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Trying to do a little research about the Weimar Republic.... - Input Junkie
March 24th, 2015
01:13 pm


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Trying to do a little research about the Weimar Republic....
I wanted to bring the usual "the Weimar Republic lifted restrictions on the Jews" into a discussion, and I thought I'd do a little research on the details first.

It turns out that a search on anything like [Weimar Republic Jews] gets pretty much swamped by anti-Semitic material (I'm really angry about this, and open to suggestions for improving the situation), and the little that isn't anti-Semitic doesn't have the information I wanted. I did find out that Jews got more opportunities to be professors and have high level civil service positions, and also that there were anti-Catholic laws which were gradually being lifted.

After some thought, I went to Google Books and found this, but as is typical of all real history, it's full of details, and as is typical of most real history, it's pretty depressing.

It does talk about a gradual and unreliable lifting of restrictions against Jews in German academe which started centuries before the Weimar Republic and at this point, I have no idea whether there was strong improvement in policies towards Jews then. The book excerpt says not for academe, but I don't know about other parts of life.

So does anyone know what was actually going on in the Weimar Republic in regards to Jews? Or know of an online source about it? And if a subject is swamped with anti-Semitic links, how do you get past them?

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[User Picture]
Date:March 24th, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
That's a general problem with any topic on which a signficant minority gets heated. Using terms with a hyphen (minus) in front of them can eliminate some of the unwanted results (e.g.,"-Zionism"), though it could take a lot of experimenting and will eliminate some positives too.

Sometimes Wikipedia will have a good set of links for further reference, but in this case it looks a bit meager.

This is an anecdote rather than a big piece of history, but the movie Der Golem from 1920 is surprisingly pro-Jewish. It has its stereotypical portrayals, but it's unequivocally sympathetic to the Jews of Prague in Rabbi Loew's time.
[User Picture]
Date:March 24th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC)
I got some good results by searching for "Ethnic minorities in the Weimar Republic." Perhaps that will get you what you're looking for.

The legal status of Jews and other minorities changed in 1850, following the 1848 revolution. Of course, changing the law is one thing, and changing society another. Even in 1919, when the Weimar Republic was established, there was still a lot of generally accepted antisemetism.
[User Picture]
Date:March 24th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
there was still a lot of generally accepted antisemetism.

As suggested by all the votes the Nazis started getting a few years later.
[User Picture]
Date:March 25th, 2015 02:14 am (UTC)
Actuially, anti-Semitism was not a big pull for the Nazis. After the putsch, Hitler and the rest really toned it down until they got into power and could start the propaganda to persuade them.

The Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz has a good bit about that.
[User Picture]
Date:March 25th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
It was all right there in Mein Kampf. The fact that few voters were alarmed by this, and that the opposition didn't make an issue out of it, suggests two things:

1) That Mein Kampf was so unreadable that nobody knew what was in it (true);

2) That Hitler's degree of antisemitism was unremarkable at his time (alas, also true).
[User Picture]
Date:March 25th, 2015 02:32 am (UTC)
It was in his speeches, too, before the putsch. Many subsequent observers thought he had gotten over it.
[User Picture]
Date:March 24th, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
The Hare with Amber Eyes touched on this, though the focus was more on France and Austria (where the Ephrussi family mainly lived and worked) during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but his bibliography ought to offer some good data. Unfortunately, I can't seem to lay my hand on my copy, or I'd double check. It was a very good book, tho, worth reading, imo.
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