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Gertrud Kolmar's Prose


Barbara C. Frantz, Ph. D.

This study is a close reading of two texts by the German poetess Gertrud Kolmar, Eine jüdische Mutter and Susanna. It analyzes the historical, sociological, and cultural conditions under which Kolmar's characters lived. Particular emphasis is placed on the traditional role of Jewish women and the changes in this role brought about by socioeconomic developments during the first half of the twentieth century in Germany, and on the impact these changes had (or did not have) on the self-assessment, sexuality, and mother-child/family relationship of the Jewish female characters in Kolmar's texts. Most importantly, this study focuses on how particular pressures and concerns affect the inner world of Kolmar's characters.