Yiddish in Weimar Berlin: An Ivory Tower at the Crossroads of Diaspora Politics and Culture

Yiddish in Weimar Berlin: An Ivory Tower at the Crossroads of Diaspora Politics and Culture

by Gennady Estraikh
     
 

Berlin emerged from the First World War as a multicultural European capital of immigration from the former Russian Empire, and while many Russian emigres moved to France and other countries in the 1920s, a thriving east European Jewish community remained. Yiddish-speaking intellectuals and activists participated vigorously in German cultural and political debate.…  See more details below

Overview

Berlin emerged from the First World War as a multicultural European capital of immigration from the former Russian Empire, and while many Russian emigres moved to France and other countries in the 1920s, a thriving east European Jewish community remained. Yiddish-speaking intellectuals and activists participated vigorously in German cultural and political debate. Multilingual Jewish journalists, writers, actors and artists, invigorated by the creative atmosphere of the city, formed an environment which facilitated exchange between the main centres of Yiddish culture: eastern Europe, North America and Soviet Russia. All this came to an end with the Nazi rise to power in 1933, but Berlin remained a vital presence in Jewish cultural memory, as is testified by the works of Sholem Asch, Israel Joshua Singer, Zalman Shneour, Moyshe Kulbak, Uri Zvi Grinberg and Meir Wiener.

This volume includes contributions by an international team of leading scholars dealing with various aspects of history, arts and literature, which tell the dramatic story of Yiddish cultural life in Weimar Berlin as a case study in the modern European culture.

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Editorial Reviews

The Arty Semite - Benjamin Ivry
In the 1920s, Yiddish was more than just a lingua franca for East European Jewish émigrés; it was also a language of high culture, as demonstrated by a brilliant new book, Yiddish in Weimar Berlin: At the Crossroads of Diaspora Politics and Culture.
Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews , February/March 2011, 15 - Ellen Share
To be commended for keeping alive the names, literary output, and civilization of a Yiddish world that is lost forever.
Slavonic and East European Review , 90.2, April 2012, 332-34 - Helen Beer
There are many interesting articles in this volume. It is clear that in this brief period of flourishing Yiddish cultural activity there is much to disentangle. Berlin is a cultural and political hub in the Weimar period. An influx of multilingual Jews... enter a German Jewish world within a German world. Each of these ‘migrants’ arrives with existing cultural attachments into a war-time/post-war landscape which is signalling all kinds of modernisms. Some Yiddish writers in Berlin acknowledge the city in their literary work, others do not or only minimally. Berlin often emerges later once writers have moved elsewhere and begin to ‘recreate their past’.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906540708
Publisher:
Maney Publishing
Publication date:
06/18/2010
Series:
Legenda Studies in Yiddish Series
Pages:
286
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.80(d)

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