschung bereichert Schlör das Feld der wissenschaftlichen Jüdischen Studien.


Local EPrints ID: 42121
ISBN: 3525569904
PURE UUID: f112f2c4-d1a5-4c40-ac03-5d50089bdf67

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Date deposited: 21 Nov 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:24

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