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Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity

Overview

In reading popular films of the Weimar Republic as candid commentaries on Jewish acculturation, Ofer Ashkenzi provides an alternative context for a re-evaluation of the infamous "German-Jewish symbiosis" before the rise of Nazism, as well as a new framework for the understanding of the German "national" film in the years leading to Hitler's regime.

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Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity

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Overview

In reading popular films of the Weimar Republic as candid commentaries on Jewish acculturation, Ofer Ashkenzi provides an alternative context for a re-evaluation of the infamous "German-Jewish symbiosis" before the rise of Nazism, as well as a new framework for the understanding of the German "national" film in the years leading to Hitler's regime.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Against the previously standard reading of Weimar film as obsessed with the German nation, Ashkenazi provides an alternative reading that emphasizes the bourgeois and liberal dreams of these Jewish cultural actors. He argues convincingly that even in popular genre films with no manifest discussion of Jewishness, filmmakers such Ernst Lubitsch, Joe May, and Fritz Lang used visual and narrative strategies to engage with the question of the German-Jewish relationship and of Jewish acculturation and assimilation. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - CHOICE

"Contributing a new perspective on Weimar film is no small feat, considering the formidable array of books on the subject, from classic works by Lotte Eisner and Siegfried Kracauer to more recent studies by Thomas Elsaesser and Anton Kaes. Ashkenazi's book, however, is extremely readable and engaging, and offers analyses of Weimar films often neglected. This, along with his unique focus on the link between processes of Jewish identity formation and cinema, allows Ashkenazi to contribute a fresh perspective to Weimar film scholarship." - German History

"Outstanding . . . Ashkenazi combines a historian's attention to context and archival research with a film studies scholar's attention to cinematic aesthetics to construct a convincing and well-told narrative of the interplay between the Jewish experience on the screens and on the streets of Weimar Germany." - H-Net Reviews
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ofer Ashkenazi is a visiting assistant professor of History at the University of Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

The Jews Have No Shame: The "Jewish Problem" in Weimar Urban Comedies
• A Man in The Street: Identity and Performance in Weimar Domestic Melodramas
• Assimilating the Shrew: Alraune and Weimar Horror Film
• Wandering Jews: A Jewish Solution for the German Crisis in Adventure and War Film

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