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My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin
     

My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin

by Peter Gay
 

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ISBN-10: 0300080700

ISBN-13: 9780300080704

Pub. Date: 11/28/1999

Publisher: Yale University Press

In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939—“the story,” says Peter Gay, “of a poisoning and how I dealt with it.”  With his customary eloquence and analytic acumen, Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not

Overview

In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939—“the story,” says Peter Gay, “of a poisoning and how I dealt with it.”  With his customary eloquence and analytic acumen, Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelings—then and now—toward Germany and the Germans.
Gay relates that the early years of the Nazi regime were relatively benign for his family: as a schoolboy at the Goethe Gymnasium he experienced no ridicule or attacks, his father’s business prospered, and most of the family’s non-Jewish friends remained supportive. He devised survival strategies—stamp collecting, watching soccer, and the like—that served as screens to block out the increasingly oppressive world around him. Even before the events of 1938–39, culminating in Kristallnacht, the family was convinced that they must leave the country. Gay describes the bravery and ingenuity of his father in working out this difficult emigration process, the courage of the non-Jewish friends who helped his family during their last bitter months in Germany, and the family’s mounting panic as they witnessed the indifference of other countries to their plight and that of others like themselves. Gay’s account—marked by candor, modesty, and insight—adds an important and curiously neglected perspective to the history of German Jewry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300080704
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
ONE Return of the Native1
TWO In Training21
THREE The Opium of the Masses48
FOUR Mixed Signals57
FIVE Hormones Awakening84
SIX Survival Strategies92
SEVEN Best-Laid Plans111
EIGHT Buying Asylum138
NINE A Long Silence155
TEN On Good Behavior185
Acknowledgments207

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