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Between Dignity and De...
Marion A. Kaplan
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Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  11 reviews

Between Dignity and Despair draws on the extraordinary memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters of Jewish women and men to give us the first intimate portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany.
Kaplan tells the story of Jews in Germany not from the hindsight of the Holocaust, nor by focusing on the persecutors, but from the bewildered and ambiguous perspective of Jews trying
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Published April 23rd 1998 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1998)
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Kate Forsyth
This powerful and heart-rending book draws on many different memoirs, diaries, letters and post-war interviews to give us an extraordinary insight into what it was like to be a Jew in Germany during the Nazi years. It shows how the many small humiliations and unkindnesses of the early years gradually began to drag the Jewish community inexorably towards the horror of the Holocaust, and gives a sense of how that horror continues to shadow those that survived.
Margaret Reynolds
Marion A. Kaplan's purpose for writing Between Dignity and Despair was to inform the public about the average Jewish person's life in Nazi Germany. She tells stories of daily events in Jewish life. For example, she writes of Elizabeth Bab getting evicted from her apartment for her religion. The landlady said she "found an Aryan doctor who seemed more secure as a tenant than a Jewish writer." She writes about the prejudices they had to face in every day life.

The theme of this book is based aroun

In her book Between Dignity and Despair, Marion Kaplan contends that standard histories of the Nazi Era and the plight of Europe's Jewish population too often focus on the perpetrators and their mechanistic approach to mass murder. What is lost is an accurate representation of the victims, how they responded to the violence perpetrated against them, and ultimately, how they had to come to terms with the implementation of the “Final Solution.” Kaplan's goal is to bring the lives of the Jewish vic
Shane Avery

gender matters -- Jewish men were more reluctant to emigrate than were the women, since the former were more integrated in the public sphere (and committed to German (Liberal) culture), and the latter better able to observe the thousand pinpricks, that is, the incremental nature of Nazi violence and discrimination which penetrated ordinary every day life;

a social death preceded the physical death -- and in terms of social death, the majority of Germans were rampantly anti-semetic and henc
Hayden Herfurth
This was one of the best scholarly books I have read to date. Kaplan does an excellent job of using statistics, stories, and facts in a way that makes the reading flow and draws the reader in. Kaplan doesn't skimp on the details of some of the most depressing and heart wrenching stories and situations, but her work is still excellent.
This would have been better, but I was just getting sick of all the facts that were thrown at me. They were worked in really well, but I just didn't want to hear just straight facts anymore. I also was getting sick of this book because my professor was making us read it in so many days and it was too difficult to read in that amount of time. A lot of things were repeated multiple times, which was good but bad at the same time. This gave a good background of the life in Nazi Germany, but it would ...more
Kaplan is brilliant - the additional historical information she provides and the multi-dimensional perspective is incredibly valuable. If you were restricted to reading only two books about the interwar and holocaust periods, Wassertein's "On the Eve" and Kaplan's "Between Dignity & Despair" are the two to read.
I thought this book was fairly interesting. It was interesting to read specifically about how Jewish women in Nazi Germany were affected by the persecutions and roundups and so on in terms of the economy, society and expectations from gender roles at the time.
Kaplan focuses on Jewish life in Nazi Germany from the time Hitler gains power through the end of the war. She focuses on how the roles of women especially middle class Jewish women had to change during the Third Reich. Excellent read.
Heartbreaking first-hand accounts of everyday life in Nazi Germany.
Bernie Davis
Excellent - highly recommended.
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