A Jew in the New Germany

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Henryk Broder, one of the most controversial and engaging writers in Germany today, has been a thorn in the side of the Establishment for thirty years. The son of two Polish Holocaust survivors, Broder is not only a trenchant political critic and observant social essayist but an invaluable chronicler of the Jewish experience in late twentieth-century Germany. This volume collects eighteen of Broder's essays, translated for the first time into English. The first was written in 1979 and the most recent deals with the post-9/11 realities of the war on terrorism and its effects on the countries of Europe. Other essays address the debate over the construction of a Holocaust memorial in Berlin, the German response to the 1991 Gulf War, the polities of German reunification, and the rise of the new German nationalism. A Jew in the New Germany showeases Broder's biting wit, his sense of history, and his ability to draw broader connections between what appear at first glance to be minor or isolated incidents. In these essays he charts the recent evolution of German Jewish relations, using his own outsider status to hold up a mirror to the German people and point out that things have not changed for German Jews as much as non-Jews might think. Again and again he shows himself to be chillingly prophetic, especially regarding Isracl and the crisis in the Middle East.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252028564
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: Humanities Laboratory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Why I Would Rather Not Be a Jew - and If I Must, Then Rather Not in Germany (1979) 1
2 You Are Still Your Parents' Children 21
3 Heimat? - No Thanks! (1987) 37
4 Don't Forget to Differentiate! (1987) 43
5 I Love Karstadt (1987) 46
6 Our Kampf (1991) 58
7 Just between Germans (1994) 70
8 A Beautiful Revolution (1994) 76
9 A Hopeless Enlightenment (1994) 80
10 The Republic of Simulators (1994) 84
11 Ostalgia: The GDR Is Back (1996) 91
12 The Germanization of the Holocaust (1996) 102
13 Problem, Shock, and Trauma (1998) 113
14 You're Not Dead till You Give Up the Fight (1998) 118
15 Tagar and the Teepee Family (1998) 122
16 To Each His Own (1999) 130
17 To Each Her Market Value (1999) 133
18 Just in Time: A Catholic Casuist on the Front in the War on Terror (2002) 139
Index 147
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2006


    Broder has an ax to grind. With who? With anyone who is not Broder. Why should anyone care? Ask Broder and--you will get no answer. While the title is intriguing, the book surely disappoints. Page after page it is filled with little more than the author's own projections, that is, with attributing to others what clearly comes out of Broder's own mind and mouth. Case in point: belittling calls by the respected German dissident theologian Eugen Drewermann on the eve of 9/11 to take this terrible event as an opportunity to stop the cycle of violence--something the Dalai Lama did in very much the same vein--, Broder creates one unfounded accusation after another. For instance, he comes up with the absurd idea that Drewermann--known for his harsh criticism of the Catholic church's repressiveness which breeds pedophile forms of 'love'--would want 'all of us to accept mass murder as signs of unrequited love and to respond to them with love. How deeply the Nazis must have loved the Jews, how ardently must they have longed to be permitted a seat at the Sabbath table before they were shunned and forced to be permitted a seat at he Sabbath table before they were shunned and forced to resort to maniacal acts' (p. 145). Anyone even vaguely familiar with Drewermann's work knows that he does not preach the simple albeit well-intentioned slogan 'make love not war'. He has written and said many times that the Nazi regime could only have gained the absolute power it did because Christian leaders did not speak truth to power in 1933 and 1934 when they still could have mobilized the masses to oppose an authoritarian government. Similarly, like no other German theologian in the recent quarter century, Drewermann has called Christianity and especially German Christians to task for their vestiges of anti-Semitism. Drewermann has no naive view of people such as Osama bin Laden, nor does he have a naive view of the U.S. which seems to act by the maxim 'might makes right.' He speaks truth to power, even if the power is the U.S. government with its virtually unlimited reach, or the Roman-Catholic Church, which 'silenced' him in 1991. This book is an insult to reason. Broder's way of arguing would make any philosopher and certainly any person with common sense simply cringe.

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