Cover image for Jews in Germany after the Holocaust : memory, identity, and Jewish-German relations
Jews in Germany after the Holocaust : memory, identity, and Jewish-German relations
Rapaport, Lynn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Physical Description:
xi, 325 pages ; 24 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library DS135.G332 R37 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



What is it like to be Jewish and to be born and raised in Germany after the Holocaust? Based on remarkably candid interviews with nearly one hundred German Jews, Lynn Rapaport's book reveals a rare understanding of how the memory of the Holocaust shapes Jews' everyday lives. As their views of non-Jewish Germans and of themselves, their political integration into German society, and their friendships and relationships with Germans are subtly uncovered, the obstacles to readjustment when sociocultural memory is still present are better understood. This is also a book about Jewish identity in the midst of modernity. It shows how the boundaries of ethnicity are not marked by how religious Jews are, or their absorption of traditional culture, but by the moral distinctions rooted in Holocaust memory that Jews draw between themselves and other Germans. Jews in Germany after the Holocaust has won an award for being the best book in the sociology of religion from the American Sociological Association.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Rapaport's sociological study explores the social world of post-Holocaust second-generation Jews living in Germany. Based on close to 100 lengthy interviews with young adult Jews in Frankfurt, Rapaport's book shows how Jews have created a distinctively Jewish world within a secular society, in which the collective memory of the Holocaust continues to shape their everyday lives. Although most Jews living in Germany are of Eastern European origin, the second generation of this community quite commonly grew up in Germany, was educated there, and has become occupationally and professionally integrated into German society. In the absence of religion, the memory of the Holocaust has become their main source of identity and affects their views of non-Jewish Germans, their self-image, and their political integration into German society, as well as Jewish-German friendships and relationships. Chapters on Jewish-German friendships and Jewish-German sex, love, and intermarriage offer a pioneering and illuminating exploration of group identities and ethnic boundaries in human relationships. Laced with engaging case histories, this well-written account will appeal to the scholarly community as well as educated general readers. G. P. Blum; University of the Pacific

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. x
Setting the stage: the Jewish community of Frankfurt and the voices of its membersp. 1
1 Holocaust memory and Jewish identityp. 13
2 Living in the land of the murderers? How Jews who live in Germany view Germansp. 39
3 Here in Germany I am a Jew: identity images and the criteria for group membershipp. 83
4 I have German citizenship but I wouldn't call myself a German: ethnic group loyalty and the lack of national affiliationp. 125
5 My friends are not typical Germans: the character of Jewish-German friendshipsp. 162
6 Interethnic intimacy: the character of Jewish-German sex, love, and intermarriagep. 205
7 Theoretical implications and future researchp. 252
Appendixp. 263
Notesp. 269
Select bibliographyp. 294
Indexp. 318

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