November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been reading “We Are Here.” It’s been really enlightening so far. What I have read so far has discussed how anti-Semitism persisted among Germans, manifesting itself in beliefs that Jews were criminals. They received goods that Germans could not receive. Germans were also sometimes displaced when homes for Displaced Persons (of whom Jews were a small minority) were needed. Jews were in a new position in Germany. It became a strange situation where Munich was even described as a safe haven for Jews and that Jews were taking an inappropriate advantage over Germans. I read another book “München: 1945 bis heute Chronik eiens Aufstiegs,” which documents the post-war experience of Munich until when the book was published, which was 1970. It describes how the basic necessities were still in very short supply into the late 1940s and the city was in ruins. The position of Jews must have created an immense tension, as they must have been seen as benefiting while Germans continued to suffer.
“We are Here” also describes the difficulties in identity faced by Jews as they were in Displaced Persons camps. Were they the nationality from their home country? Stateless? Transients on their way to Palestine or the United States? I’m considering looking how Jews justified their existence in Germany after the end of the DP camps, to Jews, Germans, Zionists, and the rest of the world. It would be interesting to see if their were any intellectuals that attempted to answer this question, especially how they answered the question of Zionism.
This class has made me realize all of the different ways I can answer a question, especially through different types of resources. I feel like I’m definitely more prepared to tackle resources and where I can look to find resources. Despite my continued confusion over my thesis, this class really helped to generate my thinking and to keep me thinking about topics.