Keepers of the Motherland: German Texts by Jewish Women Writers

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Keepers of the Motherland is the first comprehensive study of German and Austrian Jewish women authors. Dagmar Lorenz begins with an examination of the Yiddish author Glikl Hamil, whose works date from the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and proceeds through such contemporary writers as Grete Weil, Katja Behrens, and Ruth Klüger. Along the way she examines an extraordinary range of distinguished authors, including Else ...
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Overview


Keepers of the Motherland is the first comprehensive study of German and Austrian Jewish women authors. Dagmar Lorenz begins with an examination of the Yiddish author Glikl Hamil, whose works date from the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and proceeds through such contemporary writers as Grete Weil, Katja Behrens, and Ruth Klüger. Along the way she examines an extraordinary range of distinguished authors, including Else Lasker-Schüler, Rosa Luxemburg, Nelly Sachs, and Gertrud Kolmar.
 
Although Lorenz highlights the author’s individualities, she unifies Keepers of the Motherland with sustained attention to the ways in which they all reflect upon their identities as Jews and women. In this spirit Lorenz argues that “the themes and characters as well as the environments evoked in the texts of Jewish women authors writing in German resist patriarchal structures. The term ‘motherland,’ defining the domain of the Jewish woman’s native language, regardless of political or ethnic boundaries, is juxtaposed with the concept ‘fatherland,’ referring to the power structures of the nation or state in which she resides.” Lorenz describes a vital, diverse, and largely dissident literary tradition—a brilliant countertradition, in effect, that has endured in spite of oppression and genocide. Combining careful research with inspired synthesis, Lorenz provides an indispensable work for students of German, Jewish, and women’s writings.
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Meet the Author


Dagmar Lorenz is a professor of German at The Ohio State University. She is the coeditor of Insiders and Outsiders: Jewish and Gentile Culture in Germany and Austria.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Writing the Motherland 1
Historical Perspectives 1
A Separate Reality: Glikl Hamil's [actual symbol not reproducible] (Zikhroynes) 4
From the Ghetto to the Salon (Fanny von Arnstein, Henriette Herz, and Dorothea Mendelssohn Veit Schlegel) 14
The Creation of Space and the Invention of Language (Rahel Levin Varnhagen) 26
2 At the Crossroads 37
Emancipation, Feminism, and Revolution 37
Feminism and Jewish Emancipation (Fanny Lewald) 39
Jewish Women in the Public Arena (Bertha Pappenheim and Rosa Luxemburg) 47
Inventing Identity, Creating Reality (Else Lasker-Schuler) 65
3 The Troubled Metropolis 81
Jewish Women Writers and Modernity 81
Race, Class, and Gender (Claire Goll) 87
Mother and Daughter in Pre-Nazi Berlin (Gertrud Kolmar) 93
Feminism and Socialism in Vienna (Veza Canetti) 102
Fascist Structures in Suburban Paris (Claire Goll) 111
4 Beyond Humanism 117
Reassessing Jewish Identity 117
A Requiem for the German-Jewish Symbiosis (Gertrud Kolmar) 119
Overcoming Destruction - A Spiritual Perspective (Nelly Sachs) 129
5 German and Jew 140
The Problem of Allegiance in the Holocaust Era 140
The Difficulty of Being German (Gerty Spies and Rahel Behrend) 142
Opting for Jewishness (Ilse Aichinger and Cordelia Edvardson) 148
Constructing a Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity (Ilse Aichinger) 150
"Am Israel Chai" (Cordelia Edvardson) 160
6 The Diaspora in the Diaspora 171
The Globalization of Fascism 171
"Fascism Is Just Now Arriving in Our Parts" (Vicki Baum) 172
Woman, Jew, Scapegoat: The American Exile (Hilde Spiel) 175
Human Nature under Scrutiny (Alice Schwarz-Gardos) 182
Exiles from the Human Sphere (Rahel Hutmacher) 189
7 Jewish Women Authors and the Left 196
The Legacy of Antifascism 196
Betrayed by the Revolution (Anna Seghers) 199
From Antifascism to Judaism (Barbara Honigmann) 208
8 Between Eden and Utopia 216
Jewish Women's Geography 216
Searching for the Land of the Fathers (Jeanette Lander) 220
Between Israel and Germany (Lea Fleischmann and Ronnith Neumann) 225
Geography and History (Ruth Beckermann) 233
A Jewish Woman between Frontlines (Anna Mitgutsch) 243
9 Encounters and Confrontations 250
Jews, Germans, and Austrians 250
Nazis, Existentialists, and the Petty Bourgeoisie (Elfriede Jelinek) 252
Jews and Nazis (Lea Fleischmann) 257
Home in the Avant-Garde (Nadja Seelich) 259
The Hidden Jewish Identity (Irene Dische) 265
10 Toward a New Jewish Women's Literature 275
(Re)Constructing the Motherland 275
Recasting Tradition: Personal Memory and Judaism (Grete Weil) 278
A Universe of Terror (Ronnith Neumann) 285
Memory and Autobiography (Ruth Kluger) 291
Coming Out Jewish (Esther Dischereit) 299
Jewish Mothers and Daughters in Unified Germany (Katja Behrens) 310
Conclusion 318
Notes 329
Bibliography 355
General Index 385
Author-Title Index 395
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