In the immediate aftermath of World War II, more than a quarter million Jewish survivors of the Holocaust lived among their defeated persecutors in the chaotic society of Allied-occupied Germany. Jews, Germans, and Allies draws upon the wealth of diary and memoir literature by the people who lived through postwar reconstruction to trace the conflicting ways Jews and Germans defined their own victimization and survival, comprehended the trauma of war and genocide, and struggled to rebuild their lives. In gripping and unforgettable detail, Atina Grossmann describes Berlin in the days following Germany's surrender--the mass rape of German women by the Red Army, the liberated slave laborers and homecoming soldiers, returning political exiles, Jews emerging from hiding, and ethnic German refugees fleeing the East. She chronicles the hunger, disease, and homelessness, the fraternization with Allied occupiers, and the complexities of navigating a world where the commonplace mingled with the horrific.
Grossmann untangles the stories of Jewish survivors inside and outside the displaced-persons camps of the American zone as they built families and reconstructed identities while awaiting emigration to Palestine or the United States. She examines how Germans and Jews interacted and competed for Allied favor, benefits, and victim status, and how they sought to restore normality--in work, in their relationships, and in their everyday encounters. Jews, Germans, and Allies shows how Jews were integral participants in postwar Germany and bridges the divide that still exists today between German history and Jewish studies.
Atina Grossmann is professor of history at Cooper Union. She is the author of "Reforming Sex: The German Movement for Birth Control and Abortion Reform, 1920-1950" and the coeditor of "Crimes of War: Guilt and Denial in the Twentieth Century".
List of Illustrations ix Preface: Where Is Feldafing? xiii Abbreviations xvii INTRODUCTION: Entangled Histories and Close Encounters 1 CHAPTER ONE: "Poor Germany": Berlin and the Occupation 15 CHAPTER TWO: Gendered Defeat: Rape, Motherhood, and Fraternization 48 CHAPTER THREE: "The survivors were few and the dead were many": Jews in Occupied Berlin 88 CHAPTER FOUR: The Saved and Saving Remnant: Jewish Displaced Persons in the American Zone 131 CHAPTER FIVE: Mir Zaynen Do: Sex, Work, and the DP Baby Boom 184 CHAPTER SIX: Conclusion: The "Interregnum" Ends 237 Abbreviations in Notes 269 Notes 271 Select Bibliography 359 Acknowledgments 369 Index 373