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Bergan, R. Berghahn, V. Berthold, W. Die 42 Attentate auf Adolf Hitler Wiesbaden, Berton, K. Moscow: An Architectural History London, Bessel, R. Germany after the First World War Oxford, Life in the Third Reich Oxford, Billington, J. The Face of Russia New York, Blakely, A. Russia and the Negro Washington, DC, Blasius, D. Bleuel, P. Bloch, M. Ribbentrop London, Boog, H. Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion Stuttgart, Bougai, N. Bourdeaux, M. Brahm, H. Brechtefeld, J.
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Women Doctors and Gender Identity in Weimar Germany (1918–1933)
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Pavlov, D. Leningrad the Blockade Chicago, They are buried in the Langemark German war cemetery in Belgium. The official report of the army embellished the event as one of young German soldiers heroically sacrificing their lives for the Fatherland. In reality the untrained troops were sent out to attack the British trenches and were mown down by machine guns and rifle fire.
This report, also known as the "Langemarck Myth", was printed on the first page in newspapers all over Germany. It is doubtful whether the soldiers would have sung the song in the first place: carrying heavy equipment, they might have found it difficult to run at high speed toward enemy lines while singing the slow song. Nonetheless, the story was widely repeated.
The melody used by the "Deutschlandlied" was still in use as the anthem of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its demise in In the black, red and gold tricolour, the colours of the 19th century liberal revolutionaries advocated by the political left and centre, was adopted rather than the previous black, white and red of Imperial Germany. Thus, in a political trade-off, the conservative right was granted a nationalistic composition — though Ebert advocated using only the lyrics' third stanza which was done after World War II.
In this way, the first verse became closely identified with the Nazi regime. After its founding in , West Germany did not have a national anthem for official events for some years, despite the growing need for the purpose of diplomatic procedures. In lieu of an official national anthem, popular German songs such as the Trizonesien-Song , a carnival song mocking the occupying Allied powers, were used at some sporting events. Different musical compositions were discussed or used, such as the fourth movement of Ludwig van Beethoven 's Ninth Symphony , which is a musical setting of Friedrich Schiller 's poem "An die Freude" " Ode to Joy ".
Though the black, red and gold colours of the national flag had been incorporated into Article 22 of the West German constitution , a national anthem was not specified. On 29 April , Chancellor Konrad Adenauer asked President Theodor Heuss in a letter to accept " Das Lied der Deutschen " as the national anthem, with only the third stanza being sung on official occasions. However, the first and second verses were not outlawed, contrary to popular belief. President Heuss agreed to this on 2 May This exchange of letters was published in the Bulletin of the Federal Government.
Since it was viewed as the traditional right of the President as head of state to set the symbols of the state, the " Deutschlandlied " thus became the national anthem. As the lyrics of this anthem called for "Germany, united Fatherland", they were no longer officially used, from about ,  after the DDR abandoned its goal of uniting Germany under communism. With slight adaptations, the lyrics of " Auferstanden aus Ruinen " can be sung to the melody of the " Deutschlandlied " and vice versa. In the s and 80s, efforts were made by conservatives in Germany to reclaim all three stanzas for the anthem.
On 7 March , months before reunification , the Federal Constitutional Court declared only the third stanza of Hoffmann's poem to be legally protected as a national anthem under German penitential law; Section 90a of the Criminal Code Strafgesetzbuch makes defamation of the national anthem a crime — but does not specify what the national anthem is. The opening line of the third stanza, " Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit " "Unity and Justice and Freedom" , is widely considered to be the national motto of Germany, although it was never officially proclaimed as such.
The first verse, which is no longer part of the national anthem and is not sung on official occasions, names three rivers and one strait — the Meuse Maas in German , Adige Etsch and Neman Memel Rivers and the Little Belt strait — as the boundaries of the German Sprachbund. As the song was written before German unification, there was never an intention to delineate borders of Germany as a nation-state. Nevertheless, these geographical references have been variously criticized as irredentist or misleading. The Belt strait and the Neman later became actual boundaries of Germany the Belt until , the Neman until , whereas the Meuse and Adige were not parts of the German Reich as of Today, no part of any of the four places mentioned in the " Deutschlandlied " lies in Germany.
In an ethnic sense, none of these places formed a distinct ethnic border. The Duchy of Schleswig to which the Belt refers was inhabited by both Germans and Danes, with the Danes forming a clear majority near the strait. Around the Adige there was a mix of German, Venetian and Gallo-Italian speakers, and the area around the Neman was not homogeneously German, but also accommodated Lithuanians.
The Meuse if taken as referencing the Duchy of Limburg , nominally part of the German Confederation for 28 years due to the political consequences of the Belgian Revolution , was ethnically Dutch with few Germans. Nevertheless, such nationalistic rhetoric was relatively common in 19th-century public discourse. Despite the text and tune of the song being quite peaceful compared to some other national anthems, the song has frequently been criticised for its generally nationalistic tone, the immodest geographic definition of Germany given in the first stanza, and the alleged male-chauvinistic attitude in the second stanza.
German president Theodor Heuss , upon request from chancellor Konrad Adenauer , declared the "Lied der Deutschen" the national anthem of the German Federal Republic in May , along with the provision that only the third verse was to be sung at official occasions. As a result, the "Lied" implicitly in its entirety was declared the national anthem, with the provision that the third verse would have precedence. Since then, the first and second stanza are no longer "official but unsung", but are solely considered stanzas of a song written by a German poet to a well-known tune which people may sing if they wish the idea that they have been forbidden is incorrect , but without any official status at all.
The inclusion of the first two verses was met with criticism at the time. In , Pete Doherty was supposed to sing the German national anthem live on radio at Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich. As he sang the first verse, he was booed by the audience. A spokesperson for Bayerischer Rundfunk welcomed the response, stating that otherwise further cooperation with Doherty would not have been possible. Ronit Lentin London: Zed Books, , Introduction 5 men and their gendered victimizations and uses of violence.
As Benjamin Baader, Sharon Gillerman and Paul Lerner have astutely noted: Scholars have yet to provide a detailed analysis of what Nazi persecution meant for Jewish men as men, or to thematize the masculinity of Jewish men in National Socialist Germany in a systematic and sustained manner. Thus at this point we have far too little insight into the psychological impact of Nazi propaganda and policy, 8 R.
Introduction 6 or of the experience of street violence, physical intimidation and humiliation, deportation and life in concentration camps on masculine self-identity in those years. Only recently have a few scholars begun to examine Jewish masculinity during the time of Nazism. Moreover, although Halkes-Carey ambitiously looks at many perhaps too many countries of distinct cultural and historical backgrounds in Eastern and Western Europe, she does not include German Jews. Yet her study is confined to the microcosm of concentration camps.
See for instance, Harry Brod, ed. Introduction 7 faced a wide array of challenges and intrusions into their daily lives, ranging from antisemitic discursive attacks in propaganda and media to physical attacks by howling Nazi thugs on the street and the dissolution of economic means to make a living. Theory This dissertation considers masculinity as an identity configuration achieved through processes of identification and differentiation. Signifiers like cultural symbols, social practices and bodies connote masculinity in relation to femininity.
Such configurations are embedded as cultural norms as well as social practices and relationships of power. Consequently, women have an important voice in my study. Gender is a concept of difference, always preoccupied with the instability in power relations between and within the sexes.
In such an emasculated state, men left a void that, according to Kaplan, Jewish women filled. What gender as a relational category constitutes is that any understanding of German-Jewish masculinities is not obtainable without taking alternative models of masculinity and definitions of femininity into account. Gender and masculinity are always relationally interdependent.
Alternative, competing configurations within one gender also produce inequality. Masculinities are multiple and variable and their formative processes are ongoing. At the same time, previously-established definitions of masculinity, featuring monogamy and heterosexuality for instance, were sustained. Thus, to understand the evolution of German-Jewish masculinities, one needs to understand prevailing concepts of non-Jewish masculinities as well. For a more specific theoretical framework, I rely on Raewyn Connell who understands masculinity in multiple and hierarchal types, including hegemonic and marginalized masculinities.
Kurtz define relational category as a category whose membership is determined by a common relational structure rather than common properties. Relational categories contrast with entity categories such as tulip or camel, whose members share many intrinsic properties. Relational categories cohere on the basis of a core relationship fulfilled by all members. Ahn, R.
Goldstone, B. Love, A. For decades, scientists explained and assigned allegedly natural gender traits to each sex e. The theory of patriarchy, on the other hand, claims in undifferentiated ways the systemic oppression of women while it discounts the oppression of men, especially men of minority and marginalized groups. Both theories tend to monolithically reduce men to a single, coherent group with allegedly biologically-determined characteristics and behaviors.
Gender, however, needs to be understood as a social-cultural construct and practice embedded in relationships that are contingent on situational factors. They are made. It was one of many spontaneously gendered reactions that together would constitute a but not the German-Jewish masculinity in the Third Reich. As will become evident, Jewish men adapted to the fluctuating changes in gender constructions by institutions such as the state and the media. In this study, I base my arguments not on sex roles, predetermined by biology, but on gender and masculinity as socio-cultural practices, performed and experienced both mentally and physically.
London: Pearson, , xxi. Introduction 10 question: German-Jewish men, who maintained self-determination and autonomies over their daily lives. As Connell argues: To recognize diversity in masculinities is not enough. We must also recognize the relations between the different kinds of masculinity; relations of alliance, dominance and subordination. These relationships are constructed through practices that exclude and include, that intimidate, exploit and so on. There is a gender politics within masculinity.
As gender scholars have noted, however, hegemonic claims of masculinity are inherently unstable, constantly questioned, challenged and subject to change over time. Observing both key aspects — relationality and hierarchy — this dissertation positions German-Jewish masculinity in this matrix of fluid and competing masculinities. As Jewish men tried to adhere to hegemonic images of masculinity that were defined by cultural norms and social relations, in their highly assimilated lives, they hardly differentiated themselves in their gender identities from non-Jewish men before , and after most continued to share similar views of what constituted ideal manhood: being a heterosexual man who could establish a family that he provided for and protected and who strongly identified with German-national causes, regardless of class, religious or political background.
Hoping to remain part of such an overly imagined hegemonic community that defined ideal manhood, Jewish men were marginalized, pushed to the edge by implicit and explicit attempts of the state, civil society and other agencies of power. All denied Jewish men their continued practice and adherence to hegemonic markers of masculinity. This marginalization occurred in a social context with the state, the media and society celebrating the creation of a Volksgemeinschaft that 22 R.
Connell, Masculinities, 2nd ed. The center of attention in this study, therefore, is not a singular model of masculinity but the process of marginalizing a loosely defined group of Jewish men who sought to resist their emasculation, which I define as the attempt to fully marginalize Jewish men from the hegemonic center of masculinity and its norms.
Marginalization refers to ostracized groups of men defined by skin color, race, ethnicity, religion who are pushed to the margins from a center that is vaguely defined and to which these men try to navigate a return. Hegemonic masculinity, therefore, is logically based on relational and hierarchical counterparts. Subsequently, this dissertation concentrates on the many German-Jewish men who thought they fitted into the hegemonic model.
As I mentioned, other categories of masculinity exist, and it would be false to assume that all Jewish men were part of such a model prior to Due to the striking lack of primary sources by Jewish homosexual men, however, a closer look at some of the Jewish men who had been marginalized prior to turned into an irreconcilable challenge. The hegemonic model used in this dissertation, thus does not intend to erase or undermine the existence of other Jewish marginalized masculinities that had existed prior to The author rather acknowledges that the focus is on a concept of hegemonic Introduction 12 masculinity that is marked by such features as men being monogamous and heterosexual, as being fathers and husbands, and as being providers and protectors as well as citizen-soldiers, in short features that German-Jewish men sought to adhere to but were increasingly marginalized from.
Critics might say that the process of marginalization allocates considerable control to the state and deprives Jewish men — whose lives, it seems, were radically changed by the Nazi regime — of agency. The multiple voices that take on a visible presence in this dissertation demonstrate the varieties of perceptions German-Jewish men had and that pertained to the socio-economic, cultural and political changes happening in the Third Reich.
Giving a voice to these actors of the past eschews another construction of Jews as passive victims of Nazism. According to Butler: The performance of a gender is compelled by norms that none of us choose. We work within the norms that constitute us as individuals. These norms are the condition for our agency, but they also limit our agency. So while there is an aspect of performance at play, this does not mean that the meaning of the performance is established by the intention of the actor — hardly.
What are being performed are the cultural norms that condition and limit the actor in the situation. When Jewish men, for instance, resorted to behaviors of demonstrating their Germanness in , by visibly showcasing 23 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble New York: Routledge, , 34 Introduction 13 their World War I medals or publicly referencing their war contributions, they chose to do so voluntarily. German-Jewish men were the products of their time and place, and their demonstrations of military masculinity, to name one instance, were a direct reflection of the prevailing social, cultural and gender norms and discourses that they were a part of.
Going beyond the private versus public sphere debate, I consider masculinities and femininities to be constructed and experienced in both spheres. Finally, though gender analysis comes to fruition only in relational contexts with multiple conceptions of femininity and masculinity at all times working with and against each other, other categories — most notably race, class and ethnicity, but I would add age as a category as well — are equally crucial.
Only if partnered with other categories is gender capable of highlighting a diversity of and inequality in social relations and practices. For this dissertation, therefore, gender is used as a category of intersectionality that conceptualizes the oppression of Jewish men in the Third Reich not exclusively as gendered subjects, but as men with a cumulative identity in which the categories of nationality and citizenship, their religiously-racially defined 24 Karin Hausen had argued in her seminal essay that in 19th-century European culture, there was a separation of public and private spheres along gender lines that put women into the private sphere and men into the public.
More recently, however, scholars are starting to argue these were more cultural norms than practices. Not only did women take important roles in the public sphere, in welfare organizations, for instance, but men also took important roles in the domestic sphere. My chapter on fathers and husbands in particular fits into this newer historiography.
Essays on the Social History of the Family in 19th- and 20th-century Germany, ed. Richard Evans London: Croom Helm, For more recent approaches, see Raffaella Sarti, ed. Introduction 14 Jewishness as well as their class backgrounds and age are all indispensable. As a result, in order to comprehend German-Jewish masculinities, it is imperative to provide a coherent definition of the supplementing categories such as Jewishness, Germanness, class and age.
For the first, definitions of Jewishness, I rely on Harriet P.
It will become evident that while for some men their gender identity intersected with their religious identities, for many, their Jewishness was primarily a category that the perpetrators used and that had less direct impact on their gender identity. Introduction 15 In terms of citizenship, I will look at German-Jewish men who identified themselves as German subjects, regardless of their formal status. For instance, East European Jews who had moved to Germany in the early 20th century and who would have fought on the German side during World War I but who technically lacked a German passport are just as well included as German Jews who did possess official documents.
Class is another crucial category that strongly intersects with gender. Yet class too, could strongly vary in contextual importance. While for upper-middle class men, their struggles to maintain their socio-economic positions might have been more of a pressing and humiliating experience than for lower-class Jewish men, in terms of military masculinity, for instance, Jewish men demonstrated their national belonging and pride for their country regardless of economic background, and class thus seemed to be of lesser importance. Finally, age is of essential importance.
Judith Gardiner rightly argues that gender should always be understood developmentally in terms of change over the life course and in historical rather than in static terms. For these men, of the generation born at the end of the 19th century, it was undoubtedly more challenging to let go of their accomplishments and harder to contemplate emigrating from Germany.
Introduction 16 Nazi discrimination and violence, especially in concertation camps, as these men had been hardened by military drills and trench warfare. As Connell argues, in order to understand gender, we must constantly go beyond gender. This study explores German-Jewish masculinities in case studies by contextualizing and historicizing German and German-Jewish masculinities, often inflected by racist and antisemitic discourses, that had emerged and consolidated in the 19th century.
Structured chronologically and thematically, this study intends to project a comprehensive picture of the diversity and evolving character of Jewish masculine identities and experiences from multiple perspectives in multiple areas of gender importance and at separate times. Introduction 17 discourse and ideas Leitbilder ; the level of social practices; and the level of individual subjective experiences, perceptions and identities.
On the second level, my study looks at the social implications of such cultural productions. As my methodological approach demonstrates, it was not discourses and words in the media alone that affected or not Jewish masculine identities, but the conversion of ideas into social practices. Above all, however, the focus is on the third, subjective level of personal experience as recorded in short-term accounts diaries and long-term memories memoirs of Jewish men and women.
To return to the example of Jewish military masculinity, it is not sufficient, I argue, to scrutinize the propaganda images that ridiculed Jewish men and legal means of exclusion from the military. Introduction 18 when they pinned war decorations onto their coats. Instead, such gestures were public demonstrations of their national belonging and were performed with their bodies. Gender, thus, emerges not only in the psychic, internal realm of thoughts what did Jews think about masculinity? It is this dichotomy between the psychic-individual and the external-social that needs to be brought into congruency.
As John Tosh has argued, Masculinity… is both a psychic and a social identity: psychic, because it is integral to the subjectivity of every male…, social, because masculinity is inseparable from peer recognition, which in turn depends on performance in the social sphere. It is the uneasy and complex relation between these two elements which explains masculinity's power to shape experience and action, often in ways beyond the conscious grasp of the participants.
Consequently, although a wide range of sources, primary and secondary, are used, the prevailing focus is on non-fictional texts written by German Jews. Diaries and memoirs occupy a position of importance in this study, though with an inevitable caveat: this study realizes that it relies on written texts that over-represent certain groups. Diary-writing has traditionally been a middle- and upper-class exercise that proletarian, blue-collar workers tended not to engage in. To counter an ensuing hyper-focus on class-based sources, I have extensively used memoirs that were often written decades following the events and were thus usually written by elderly men and women, who regardless of their class background were determined to pass on their life stories to their descendants.
Using both diaries and memoirs offers an invaluable cross-section of acculturated German Jews of all ages and different classes who lived in the Third Reich. Introduction 19 The methodology of using diaries and memoirs does not come without its own problems. While diaries prevail in immediacy and bypass the caveat of hindsight, both important aspects for the historian to keep in mind, both types are constructs that, as Marion Kaplan has illustrated, can be deceptive, selective, contradictory or even false.
But as Kaplan, James Young and others have emphasized, historical sources recorded by witnesses are, though constructs, not to be confused with works of fiction. Since, however, this study relies on a substantial number of memory-based texts, general patterns of similar experiences and clusters of behavior do crystallize.
Konrad Jarausch and Michael Geyer have asserted that memoirs often describe incisive events that the authors believe were beyond their control and responsibility. Introduction 20 Holocaust scholars also have doubted that true understanding of the horrific events is obtainable. But representations of experiences and feelings as well as events and actions are always dependent on the texts that the historian is left with.
I still hope to have found a workable equilibrium between subjective interpretations and objective claims. Introduction 21 Argument: German-Jewish masculinities and experiences under the Nazis are still under-researched. Though I do not question, in principle, the validity of such conclusions in many cases, this study seeks to establish a more differentiated picture and to paint a wider canvas of the Jewish male experience and gender construction in the Third Reich.
Accordingly, the main argument of my dissertation is that in their attempt to defy emasculation and maintain ties to hegemonic norms and practices of masculinity, German-Jewish men experienced a profound marginalization of their masculinities while simultaneously exhibiting considerable degrees of resilience and agency. Subject to gender-specific hardship and suffering, Jewish men were and perceived themselves to be emasculated, but such configurations were momentary, situative and shifting. Jewish men could act despairingly, as historians have suggested, yet the anecdotal evidence of this dissertation shows that many German-Jewish men were equally capable of adaptation, negotiation and individual practices of resistance in order to perform, albeit in different ways, a degree of manhood.
German Jews, Military Masculinity and Antisemitism before We have to fight with all our energy against the odium of cowardice and weakness that is cast upon us. We want to show that every member … is equal to every Christian … in any physical exercise.
Physical strength and agility will increase self-confidence and self-respect, and in the future, nobody will be ashamed of being a Jew. The idea of a civilian army consisting of conscripted young males was intricately tied to modern conceptions of citizenship. As a quid pro quo, European states began a process of granting men some gender-exclusive citizenship rights in return for their military service.
Over the course of the 19th century, the German state militaries increased their visibility and importance in society. As Ute Frevert has argued, the revolutionary message of conscription was the blurring of borders between the military and civilian spheres. German Jews and Military Masculinity 23 would have a sustained cultural effect. Recruits were taught discipline, punctuality, orderliness, respect for the law, courage, valor, stoicism and strong will.
The coming of age of subjects as autonomous citizens, and the needs of the state for stronger and more efficiently organized armies, had a strikingly gendered dimension. It amalgamated men, who due to their assumed physical capabilities and mental strength were codified as the proper bearers of arms, into a new and distinct social group, the citizen-soldier. Military service, thus, created within men a sense of national belonging and political importance and significantly contributed to the gender identity construction of military masculinity. This included acceptance of conscription and participation in the citizen-army.
For German-Jewish men, the army became a keystone in their civil and gender identity. German Jews internalized the discourse of serving in the 6 Ibid. German Jews and Military Masculinity 25 military in the hope of proving and improving their physical aptitude as soldiers, and, more importantly, their worthiness as German citizens. Through service to the state, German Jews sought to gain bargaining power for legal emancipation and thereby to advance their social inclusion into German society. As the manifesto by the fraternity students of Viadrine suggests, following legal emancipation in Jewish men intensified their efforts to demonstrate their adherence to the core values that emanated from the military into German society: physical prowess, discipline, perseverance, obedience, and strong will.
Instead, Jewish religious authorities made a virtue of necessity, seeing power in submission. As an alternative paradigm, in religious discourses up until the 19th century, following the pious example of rabbis and devoting themselves to Torah study were portrayed as the proper gender role for men. The acceptance by Jews of the military as an important social institution also needs to be seen in the context of antisemitic images of the effeminate Jew that had been propagated by non-Jewish writers but that were also partially internalized and affirmed by Jewish writers and reformers such as Max Nordau and Walter Rathenau at the end of the century.
What these antisemitic texts and the Jewish reactions had in common was an attack on the image of the ideal man in religious Judaism. According to 19th-century neo-orthodox Jewish thinkers and rabbis such as Samuel Hirsch, the image of the ideal man was one who was entirely devoted to Torah study and who rejected appeals of the public sphere of politics and the economy. In Jewish orthodoxy, spiritual strength and intellectual power were considered as the highest ideals and superior to the rather primitive appeal of physical strength and military service.
Baader rightly pointed out. See Benjamin M. It is therefore crucial to study the social history of German Jewry, the behaviors and attitudes that motivated German-Jewish men to increasingly conform to the military value system in German society. Acculturation of Modern German Jewry, ed. German Jews and Military Masculinity 26 acculturation was reciprocated by calls from non-Jews who demanded that Jews partake in fulfilling civic duties.
As part of the consolidation of medical and racial science in the second half of the 19th century, Jewish men were coded as un-manly and effeminate. Indices for neurological disorders nervousness, hysteria, passivity, cowardice as well as physical features flat feet, small composition, obesity, and weak stature placed Jewish men in a corner with women who were deemed to suffer from similar medical symptoms and physical deficiencies. In short, Jews were perceived to have much in common with women, who were excluded from the military, and thus barred from engaging in politics and acquiring citizenship.
German Jews and Military Masculinity 27 The image of the outsider, the effeminate, un-soldierly Jew, therefore, constituted a central element of antisemitic discourses around the turn of the century that would permeate the Third Reich. The dissemination of antisemitic imageries enjoyed a growing popularity in German society and reached a wide audience, as caricatures of emasculated, un-soldierly Jewish men, typically in newspapers and magazines, were widely shared in coffeehouses and public venues.
The breast is not broad and is arched, shoulder not straight and flat, neck and head not upright… It is an annually recurring affair that the Jews offer a much smaller contingent of usable military recruits than the rest of the population, and they make up a highly disproportionate fraction of those who cannot complete marches and maneuvers… Such physical inferiority is rarely the foundation of warrior-like bravery.
Georg Heuberger Frankfurt:Umschau Buchverlag, , German Jews and Military Masculinity 28 Fig 1. Antisemitic postcard, Sander Gilman has demonstrated that due to the alleged inherent difference in the Jewish voice Mauscheln , Jews were even accused of not mastering the German national language properly, another central requirement for being German. In this conservative parlance, the ideal German, the citizen-soldier, was thus an unattainable goal for Jewish men.
Due to their military unsuitability, German-Jewish men were denied the gender identity of military masculinity. By the turn of the century, antisemitic caricatures had become a strong weapon in influencing attitudes towards Jews. Authors such as Alfred Roth, who under the pseudonym Otto Armin wrote Die Juden im Heer , or in periodicals such as the Kreuzzeitung repeatedly accused German Jews of not having participated staunchly in the war as German Christian men had done.
German Jews and Military Masculinity 29 Fig. Caricature, Wiener Arbeiterzeitung, March A scapegoat in the form of a backstabbing Jewish traitor was invented and was stubbornly kept alive by antisemitic demagogues until it found official sanction in the Third Reich. The marginalization of Jewish men in the cultural-military realm, was, however, not a field left undefended by German Jews.
Jewish men, in response to antisemitism prevalent in places such as universities, founded their own Jewish student fraternities such as the Viadrine and thereby carved out their own sites to perform military masculinity through the act of dueling, a highly-gendered practice that aimed at proving honor and status through physical strength, agility, discipline and bravery. German Jews and Military Masculinity 30 opportunities for Jewish men to use gendered rituals to assert their own masculinity in a collective, group setting.
Some Jewish writers like Walter Rathenau or Otto Weininger in his Geschlecht und Charakter internalized the gendered antisemitism and portrayed the Jewish man as a foil to the Germanic military hero. Nordau, however, saw it as imperative for Jews to physically and morally regenerate through athleticism. The discursive shift toward the world of militarized sports and athleticism Turnen was meant to form a new type of Jew who was able to successfully defend himself against antisemitic assaults. Internalizing military values of mainstream society but also some of the antisemitic discourses like Jewish physical inferiority , Jews established their own clubs and chose names of Jewish war heroes from antiquity like Bar Kochba a Jew who had revolted against the Roman Empire.
These male-exclusive associations were used for regenerating the Jewish body and cultivating a martial manliness characterized by the soldierly values of bravery, courage and aggression. Many German men, including Jewish men, had come to pride themselves on their participation in military training and service, even after the war was lost war in For an entire male generation, the military had become a school of life, a point of identification that men would carry with them in their post-military civilian lives including the Third Reich.
Nationalism and masculinity had become deeply entangled. They remembered having been treated as equals and perceived themselves as patriotic Germans who, like other men, had devotedly contributed to the German war effort. Like their gentile peers, Jewish men had praised the values that connoted militarism without reveling in violence for its own sake. Instead, they viewed military accomplishments as proof of their manliness which in turn demonstrated their worth as Germans.
German Jews and Military Masculinity 32 2. This is the newest catchphrase Suddenly, all Jews are frontline soldiers. We old war veterans know that the Jews The fact that a few Jews died at the front is certainly not an extraordinary merit of the Jewish race. After all, there was general conscription and not every Jew was able to shirk… Some even had the ambition to become an officer and then move up into a better position at home.
In this time, Jews did not only enjoy all the same rights as German citizens, but also procured additional major Fig. German Jews and Military Masculinity 33 privileges… But we will have even less use for the people of Moses in the defense of our German soil than in the world war These are Jewish frontline soldiers? Now they pride themselves in their war wounds and the dead in order to capitalize on them… It is impossible to determine who the few Jewish war veterans, based on Aryan blood mixing Blutvermischung , were… For fifteen years they have spit on bespieen war service, scorned it and dragged it into the mud.
The lack of military virtues made Jewish men into war shirkers, cowards and traitors. The tale that Jewish soldiers had spent most of the time in the war behind desks or even at home suggested that Jewish men had much in common with women and the domestic sphere. The desk was used as a metaphor for the non-physical, secretarial work that was a common vocation for women. The metaphor alluded to the notion that war-making was a male honor and responsibility, while living a safe distance apart from military action was a privilege reserved for women, children and the elderly — one that was misused by the Jews.
The Nazis chose to attack and degrade German Jews where Jewish men felt most emotional and were culturally most vulnerable, the cultural realm of military masculinity. The marginalization of Jewish men occurred as part of a relational process in which German society witnessed a revitalization of military norms and values.
Frankfurt: Ullstein, edition , German Jews and Military Masculinity 34 outlined how the Nazis constructed the image of a society at arms. The idealization of war itself and men as the role model soldiers were aggressively propagated. The Nazis perceived the years of the Weimar Republic as a time of chaos, instability and disorder.
It was seen as a time of political pacifism and perceived weakness in the international theatre of politics, of social immorality and cultural degeneration: in short, a combination of national ills that the Nazis accounted for by a lack of a strong, patriarchal government, the vanishing importance of military virtues in society, and the feminization of society altogether.
The Nazi utopia of a well-functioning nation was thus militaristic in outlook and concomitantly heavily masculinized. The masculinization of social role models resulted in the construction of male soldierly heroes who were presented as the manliest of men. German Jews and Military Masculinity 35 militarism.
The Nazis excluded Jews from all things military. In March , Hitler re-introduced mandatory conscription for men. With the founding of the Wehrmacht, German Jews were by law excluded. By being a warrior with the task of defending and securing the community body through the exercise of authority, assistance with education and the assumption of leadership and governing roles, the man experiences his natural precedence.
The man forges the state, the hardness of which corresponds to the hardness of his own being, bears historical conflicts and wages war. The promulgation of a new army was accompanied by the propaganda efforts of 1. German Jews and Military Masculinity 36 Nazi state remained steadfast in its attempt to thereby dishonor and emasculate Jewish men.
Because the Nazis paid great attention to military traditions and symbols, the newly founded Wehrmacht was propagated with much medial fanfare and propaganda. The rejection of Jews was especially humiliating to Jewish men who had come to identify with and internalize the military values of Wilhelmine Germany. Besides the ruling that German Jews — who were no longer German citizens following the Nuremberg Race Laws of — were not worthy of being part of a German national army, further discriminatory measures included prohibiting German Jews from possessing guns.
Even sabers and rapiers had to be surrendered to the police eventually. While the new German hero was the young male in SA or Wehrmacht uniform, Jewish men were made to look weak and defenseless, antonyms to the German ideal of military masculinity. In addition to the physical exclusion of Jews from the military and the prohibition for Jews to own weapons, the state used further symbolic ways to deprive German Jewish men of military creating a public image that saw military service as an honorable duty of every German man.
Simultaneously, it excluded non-Aryan men from serving in the army and whose exclusion was defined by the Nuremberg Race laws. German Jews and Military Masculinity 37 gender identity. During the Heldengedenktag, the annual commemoration of the fallen in World War I, Jewish participation was outright forbidden and the inscription of names of Jewish war casualties onto memorials was no longer allowed. Hunting licenses were no longer issued, explosives such as fireworks no longer sold to Jews. They all had in common a strong anti-republican, anti-Zionist and anti-communist ideologies and endorsed the fascist ideal of the leadership principle with unconditional obedience and pledge for the fulfillment of duty for the Fatherland.
These groups however, had significantly lower membership — typically in the low hundreds — compared to the RjF. German Jews and Military Masculinity 38 3. The Jewish Experience: Military Masculinity in the Third Reich a Jewish collective responses In their diaries and memoirs, many German Jews perceptively observed social changes and commented on social life in the Third Reich.
Some testified to the perception of an increased militarization of society. Exercising and parading, this is the new time. Most Jewish war veterans accepted the Nazi renewal of soldierly masculinity because many could directly identify with such images through their own previous experience in the army and find a compatible solution to sustain their Jewishness and German patriotism. In his memoir, the author reminisced that many German Jews had stayed in Nazi Germany because of their deep-rootedness in Germany which they and their ancestors had acquired and proven in military battle.
Because of their identification with military and nationalist values, they simply could not leave Germany. Like their gentile counterparts, the Jewish ex-soldiers of World War I had been exposed to military values for years and they carried their caches of values and virtues into the postwar era. Military service had become a common experience that united men and set them apart from others. It provided a set of criteria against which men could judge themselves and their peers. German Jews and Military Masculinity 40 RjF, proclaimed that it was the highest goal to stand up as men to the challenge mannhaft die Stirn bieten and protect the honor of Jewish veterans.
Through public acts of commemoration and attempts to educate the general public about the Jewish contribution in the war, the RjF actively sought to defy antisemitic attacks and simultaneously construct an image of a Jewish soldierly masculinity.