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on 23 July 2017
Great service and a great book.
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on 1 February 2009
A highly accomplished & engaging examination of Jews & Germany: a weird love affair that always seems to go wrong. Riveting in parts - the reader is undoubtedly transfixed because of his / her knowledge of the dreadful events Jewish love of Germany was leading to. One gripe: the author is so carried away with the tale of jewish assimilation that he gives no attention whatsoever to the renaissance of Jewish orthodoxy in Germany in the latter part of the 19th century (there is no mention at for instance of notable Rabbi, S R Hirsch).
The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933
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VINE VOICEon 16 November 2007
Amos Elon takes on a very large subject, charting the history of Jews in Germany over several hundred years. He successfully combines the big picture, showing the vicissitudes of the German-Jewish experience over the centuries, with mini-biographies of some of the most prominent German Jews, including several composers (Mendelsson, Offenbach, Mahler), Scientists (e.g. Fritz Harber & Einstein), mainstream politicians (notably Walter Rathaus, a key figure in WW1), literary figures (e.g. Heinrich Heine), revolutionaries (Marx, Rosa Luxemburg etc) and many more. It's a very colourful tapestry and very illuminating as well, demolishing quite a few myths on the way.
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on 17 December 2004
Taking beginning of modern German-Jewish history with Moses Mendelssohn, this treatment of the Jewish frustration with German history is a concise and informative view of the difficult, arms- length relationship between Germany and her citizens of the Jewish faith. Having made clear to them that Jews were not regarded as Germans, the story is thus one of those "outside" trying their best to gain addmission. German society was in response, resistant and then a certain governmnet undertook a plan to expell them for good. Poignantly, the book ends with the escape from Berlin of Hannah Arendt, taking exactly the same route that Mendelsohn took all those years before.
Strong on individual details, Mr Elon shows his weaknesses within his strengths; what we are given is little more than a string of (very good) biographies played out against the backcloth of German histroy, but sadly, he makes little attempt to interweave the two. Thus we rattle from Heinrich Heine and 1848 through to Walther Rathenau and modernity, without appreaciating how exactly Germany changed within theis period, and how anti-semitism altered from a social prejudice to a would-be scientific race theory. Although we are treated to a brief summary of the change from Treitschke to count Gobineau, without a real consideration of the quauzi- darwinian notion of race theory, the mid-twentieth century attempt to exclude Jews from the German cultural sphere can not be understood fully. Jews were tolerated earlier, because even out of the ghetto, they could be ostracised. After Gobineau, it was seen that the "Jewish race" (Judaism was seen no longer as a religion) would, unless removed, somehow "undermine" "ayrian Germany." Thus expulsion, culminating in murder, was for the racialists, a necessity.
In the light of this, the collection of biogrpahies, whilst informative, and often enlightening, does not really explain a great deal.
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on 23 July 2013
excellent history book telling the incredible story of the Jews in Germany, their unique contribution to sciences, literature, arts, music, economy and politics - reaching its peak at the beginning of the twentieth century. The pity of it all: the Jews profoundly loved their homeland which, in return, exterminated them.
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on 28 August 2015
Enlightening, a must read for anyone wishing to comprehend the development of Jewish culture in Europe and the growth of anti semitism that contributed to the rise of the nazis in Germany and the horrors of the Holocaust.
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on 4 August 2016
Fascinating period of Jewish German history. There was barely a year when there was immense hatred of their Jews but the Jews still loved Germany as if they didn't.
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on 10 February 2013
The most harrowing historical details of lives in Germany for Jews up to 1933.

Why ever did any Jews wish to make Germany their country of residents fails me.

Their treatment over these three hundred years was appalling
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on 17 November 2015
A********
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on 25 December 2014
Arrived
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