WiSe 16/17: German-Jewish Immigration to the United States in the 19th and 20th Century
In the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century, American Jewry became the largest and most powerful Jewry of the world. Millions of Jews immigrated to the United States during these years, ... Lesen Sie weiter
In the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century, American Jewry became the largest and most powerful Jewry of the world. Millions of Jews immigrated to the United States during these years, mostly from Eastern Europe but many also from Germany. Most of them came in big waves: after the failed revolution of 1848, in the late nineteenth century and again in large numbers during the Nazis years and the Holocaust. Even if in numbers they lagged far behind their East European counterparts, their influence was tremendous. They brought revolutionary ideas to pre-civil war America, they founded the Reform movement in Judaism, which today is the biggest Jewish denomination, they later reformed this Reform movement, played a crucial role in social movements like the Civil Rights Movement, the students’ movement or the anti-Vietnam war movement after World War II, and pressured postwar Germany to come to terms with its Nazi past. American Jewry cannot be understood if the influence of Germans Jews is neglected.
In the seminar we will follow up the ways German Jews took to the United States, will look at the predicaments and barriers they encountered, their achievements as well as their failures, will delve into the political and social history and will talk about class and gender differences. In class we will not alone focus on the historical events. It is my purpose to improve the scholarly skills of all participants and to create a dynamic learning environment. We will practice different kinds of verbal interaction and of mutual assistance in solving problems and we will have some writing exercises. The course language will be English, but in all situations, active usage of German will also be possible. In the first session we will talk about bi-lingual tools in order to reduce language barriers as far as possible.