Goethe in German-Jewish Culture

Goethe in German-Jewish Culture

Edited by Klaus L. Berghahn, Jost Hermand


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Camden House



New essays examining Goethe's relationship to the Jews, and the contribution of Jewish scholars to the fame of the greatest German writer.
The success of Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners(1997) and the heated debates that followed its publication exposed once again Germany's long tradition of anti-Semitism as a major cause of the Holocaust. Goldhagen, like many before him, drew a direct and irresistible line from Luther's pamphlets against the Jews to Hitler's attempted annihilation of European Jewry. This collection of new essays examines the thesis of a universal anti-Semitism in Germany by focussing on its greatest author, Goethe, and seeing to what extent some scholars are justified in accusing him of anti-Semitism. It places the reception of Goethe's works in a broader historical context: his relationship to Judaism and the Jews; the reception of his works by the Jewish elite in Germany, the reception of the 'Goethe cult' by Jewish scholars; and the Jewish contribution to Goethe scholarship. The last section of the volume treats the Jewish contribution to Goethe's fame and to Goethe philology since the 19th century, and the exodus of many Jewish authors and scholars after 1933, when they took their beloved Goethe into exile. When a few of them returned to Germany after 1945, it was to a country that had lost Goethe's most devoted audience, the German Jews.

KLAUS L. BERGHAHN and JOST HERMAND are professors of German at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


May 2001
204 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571133236
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004210, SOC049000
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Table of Contents

Patterns of Childhood: Goethe and the Jews - Klaus L. Berghahn
Goethe and the Concept of Bildungin Jewish Emancipation - Ehrhard Bahr
Demarcations and Projections: Goethe in the Berlin Salons - Barbara Hahn
A View from Below: H. Heine and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Jost Hermand
Cultural History as Enlightenment: Remarks on Ludwig Geiger's Experiences of Judaism, Philology, and Goethe - Christoph Koenig
Waiting for Goethe: Goethe Biographies from Ludwig Geiger to Friedrich Gundolf - Brenda Machosky
Waiting for Goethe: Goethe Biographies from Ludwig Geiger to Friedrich Gundolf - Marcel Rotter
Waiting for Goethe: Goethe Biographies from Ludwig Geiger to Friedrich Gundolf - Hope Hague
From the Pedestal to the Couch: Goethe, Freud, and Jewish Assimilation - Robert C. Holub
Upholding the Ideals of the "Other Germany": German-Jewish Goethe Scholars in U.S. Exile - Gisela Hoecherl-Alden
"Humanitätssalbader": Goethe's Distaste for Jewish Emancipation and Jewish Responses -
The Insufficient as Event: Goethe Lesson at the Frankfurt School - Karla L. Schultz


This volume is an essential contribution to the question of the ... much-discussed "Jewish-German symbiosis." ETUDES GERMANIQUES

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