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The German-Jewish Dialogue Reconsidered

A Symposium in Honor of George L. Mosse


Edited By Klaus L. Berghahn

Was there a German-Jewish dialogue? This seemingly innocent question was silenced by the Holocaust. Since then, it is out of the question to take comfortable refuge to a distant past when Mendelssohn and Lessing started this dialogue. Adorno/Horkheimer, Arendt, and above all Scholem have repeatedly pointed out, how the noble promises of the Enlightenment were perverted, which led to a complete failure of Jewish emancipation in Germany. It is against this backdrop of warning posts that we dare to return to an important chapter of Jewish culture in Germany. This project should not be seen, however, as an attempt to idealize the past or to harmonize the present, but as a plea for a new dialogue between Germans and Jews about their common past.


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Bildung and Acculturation 59


Bodies in Pain Reflections on the Berlin Jewish Salon Liliane Weissberg University of Pennsylvania I. A Popular Novel IN 1810, REGINA FROHBERG published her novel Schmerz der Liebe. 1 It was her second book, issued two years after Louise oder kindlicher Gehorsam und Liebe in Streit, 2 and like the earlier novel, it was published anonymously in Berlin. In 1815, Schmerz der Liebe appeared in a second edition in Vienna, the city to which Frohberg had moved from Berlin. 3 This second edition revealed her identity. By now, Frohberg was well established as an author, and had made a name for herself: a collection of her narratives and her novels Das Opfer and Verrath und Treue had appeared in Leipzig and Berlin in 1812, followed by the Viennese publication of her novels Darstellungen aus dem menschlichen Leben, Bestimmung, and Die Brautleute, oder Schuld und Edelmuth in 1814. 4 Neither Schmerz der Liebe, nor Frohberg's many later novels received positive reviews. Although praised by one publisher as "the product of female sensibility, "5 Frohberg' s oeuvre was ridiculed by the poet Ludwig Robert in an epigram addressed to the author that culminates in the lines: "Foolish, when you read books, and more so, when you write them. "6 In his Jugenderinnerungen, Frohberg's nephew Paul Heyse describes her as a writer who should rather be viewed as a saloniere: [A]unt .. Regine lived in Vienna, socialized in the circles of the Jewish aristocracy there, the Arnstein and Eskeles families. She had entered...

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