This is the story of the reemergence of the Jewish community in Germany after its near total destruction during the Holocaust. In western Germany, the community needed to overcome deep cultural, religious, and political differences before uniting. In eastern Germany, the small Jewish community struggled against communist opposition. After coalescing, both Jewish communities, largely isolated by the international Jewish community, looked to German political leaders and the two German governments for support. Through relationships with key German leaders, they achieved stability by 1953, when West Germany agreed to pay reparations to Israel and to individual Holocaust survivors and East Germany experienced a wave of antisemitic purges. Using archival materials from the Jewish communities of East and West Germany as well as governmental and political party records, Geller elucidates the reestablishment of organized Jewish life in Germany and the Jews' critical ties to political leaders.
Jay Howard Geller is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tulsa. His articles have appeared in the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book and The Journal of Military History. He has contributed chapters in Konrad Adenauer Israel und das Judentum, edited by Hanns Jurgen Kusters, and entries in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Antisemitism, H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Europe since 1945: An Encyclopedia.
Acknowledgements; List of acronyms and abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Liberation, disunity, and divided organization in Western Germany; 2. Two communities unite in West Germany; 3. The challenge of Jewish life under Soviet occupation; 4. Politicians, political parties, and the Jews in West Germany, 1945-50; 5. Jewish organization between State and Party in East Germany; 6. The Jewish community and the West German Government before the Luxembourg agreement; 7. West Germany and reparations to Israel and World Jewry; 8. The central council's external relations and internal reforms after the Luxembourg agreement; Conclusion; Bibliography.
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