This study addresses the problems raised by the ambivalent comments about or portrayals of the Jews to be found in the writings of Gustav Freytag, Wilhelm Raabe, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Theodor Fontane and the early Thomas Mann. Why was it that these supposedly tolerant and liberal-minded men could use the language and images of antisemitism in their non-fiction and fiction? The book considers the question within the context of the unequal German-Jewish relationship in the period before, during and after Jewish emancipation. This study exposes the problematic way in which liberal-minded Germans thought about and treated the Jews in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Wien, 2002. 338 pp.
Contents: Gustav Freytag: The Limitations of Liberalism – Wilhelm Raabe: The Master, the ‘Schöne Semitische Zauberin’ and
her ‘Krummnasige Verwandtschaft’ – Leopold von Sacher-Masoch: Erratic Solidarity – Theodor Fontane: The Uncertain Critic –
Thomas Mann: The Blindness of the ‘bequeme Mehrzahl’.