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Jews and Other Germans
Civil Society, Religious Diversity, and Urban Politics in Breslau, 1860–1925
Translated by Marcus Brainard

George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History
Steven E. Aschheim, Skye Doney, Mary Louise Roberts, and David J. Sorkin, Series Editors

Winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History

“A pathbreaking book in German-Jewish history.”
—David Sorkin, author of The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840

Jews and Other Germans is the first social and cultural history to probe the parameters of Jewish integration in the half century between the founding of the German Empire in 1871 and the early Weimar Republic. Questioning received wisdom about German-Jewish assimilation and the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany, van Rahden’s prize-winning book restores some of the complexity and openness of relations between Protestants, Catholics, and Jews before World War I.

Closely analyzing the political, social, and cultural life in a major German city, van Rahden shows that Jews were a part of a broad urban community that encompassed diversity within unity, at once offering them a large measure of equality while permitting them to remain meaningfully Jewish. Jews and Other Germans also substantially revises the chronology of anti-Semitism in Germany, showing that Jews only began to experience exclusion from Breslau’s social world during World War I.

Yet van Rahden not only illuminates Breslau’s multicultural fabric; he also tells the story of this remarkable city as one of cultural and religious conflict and coexistence. Recounting the experiences of Jews, Protestants, and Catholics within a single narrative, he offers a critical intervention into scholarship on liberalism and civil society in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe.


Till van Rahden holds the Canada Research Chair in German and European Studies and is associate professor in the department of literature and modern languages at the Université de Montréalis.

Marcus Brainard earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and is the editor and translator of numerous works of philosophy and history.




“This sophisticated and original work traces new paths through German-Jewish and general German history in the imperial period. May anglophone historians follow van Rahden’s lead.”
—William W. Hagen, Social History



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the cover of van Rahden's book is illustrated with a brown-toned streetscape from the period.

September 2008
LC: 2007040520 DS
480 pp.   6 x 9
48 tables

The cloth edition for this title, 978-0-299-22690-9, is out of print.

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Paper $29.95 S
ISBN 9780299226947
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