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Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  116 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A moving and unsettling exploration of a young man's formative years in a country still struggling with its past

As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country's past, fawn
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Ellen Keim
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
An important book for its insider look at Germany and its complicated relationship with Jews. The only thing I didn't like about it is that the author wrote only about the negatives, as if Germany is a lost cause and will never adapt to "non-German" elements within its borders. One thing he didn't really touch on was how he feels about Germans, other than to say that the way they walk on eggshells around Jews is almost as bad to him as outright anti-Semitism.

I thought he covered the topics of i
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-new-york
I came to this book through Mark Oppenheimer's review in the New York Times book review. It's a good review, all things considered, and Yascha is lucky to have gotten it. It helped that he is Jewish at least culturally, a guy, Harvard affiliated and loves New York and he is "harshing" a bit on Germany. The faults are attributed to his youth.
I have lived in NY since 1967 and attended many Jewish film festivals. I have been struck by the many films jointly produced by Israel and Germany. This bo
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: germany
I didn't like this book as much as I hoped to, or wanted to. (See, by the way, a very interesting and, I think, accurate review in the NY Times). The author, a (young) PhD student at Harvard, is from a Polish family, the few of his family to survive the Holocaust. Due to purges of Jews in Poland and job opportunities his mother moved to Germany and that's where the author was raised and educated. His account of being the only Jew many of his contemporaries had ever met is both interesting, amusi ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A shockingly rude awakening. I picked up the book to find answered to questions about modern Germans' attitude towards the atrocities committed by their ancestors. Questions to which I intuitively had preconceived answers to. But I discovered in this book was an eye-opening revelation about every aspect of modern Germany's mindset far beyond of what I was expecting or looking to discover. I am truly shocked. Every Jew, German, every person must read this book to gain insight into his or her own ...more
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Fascinating perspective of current day Germany told through the eyes of Jewish young man raised there who no longer feels he can live there. A combination of autobiography, history and novel. Although biased from one perspective I certainly learned while reading it.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mounk stellt Deutschland dar als gefangen zwischen Antisemitismus und Philosemitismus.
Er ist dabei zugegebenermaßen in den Details nicht immer ganz korrekt (z.B. die Beschreibung der Flugzeugentführung durch Wilfried Böse. Was Mounk erzählt stimmt nur bedingt. Die Teilung der Passagiere fand nicht in Juden und Nicht-Juden statt, sondern in Israelis und Nicht-Israelis, vgl., betraf also eine politische und nicht eine religiöse oder ethnische Kategorie.
Sylvia Boshoff
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lest we forget, deny or pretend it never happened. This book is an honest reflection on man's inability to take responsibility for one's action, be it through passively ignoring evil and the effect it has on future generations. The sins of the fathers are truely visited on the children, again and again. The author Yasha Mounk is a voice of a new generation, consciously grappling with the uncomprehending evils of WW2. It seems Europe needs reminding ever so often not to become complancent and pas ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author takes the rare privilege of his unique standpoint to open a window into German culture. This was especially appreciated given my own background. Most readers may not be as intimately concerned with postwar German politics, but this very personal but at the same time thoroughly researched and considered analysis is a precious gem.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking. Germany dealing with its past by either fawning on Jewish Germans or trying to find fault with Israel. The writing is engaging and lively.
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