Out of the Ghetto and into the Tiergarten: Redefining the Jewish Parvenu and His Origins in Ost und West

by David Brenner
Out of the Ghetto and into the Tiergarten: Redefining the Jewish Parvenu and His Origins in Ost und West
David Brenner
The German Quarterly
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DAVIDBRENNER University of Texas at Austin

Out of the Ghetto and into the Tiergarten: Redefining the Jewish Parvenu and His Origins in Ost undWest

Published monthly in Berlin between 1901 and 1923, the cultural review Ost und West was the second most widely read Jewish periodical in the Kaiserreich, com- manding at least ten percent of its potential market share.1 As a forum in which Jews in the Kaiserreich formulated their "iden- tities" and their degree of "assimilation," Ost und West marks a watershed in the his- tory of Jewish self-understanding in turn- of-the-century Germany and in Western Europe, contributing to our knowledge of the theory and practice of Jewish stereotyp- ing.2 This essay will explore one example of Jewish self-representation in Ost und West: namely, the discourse of Jewish parvenus. Whereas much research has documented the self-portrayals of persons identifying themselves fully or partially as Jews in the century prior to the Nazi-perpetrated Holocaust, little of it has focused on par- venu~.~

And although scholars in this field have frequently examined individual authors and their oeuvres, the cultural in- stitutions of fin-de-sihcle German Jewry have attracted little attention. Periodicals, for instance, are rarely examined.4

I intend to evaluate German-Jewish identity formation using Ost und West's stereotypes of the Jewish parvenu. First, I shall outline the "genealogf' of the Ger- mandewish parvenu, a figure whose raison d'stre is the concealment of his social and/or cultural origins. Since Ost und West marks a transition in the diverse and colorful his- tory of the Jewish parvenu stereotype in German culture, I shall also account for Ost und West's new image of the Jewish par- venu by examining the social and cultural composition of the audiences to whom this model appealed.

Jewish identity has often been expressed in attitudes toward lapsed Jews. These attitudes designate the perceived boundaries between "Jew" and "nonJew." Prior to their emergence from ghetto life in the 1700s, European Jews could only disaf- filiate from their community in two ways: through conversion, which was often ac- companied by intermarriage, and through heresy. In the all-too-gradual process of emancipation, Jews were compelled to redefine their identitieea process which entailed disguising their common origins, be they linguistic, territorial, ethnic, or his- torical. As a less radical adaptation to non- Jewish society, some Jews preferred the deliberate pace of acculturation-i.e., limited intercultural borrowing-ver assimilation. Yet, in establishing a peculiar sub- culture whose Jewishness was invisible to its own members, these Jews also chose to repress their family histories.5

In Germany, where Jews did not attain legal freedom of religion and protection against discrimination until 1869, many Jews in public as well as private life preferred to camouflage their Jewish an- cestry, At the same time, numerous non- Jewish Germans, especially anti-Semites, reveled in opportunities to humiliate Jews by divulging their roots. Whereas anti-

The German Quarterly 66.2 (Spring1993) 176


defamation organizations (Abwehrorgani- sationen) were formed by Christians and Jews in 1890s Germany, an open profession of Jewish belief or ethnicity was unusual until the emergence of Zionism and Ost und West. Even so, while political Zionism never broke entirely with Western liberal univer- salism, Ost und West openly acknowledged its Jewish origin-indeed its Eastern Jewish patronage-by featuring Jewish history, literature and literary criticism, art reproductions and art criticism, as well as folksongs and other folklore. While more will be saidbelow concerning Ostund West's literary and ideological programmatics, the journal's conspicuous display of "Jewish- ness" was symptomatic of a new conscious-


In urging European Jews to overcome their self-censorship and proudly to "come out of the closet," Ost und West found it necessary to utilize a conspicuous foil: the German-Jewish parvenu.6 Jewish self-awareness was balanced in the magazine by embarrassment about the Jewish par- venu, a figure defined in Websterk as "a usually crude or pushing person who has recently reached a position of prominence, power or wealth.'" When presented in Ost und West, representations of Jewish arri- vistes were intended to educate German Jews. Not only were the nouveaux riches who chose to hide their Jewishnesseffective as negative exempla in Ost und West's cau- tionary tales, they were also didactically conceived as potential ba'alei tkhuvah, i.e., returners to the fold.

The sociocultural basis for Ost und

West's anti-parvenu narratives is most ap-

parent in the staggering rate of apostasy in

Germany, compared to other Western na-

tions. In Berlin, the center of gravity of Ger-

man Jewry, at least 100 adult conversions

to Protestantism (or one for every 600-650

German Jews) were registered per year in

the period from 1882 to 1908. In England,

the figures were significantly lower, for

"Jews were ceasing to beJewish in England

because resistance to their incorporation into society was weak; in Germany, their ties to Judaism were being sundered because the resistance was strong.'@ Owing to the high degree of acculturation required of the Jews by German society, narratives of Jewish parvenu-who themselves may or may not have been baptized-became prevalent.9

What, then, is the primordial narrative of the German-Jewish parvenu character? In a certain respect, all future stereotypes of the Jewish parvenu are informed by Karl Alexander Sessa's drama Unser Verhehr (1814), a thoroughgoing satire of a ghetto Jew desperate to become salonftihig. Arguably the most powerful and widespread representation of the Jew to be found in post-emancipation Germany, the image of the Jewish parvenu derived its archetypal impact from medieval stereotyping of Jews as greedy and usurious.10 As a social up- start, the Jewish parvenu is depicted as prideful (thus committing the Christian sin ofhubris). At the same time, he becomes the object of envy. The psychological mech- anism of projection best explains the at- titude that the Jewish parvenu has no right to be in the position he holds and so visibly enjoys. As a consequence, the Jewish upstart is marked by money and by be- havior: he is aProtz, a show-off. The Jewish parvenu in the Kaiserreich is, in fact, most typically designated as a Geldprotz.11 Often a lapsed Jew or a convert to Christianity, the Jewish parvenu is highly acculturated. He typically resides in a large city, such as Berlin. In addition, he is ultracultured, modern, and enlightened. Repeatedly cari- catured as potbellied, bowlegged, diamond- wearing, gesticulating, large-nosed and curly-haired, the Jewish parvenu is de- picted as rootless, ruthless, and degenerate. His supposed behavior is a legacy of 19th- century anti-Semitism and anticapitalism.12

In the most pervasive version of the stereotype, the parvenu was strongly asso- ciated with East European Jewish types.13 This reading of the parvenu was most com-

mon among Western Jews, who believed themselves to be more civilized than their Eastern coreligionists, whom they treated at best with paternalism and at worst with scorn. To resist this interpretation of the German-Jewish parvenu, texts in Ost und West uncovered the origins of the arriviste and revealed them to be-Western!14 Yet differences in ideology did not prevent con- tributors to Ost und West from recycling the elements of the older Easternized stereo- type. The new Western Jewish Protz retained the negative traits previously asso- ciated with the stereotype of the Eastern Jewish parvenu. Although the contributors to Ost und West rarely caricatured his physical appearance or his manners, he was clearly obsequious in his search for status. Because German Jews would instantly recognize the parvenu stereotype, Ost rrnd West decided to highlight it. By ineans of this negation, the image of Eastern Jewiy might become more positive and more re- spectable in the eyes of the Western audience.15

Not only did Ost rtnd West represent and defend Eastern Jews to their Western counterparts before any other comparable Western Jewish institutions, it was also unique in its ability to ma~.ltetJewish nationalism in Central and Western Eu- rope. Furthermore, Ost und West promoted Eastern Jewiy without compromising its fundamental principles.

As the first significant effort to mediate between Eastern and Western Jewish nationalists and their respective versions of Jewish culture, Ost und West showcased both. It was also the first place in the West where Russian, Polish, and Galician Jews, such as Ahad Ha'an1,lfj Yitzhak Leyb Peretz, Nathan Birnbauin, Martin Buber, and others published their latest works. Prior to Buber's translations--01; better, 'tewritings"-ofHasidic tales, Ost und West was the first major promoter of Eastern Jewish literature, art, folklore, and folk- song to the Western Jewishpublic. Thejour- nal also featured Jewish artists, including Easterners such as Ephraim Mose Lilien and Samuel Hirszenberg and Westerners such as Max Liebermann and Jozef Israels.

However, Ost un.d West was not pro- duced mainly for the Jewish avant-garde or for Jews living in Eastern Europe. In order to enlarge its readership in Germany and the West, Ost und West sought to reach beyond its "natural" constituency of Jewish witers, artists, educators, and politicians, and thereby engaged the interest of Western Jews who did not belong to the cultural elite. By mixing essays with fiction, folklore, art, and photographs, Ostund West ceased to be a highbrow intellectual forum and became something that Hashiloach (Berlin and Warsaw: 189f3-1914), VosAlwd (Petersburg: 1881-1906) and its other predecessors were not: it became middlebrow, reaching out to a broad audience of Western and Central European Jews (not to speak of Jews in the East who read Ger- man).17 Since illustrations were a neces- saiy element in attracting the Jewish mid- dle classes to the nationalist project, it is no accident that Ost 2tn.d West was the first European Jewish journal to feature them and thereby challenge traditional Juda- ism's interpretation of the Second Com- mandment. As a nationalist magazine, Ost und West sought to construct a new ideal of the Jew: an appropriate task for its editor and publishel; Leo Winz (187&1952), a veteran "image-maker" who had served for years as the head of public relations (Chef del, Propaganda) for the oldest major Ger- inan advertising firm, Haasenstein & Vogler. By using the latest promotional techniques, Winz and his associates at Ost und West targeted Geiman-Jewish women, non-Zionist Jewish nationalists, Jewish socialists, and other unconventional Jewish audiences as potential customers.

German-Jewish women, and particu- larly those belonging to the highly edu- cated, highly fashionable Berlin bourgeoisie, may have formed the largest of the journal's clienteles.lg Like Rahel Varn- hagen and Henriette Herz-their sisters of


previous generations-the women of this Jewish subculture were extremely modern in their tastes, and Ost und West's director of advertising, Else Jacoby (who later mar- ried Winz) catered specially to Unlike their early 19th-century predecessors, however, who converted out of Judaism, Berlin Jewish women were important op- ponents of assimilation in the domestic sphere. In fact, women of all ranks within German-Jewish society in the Kaisel,reiclz were less likely to leave the fold than were men.2l Moreover, although prohibited from political activities before 1908, they were the force behind relief effoi-ts to Russian, Rumanian, and other "needy" Jews inside and outside of Germany, efforts that were discussed at length in the pages of Ost und West.22 Ost und West thus published few narratives which featured female Jewish parvenus, and it entrusted Jewish women with the task of preserving Judentuin (in both senses, as "Judaism" and as "Jewish-


Negative stereotyping of arriviste males supported this mission.

In being sensitive to the values of these Western Jewish target groups, Ost und West's ultimate accomplishinent was to negotiate a fragile rapprochement between Jewish cultural nationalism, which orig- inated in the multiethnic empires of East- ern Europe, and a German-Jewish etatist nationalism grounded in Bildung and in what George Mosse has designated ye- ~pectability."~~

In other words, in market- ing Eastern Jewish culture to a fairly accul- turationist Western Jewish readership, Ost und West had to make Eastern Jewry palatable. Many Western Jews, after all, felt threatened by conspicuous displays of Jewishness, and the Jewish nationalist out- look of Ost und West and its Westernized version of the Jewish Protz stereotype were potentially offensive to the journal's West- ern audience. Therefore, in order to make the cultural autonomy of Eastern Jewiy palatable for a Western audience, Ost und West had to balance its ideology of Jewish particularism with its readership's more universalist outlook. Appeals to ethnicity (Stamm) and a carefully delimited "spezifisch-jiidische Kulturnuance," or 'Siidische Note,"show the pains taken in the oMicial1901 progTam to balance'?3ast"with 'West":

So wollen wir auch judisches Leben preisen, nicht wie es heute ist, sondern wie es sein sol1 und schon zu werden beginnt. Wir verstehen darunter ein selbstbewuRtes, innerlich gefestigtes und geheiligtes, treues und fruchtbares judisches Leben, das auf dem Boden eines schonen Menschentums und einer stillen Arbeit fur allgenleinen Kulturfortschritt die gute Eigenart unserer Rasse entfaltet.25

By no means anti-Western, the rhetoric of a newly self-aware Jewish "race" was thoroughly compatible with the contemporaiy discourses of cultural progress and secular modernity Jewish cultural national- ism was consequently found side by side in this review magazine with a bourgeois liberal nationalist ideology. By carefully tailoring its presentation, Ost und West matched its audience's '8orizon of expecta- tions" by making occasional concessions to "civilized" or "enlightened" manners and morals. Nevertheless, and even while its ideals of scholarship originated in the West, Ost und West was sprinkled with heavy doses of Eastern Jewish particularity.

Ost und West needed a compelling ste- reotype of the Western Jewish parvenu. I shall now docuinent how the journal inter- vened in a dominant discourse about the Jewish parvenu in Central and Western Europe that had a profound effect on European Jewish identity.

A preliminary survey yields a striking conclusion: most parvenus in the German- Jewish cultural milieu were marked as recent immigrants from Eastern Europe. Beginning at the latest with the late 19th- century Histo?.ilterdebatte unleashed by Heinrich von Treitschke, German writers identified Eastern Europe as the breeding ground of Jewish parvenuisin as it was manifested in the West.2G With its well-cir- culated pro-Eastern Jewish progTam, Ost und West counteracted the stereotype of the Eastern ghetto as the tainted origin of all Western Jewish arrivistes. In its nai.ratives of Jewish identity, Ost und West showed that it was acutely aware of earlier images of the Jewish nouveau riche. In the 19th century, the stereotype of the Jewish par- venu is found in four traditions: (1)the East- ern Jewish tradition critical of the "dayt- sher" (the Yiddish term for "German-style" Jews, i.e., enlightened or "Europeanized" Jews);Z7(2)the anti-conversion and anti-in- termarriage fiction published in Orthodox

as well as religious-liberal German-Jewish periodicals in the second half of the 19th cent~ry;2~

(3) the genre of so-called Dotf und Glzettogesclzicl~ten by Jewish and non- Jewish writers such as Berthold Auerbach, Leopold Kompert, Karl Einil Frai~zos, and Leopold Sacher-Masoch; and (4) the non- Jewish literaiy and historical tradition of the Jewish speculator-cum-Gelcfpt.otz, exemplified in certain contributions to the Treitschke dispute as well as in the fictions of Gustav Freytag, Wilhelm Raabe, and a host of others prior to the Ja1z1.hrtnde1.t- wende.28

An examination of these tropes of the Jewish parvenu would talre us far afield. In the final analysis, the fourth category pre- dominated. Realist and Naturalist prose fiction, such as Freytag's Sol1 und Haben (1855), engaged the interest of a broad audience extending beyond Gerinan Jewry, and constituted the main source of paivenu images in Ost und West. In the manner of Bakhtin's speech genres, these prose fic- tions found their response in Ost und West's German-Jewish Zeitpt-osa, which came to be the primaiy vehicle for challenging the ideological linkage of Jewish parvenus and Eastern Jewish iminig~ants.3~

In contrast to other Jewish and non- Jewish mass media, Ost und West special-

ized in stereotypes of the parvenu which placed this character solidly in Western Jewish society. Since the majority of the journal's readers had grown up in Western andcentral Europe, this createdapotential quandaiy. Having decided to publish anti- Western parvenu narratives, Ost und West was compelled to feature examples of this genre written by Western Jewish writers as a way of appealing to the journal's primary marlret of respectable, middle-class Ger- inan Jews. Whereas narratives created by Eastern Jews, well-known to the Eastern Jewish editors of Ost und West, gave rise to many a critique of Western Jewry, Ost und West often used Western Jewish authors to denounce Western Jewish parvenus. In fact, some of the authors were hard-line Western Zionists, even though the editorial staff of the journal was critical of Western- style political Zionism, leaning toward the cultural Zionism ofAhad Ha'am and Micha Josef Berdichevslcy, Even if they were not part of Ost und West's original constituency of non-arriviste Eastern Jews, Western Jewish writers knew the Western milieu better and could thus produce stereotypes which appealed more to German-Jewish readers.31

Still, although Ost und West located "genuine" Jewish national culture in East- ern Europe, its Western Jewishreaders had a different agenda. Their view of Eastern Jewish life as more honest and more au- thentic was little inore than a mythical in- version of negative stereotyping. For West-

juden, positive depictions ofEast European Jewiy functioned "as a compensatory crea- tion for the loss of the idealized 'true,' 'harmonious' and 'unproblematic' Jewish authenticity. .."32In fact, much of the East- ern Jewish fiction carried in Ost und West can be read as a Western image of a simpler, preinoder~l identity. In the Zeitprosa of Ost und West, the Jewish parvenu thus came to be divorced from his Eastern roots to a g~eaterextent than ever before. He became linlred through a system of si,qs with Western Jews and Western culture.


Prior to Ost un,d West, ethnocentric Western Jews defined the Jewish pailrenu as a direct descendant of the negatively marked Ostjude. According to this para- digm, the parvenu of Eastern lineage could never be acculturated, enlightened orgebil- det enough, despite all pretenses to the con- trary. This critique of the Eastern parvenu was often found together with a liberal posi- tion which advocated modernization and Western culture. The Jewish parvenu was typified as craving the property of non- Jews, personifying Schaclzer- und Wuc1ze1.- judentum. The theory of Jewish history be- hind this paradioom located spiritual andlor moral renewal in the modern, enlightened Western Diaspora. In this sense, the Jewish parvenu and his Eastern cousiils were the antithesis of the forces of Jewish renewal and progressivism.

In contrast to the "unassimilable" nouveau riche from the East, the new Western-based Jewish parvenu of Ost und West was held to be too enlightened, too modernized, and, above all, too Western- ized. In the journal's Zeitprosn, the par- venu was blind to the anti-Semitism which surounded him, and rarely was it in- timated that historical liinitations on Jewish professions were to blame for par- venuism. Non-Jews in the stories are revealed to be avaricious; it is they who rapaciously steal money and possessions from the Jews. The theory of Jewish histoly behind the Ost r~nd West paradigm located spiritual renewal outside of the modern, en- lightened Diaspora. The biblical era became the basis for a new Jewish ideal. Thus, both the new Jewish paivenu and Western Jewish institutions resisted the Jewish Renaissance. Eastern Jewish culture, no longer ideologically tainted, was elevated to the more prog~essive position.

How did this transition in the histoiy of the parvenu stereotype take place in Ost un.d West, and how were the parvenu's an- cestral links to the Eastrendered in positive terms? In the first five years of its German language prose fiction, the "newer" Jewish paivenu becomes increasingly predomi- nant. In 1901, 3 of the 12 prose contribu- tions feature a Jewish parvenu character; in 1902, 2 of 15; in 1903,2 of 16; in 1904, 5 of 19; and in 1905,4 of 18. In other words, the percentage of pailrenu stories vis-A-vis other fiction shows a fall and then a slow but steady rise in the first five years of Ost und West: in 1901, 25%; in 1902, 13%; in 1903,11%; in 1904,26%; in 1905,22%. The trend toward stereotyping of Western Jewish paivenus culminated in four satiri- cal sketches of Berlin Jewish parvenus which appeared in 1904 and 1905.~~

Set in Berlin, Ost und West's publication site and largest market, these naturalist sketches were certainly intended to shock, but they were also aimed at a broad audience. Since narratives of Western parvenus never ceased to be popular in Ost und West, I shall end my investigation with theyear 1906, at which time the journal became somewhat less strident, emphasizing scholarship and education over manifestos and mythmak- ing. Let us now examine the two early phases of the paivenu narrative in Ost und West.

Lothar Brieger-Wassei-vogel's "Dasalte Testament" (November 1901) is a satire of the contemporaiy German-Jewish arri-

This parvenu narrative, typical of Ost un.d West's earliest literary contribu- tions, appears in the framework of a nat- uralist sketch narrated in the present tense. In "Das alte Testament," Baron von Gold- stein, a wealthy ennobled businessman, holds an improbable discussion of conscience with an old talking (!) Bible. This Old Testament is the last remaining evi- dence of his Jewish heritage, a family heir- loom originally acquired by his great-g~andfather, a Jewish peddler of unde- termined origin.35 Goldstein thus repre- sents a new breed of Western-based Jewish parvenus.

Goldstein is characterized as a success- fully assimilated parvenu, proud of the status which he has achieved through years of hard work. Since being baptized, he has become a major financier of the Conserva- tive Party, He intimates that he will vote for an anti-Semite in the next Reiclzstags- walzl just to prove that he is truly a devout Christian. The acquisition of inoney and power has preoccupied him to such an ex- tent that he is only now, in middle age, on the verge of marrying. At the threshold of complete assimilation, however, Gold- stein's origins become an obstacle. Although a respected and honored citizen, and en- gaged to the precious daughter of General von Hohenheim with her "kleine, weilje Hande," Goldstein remains but a Jew and a "Finanzaristolu.atn (849). Despite his achievements, he is still despised by the real, i.e., non-Jewish, aristocrat^.:^^^

Still not acknowledging the anti-Seini- tism surrounding him, Goldstein-the apostate Protz par excellence-spitefully glances at the dusty, web-covered Bible every night, "als wolle er sich riihmen, daruber hinausgelcommen zu sein" (850). One evening, the Bible actually begins to talk to him, launching into a critique of the German-Jewish symbiosis. It declares that Jews and Christians "fiigen sich Boses zu . . . Und alle, die so getraumt haben von einer innigen Freundschaft zwischen Ari- ernund Semiten, waren Phantasten" (851). At this point, the talking Old Testament accuses Goldstein of self-deception, reminding him of the '?leifie Tranen" (852) that he cries when he slips away secretly to the Jewish cemetery. On the eve of his mar- riage to the daughter of von Hohenheim, the Bible warns him that intermarriage will be of no benefit and that the children ofsuch a union will only be "ungliickselige Zwitter" (854).

How is Goldstein a new version of the Jewish parvenu stereotype? In contrast to his 19th-century predecessors, the Jewish parvenu of "Das alte Testament" is clearly estranged from his Eastern roots. Whereas it might appear that Goldstein's conversion is a mere confessional matter, Brieger-Was- sei-vogel situates Goldstein's parvenuism in a cultural-political context. The convention- al Eastern Jewish lineage of the German- Jewish parvenu is strikingly absent. There is never a suggestion that Goldstein's ,pat- grandfather, the Bible-reader and Hau- siet-el., was an Eastern Jew, or of (recent) Eastern Jewish ancestry. Even if there is no reference to any ancient Western Jewish lineage, Goldstein is entirely Western. Although marked physically as a Jew-he is described as short, overweight, and large- nosed-his behavior is thoroughly "civi- lized."37 In fact, he is so secularized that he is ignorant of the texts which comprise the Jewish cultural tradition. Although anti- Semites in the stoiy mock Goldstein behind his back, the Jewish reader of Ost un.d West, whether or not of recent Eastern origin, is also encouraged to conceive of Goldstein as the epitome of Western capitalist culture. Insofar as the Bible is the polar opposite of Goldstein's degeneracy, the biblical era-as opposed to the Golus ('Diaspora")-be- coilles the basis for Jewish renewal. Finally, even though it can be read as a critique of anti-Semitism, "Das alte Testament" never addresses the historical origins of Jewish parvenuisin.38

The twenty-one-year-old Brieger-Was- servogel was a native of Fi-eytag's home- town, Breslau, and went on to produce similarly improbable and idiosyncratic works of Jewish 'i7.iuiallite1-atur. As an art critic and art historian, he utilized the stereotypes of Rassenjuden.tum in order to censure Jewish pai*venuism and other Diaspora institutions for not providing 'tough" Jewish role models. By implicitly supporting this writer's Zionist Muslzel-

judentum ideal and his caricature of the Jewish Geldprotz, Ost und West reached an audience it might not otherwise have at- tracted with Eastern Jewish folk culture. Accordingly, German-Jewish Zeitprosa, such as that of Brieger-Wasservogel, became the preferred genre in Ost und West,


and was programmatically enshrined in the journal's literary contest of 1902:

Die Arbeit muB in deutscher Sprache geschrieben sein und ihren Stoff womoglich dem Leben der westeuropaischen Juden entnehrnen. Es kann sich naturlich nicht um eine der beliebten Milieuschilderungen handeln, die nur die ~uBer- lichkeiten des iudischen Lebens festhalten. Es soll vielmehr ein literarischer Beitrag zur Psychologie des modernen Ju- dentums geboten werden. Eines der tiefe- ren Probleme, die die Juden unserer Tage bewegen, soll erfaRt und ein Ausschnitt aus den individuellen, gesellschaftlichen, kulturellen oder politischen Beziehungen der modernen Juden gegeben werden.


This literary model tacitly redefined the Jewish parvenu as Western-based. Through this contest and an accompanying art con- test, the journal's publishel; Leo Winz, aiined to attract talent to his new publishing ven- ture. Ost und West offered prizes valued at 150 and 100 Marks, respctively, for literaiy and artistic works. Although proinising to publish other meritorious stories, thejournal never issued a first-place award. From the second-prize honoree, however, we can derive the preferences of the editorial staff and special panel ofjudges. The story, Ernst Guggenheim's "Der Rabbi," is a mysterious, avant-garde treatment of a young rabbi fall- ing away from Judaism, who for his doubt is banished from the fold by his rabbi father and cantor brothel: But the novella is so multivalent as to defy interpretation-is the villain the fathel; the brother, or the pro- tagonist? What Guggenheim's novella pre- sumably lacked (for a first-prize award) was a more clearly delineated attack on Western Jewish mores and a less concealed treatment of its characters'origins."

The failure of Ost und West's literaiy contest to attract more sophisticated and less tendentious treatments of the Western Jewish predicament pointed up the difficul- ty in constructing a believable and truly new Western Jewish hero. Unlilre the vivid Western amiviste, the constructed Jewish hero was a hackneyed and artificial fioure,


a lifeless distillation of a partisan-political standpoint (Zionist, Liberal Jewish, etc.). Judged from thisstandpoint, Ost und West's literaly contest failed to attract new, plausible models for the elusive "true-to-life Jew."40Although compatible withacultural critique of the West, fictional idealizations of Eastern Jewish cultural traditions did not yet work as an attractive theme for a literaiy contest in Ost un,d West.

The failure of Ost und West's literary contest was inherent in the textual model for Brieger-Wasservogel's narrative: name- ly, Theodor Herzl's better-known, but no less poisonous, polemic 'Mauschel" (1897).*l Herzl's "Mauschel," published originally under a pseudonym in Die Welt, depicts a Jewish Uncle Tom figure who is stunted, degenerate, and shabby. Herzl's attack, in this case, did not befit his great skill as a feuilletonist. Nouveau riche and gaudy, Herzl's ghetto-tainted parvenu functioned primarily as an anti-Zionist foil. Still, despite the historical overtones of "Mau- schel" as referring to Eastern Jews, Herzl retained enough savvy to avoid attacking the Ostjuden. by name. That his target was generally understood to be Western Jewish paivenus is evidenced in Winz's decision to republish the essay.42

Herzl's foray into stereotyping still failed to supplant negative imagery with a positive model for Western Jewish identity f~rination.~~

The negative stereotype of the Western Jewish parvenu was destined to be inore attractive to readers. Even though no single short fiction contribution sub- mitted in 1902 fostered positive image- making, the literary contest did, with time, yield creations of new Jewish parvenu foils. This trend, as we shall see, grew even stronger.

After the literaiy contest of 1902, satiri- cal slretches of so-called Berlin Tiergarten,-


judentum appeared with increasing fre- quency in Ost und We~t.4~The Jews parodied here resided in the fashionable up- market Tiergarten neighborhood on the west side of the city. This and other western Berlin neighborhoods were populated by Jews beyond their proportion of the Ger- man population (approximately one per- cent) and represented the location of choice for Jewish and non-Jewish parvenus alike. A new awareness of Berlin Jewish geog- raphy is reflected in many sources.45 Con- tributing to this new sensitivitywas the fact that the foreign Jewish population of Ber- lin, which traditionally settled in the Scheunenviertel and Berlin neighborhoods to the north and east, increased more rapid- ly than ever before between 1900 and 1905.~~

Examples abound of Ost und West's new trend toward negative stereotypes of Western parvenus. But, without a doubt, the journal's literary programmatics were best realized in two outstanding fictions of Tiergartenjuden from 1905: Siegbert Salter's "Szene aus Berlin W.: Die Tempel- fahrt" (September 1905: 593-96) and "Das Gliick des Hauses Lijbenthal: Skizze aus Berlin W." (December 1905: 797-800).47 In these works, the sketch of Tiergartenjuden- tum in Berlin becomes the vehicle for a psychological critique of German Jewry as assimilationist. Both are biting critiques of Tiergartenjudentum in the style of Thomas Mann's Wdsungenblut (also written in 1905, but first published in 1921).48 Like Mann's novella, Salter's anti-assimilation- ist pieces feature parvenu Jews.

"Szene aus Berlin W.: Die Tempelfahrt" is very timely, appearing as it does in the September issue at the Jewish High Holy Day season. In this narrative, Salter portrays a wealthy Jewish Kommenien- ratsfamilie dining on Yom Kippur eve (!). Suddenly cognizant that they are eating Prague ham, the family is moved to repent, deciding to attend the service at the Reform temple. Having made post-service reserva- tions at Kempinsky's (a first-class restaurant), they hurry out, only to encounter traffic en route to the synagogue. While waiting in queue near the temple, the daughter discovers that the mother has ac- cidentally left her pearl-embroidered bro- cade and expensive earrings at home:

Die Damen waren untrostlich.

So in den Tempel gehen? Ohne jedes Ab

zeichen? Wie eine xbeliebige Kaufmanns-


Unmoglich. (596)

Since they view services as nothing more than an opportunity for conspicuous con- sumption, the wife and daughter want to return home to retrieve the jewelry. At the conclusion ofthe novella, the father whispers to the coachman, so that the other temple- goers will not overhear him: "Zu Kem- pinsky!"

At the same time that Salter is excoriat- ing Jewish parvenuism, he reveals his own presuppositions concerning Jewish identity and its boundaries. Why has the wife for- gotten her costly jewels in the first place? The mishap had resulted from adistraction prior to leaving for temple. Wealthy Gentile philanthropists pay a visit to seek a con- tribution for the conversion of black child- renin Southwest Africa to Christianity. The Kommerzienrat's wife does not quite com- prehend the matter in its entirety, but when a young "pet-philosopher" asks her if she thinks that the little 'Neger" should be converted to Judaism, she replies:

'Welch ein Einfall, Herr Doktor. Natiirlich zum Christenturn." Ob aber zum Christenturn katholischer oder evangelischer Richtung, das wuljte sie nicht zu sagen.


This discussion implicitly raises the question of which groups (or "races") are ultimately "convertible" or assimilable. The Kommer- zienrat's wife reveals the extent of her accul- turation in agreeing to answer this Lavateqhge, atest of national loyalty, In the visit of these "Delegierte des Vereins zur Bekehrung 'schwarzer' Negerkinder [!I in


Sudwestdrika," the Jewish parvenus are subtly associated with these African blacks. The implication is that the visitors perceive all Jews, regardless of status, as "white ~egroes.'*"

Three months later, in the December 1905 issue of Ost und West, another Salter parody of Berlin Tietgal*tenjuden appeared, entitled "Das Gluck des Hauses Lobenthal: Skizze aus Berlin W." Like the Aarenholds in Thomas Mann's Walsungenblut, the Lobenthals seek to marly their daughter off to a nobleman, a marriage of convenience which weds money to status. The difference between the novellas lies in the source of the betrayal perpetrated in each.

In Salter's story, the gentile, Baron Reck, turns out to be an impostor who steals money and jewelry from the Jews, whereas in Mann's novella the Jewish son, Sigmund, deflowers his sister, thus leaving her gentile fiance with "damaged goods." Despite these differences, both Salter and Mann depict the Jews as ruthless acculturators whose parvenuism knows no bounds. The Lo- benthals-an obvious change of surname- have repeatedly tried and failed to enter "good society." As classic assimilationists, they delude themselves that prestige will be theirs once their daughtel; with her "deep black Oriental eyes and aquiline nose" (799), has married the young Baron. The narrator's aperfu that the Lobenthals are received everywhere with open arms ("um so mehr, da sie stets mit offenen Handen kamen" [7981) presages Reck's chicanery at the sketch's end.

In contrast to the gentile fiance in Mann's novella, Baron Reck is portrayed as a decadent; thus, he is much closer to the Jewish Protz Sigmund. His cigarettes give off a 'blaulicher Rauch" (799), and "seine schlanke, aristohatisch bleiche Hand" (799)shakes nervously. He pretends to fear his parents' reaction to the marriage, how they might even withhold his inheritance. In the stoiy's denouement, Reck is absent from the engagement dinner. The duped Lobenthal finds a letter fro111 Reclr at his hotel, from which he has checkedout earlier that afternoon. Reck maintains in the note that his family has forced him to desist from his plans, and he apologizes for the 'lndis- kretion" which makes his heart "bleed" (800). Missing is also the jewelry provided by Lobenthal from which Reck was to choose a wedding gift for his betrothed. In the end, Lobenthal never seems to grasp that the Gentile has robbed him, anarrative irony sustained by Lobenthal's guileless ponderings (such as "Merkwurdigerweise," "Seltsam,""Ganz unbegeiflich" [800]). Par- ticularly incomprehensible to him is the cir- cumstance that the illustrious von Reck family "despite the most thoroughgoing investigations" was able to disguise its exis- tence so effectively (802). As in "Die Tem- pelfahrt," Salter exploits the new stereo- type of the Westernized Jewish parvenu in this sketch. The non-Jew is able to double- cross Lobenthal because of the latter's pathological desire to acculturate.

Whereas his 19th-centuiy nouveau riche precursors were tainted by their origins, Lobenthal has become completely dissociated from Eastern Jewish customs. Salter's sketch depicts the Western Jew as a degenerate assiinilator whose portrayal shares similarities with anti-Semitic ren- derings of Jewish pawenus. In addition, Lobenthal possesses negative characteris- tics previously reserved for Eastern Jewry: peed, exploitation, and marriage-broker- ing. Ultiinately, Salter failed to create a Jewish character with positive features. In this as in other fictions in Ost und West, negative stereotyping of Western Jewish parvenus proved to be the primary vehicle for imagining a new Jew.

At the height of Ost und West's "correc- tive" stereotyping between 1901 and 1906, the Western Jewish A-otz became the vir- tual embodiment of all Jewish parvenus throughout history. Having demonstrated that Ost und West marks a transition in the histo~yof the Jewish paivenu stereotype, I shall now explore why this transformation tookplace in Ost und West by reconstructing the editorial staff's attempts to influence the magazine's reception. In lieu of any detailed letters to the editor or reader protocols, I shall conclude with some im- pressions regarding the reception of the journal and its significance for the larger discourse about the Eastern Jew in Ger- many.

First, Ost und West's redefining of Jewish parvenuism was preceded by iinpor- tant political developments. Indeed, the rise of Jewish arriviste characters after 1903 may have been directly related to the political developments of 1903 concerning Eastern Jewry, Significant among these were, in particular, the Altneuland con- troversy and the Kishinev pogToms.

The Altneuland controversy (October 1902 to June 1903) marlred a critical junc- ture in the histo~y of Ost z~nd West and formed a revealing prelude to the Uganda Affair which subsequently divided the Zionist movement. In the fall of 1902, Ahad Ha'am wrote a scathing review of ALtneu- Land, Herzl's utopian novel,50 in the in- fluential Hebrew-language monthly Hczslzi- loaclz. Ost und West decided to print a translation of the critique. Before publish- ing, Winz, as ainatter ofcourtesy, sent Herzl advance proofs ofAhad Ha'ain's review, aslr- ing if he would lilre to publish a response side by side with it. Herzl, in a rage, hoarded the proofs and refused to respond to Winz. Instead, he commissioned his lieutenant Max Nordau to write a reply for the Zionist party organ Die Welt-a reply which reached evely important German-lanpage Jewish publication before the Ost ciently independent to risk offending the Zionist establishment, having collected enough investors and acquired enough capital himself to become the publisher of a newly incorporated Ost und West.53 The Altneuland incident unquestionably influenced Winz's choice ofcontributions after 1903; hence, the strong presence of the satirical sketches of Berlin Tiergcu.ten

judentum in the journal. Although Herzl continued to be beloved as an almost monar- chical figure within Jewish nationalist circles, it is not fanciful to suggest that these fictions were intended to evoke Herzl's own parvenu-lilre past and his status as a Ne~~anlzommling

in Jewish circles.

Another factor that encouraged the pub-

lication of parvenu narratives in Ost und

West were the Kishinev pogroms of 6-7

April 1903-incidentally, the same month

as Ost i~17d West's editorial replied to Nord-

au. Along with the numerous pogroms fol-

lowing the Revolution of 1905, "Kishinev"

provoked an international outcry which

was co~nparable to the protest later accom-

panying the Holocaust (or lzlzurbm), despite

the fact that those murdered, wounded, or

displaced in that wave of Russian pogroms

numbered "only" in the tho~sands.~4


latest reminders of violent anti-Semitism

likely favored the publication of fiction

where a ruthlessly acculturationist Jew or

Jewish Protz was condemned, and Ost und

West faithfully interspersed graphic photos

of Jews slain in self-defense.

While politics and pogroms help to ex-

plain the shifting image of the Jewish par-

venu in Ost und West, an analysis ofreader-

ship offers other insights into the genesis of

the new Jewish parvenu. Ost und West

"packaged" an Eastern brand of Jewish cul-

tural nationalism for a Western audience,

und West issue in question ever a~~eared.~l

but always from a discerning Eastern

As a result of this scandal, Winz, who hailed from Ukraine, privately charged Herzl with having behaved condescendingly toward him and toward the Eastern Jewish jour- nalists who comprised Ost i~nd West's editorial staff.52 By 1904, Winz was suffi- Jewish perspective in the editorial room. This packaging was accomplished by means of the conceptual shorthand of stereotyping, and particularly the stereo- typing of Berlin Jewish paivenus. Effective image-making is the province of publicity,


and Winz was a consummate public rela- tions man.

Despite hailingfrom Russia and Galicia, the editors of Ost und West made a consis- tent effort to seek out and address Western Jewish readerships. Nevertheless, they and other Ostjuden living in the West con- stituted one group of readers at whom the Western parvenu stereotype was directed.== These young, predominantly male 6migr6s had the benefit of a Western university education, but were neverthe- less loyal to Eastern Jewish culture and values. As critics of Western political Zionism, they sympathized with the Democratic Faction of the Zionist move- ment, a splinter g-roup inspired in part by Ahad Ha'am." This cultural Zionist circle included Chaim Weizmann, Martin Buber, Berthold Feiwel, and Leo Motzkin, and it sought to democratize the movement while actively promoting Jewish culture in the Diaspora prior to the establishment of a Jewish state. In fact, many of Ost und West's earliest contributors were associated with this faction, also known as the "cultural," the "secular," or the Yadical" Zionists. This group also tried to attract and co-opt the growing number of young Jews leaning in a socialist direction, specifically those in- clined toward the Bund or the Zionist Socialists, the Po'ale Zi0n.5~

Under the auspices of the jungjiidische Bewegung, many of the leading lights of the Democratic Faction worked to bring about a synthesis of the German youth movement with the incipient Western Jewish "Renais- san~e."~~

As in Eastern Europe, this new consciousness among young Westjuclen was in many respects a response to economic and racial anti-Semitism. More- over, in an epoch of increasing discrimina- tion in the universities and academic professions, the anti-parvenu narratives of Ost und West also encouraged solidarity among the German-Jewish Bildtcngsproletariat. Jewish men (and women) in their twenties saw their career prospects growing more dismal day by day. These young Jews (who had come of age after legal emancipation) reacted to becoming d6- class6 by ascribing assimilationism pri- marily to the German-Jewish Besitzburgerturn, i.e., to their fathers. The generation gap was also articulated in the Jewish nationalist challenge to the established


Similarly, conflicts ofJewish fathers and sons-as in Guggenheim's novella-were a frequent motif in the literaiy and historical narratives of Ost un.d West. It is no wonder that Jewish university students were ex- tremely susceptible to conversion. In Ber- lin, in the period 1873-1906, this group alone constituted 36% of converts of known occupation.60 By contrast, women of all ranlrs within Jewish society at this time were less likely than men to cut their ties with Judaism, although rates ofconversion were on the increase, particularly among lower middle-class women.61 As part of a wide-scale "outreach" program, Ost und Westand other purveyors of Jewish identity politics undertook to limit the damage by appealing to the allegiance of so-called Zlotzjuden (~n~liated

Jews who regarded themselves as Jewish). Unlike the converts, ?).otzjudenwere I~onfessionslos,6~

a choice regarded by many Jews as exhibiting in- teg~ity and character.63

Ost un.d West thus pursued a Kultic~*lzam~pf

against all forms of Jewish apos- tasy. Exposing the modest origins of many a nouveau riche Jew became something of a sport. It was not the excesses of all social climbers, but rather those of Jewislz social climbers, which Ost un.d West exploited as an admonitio judnica to its distinctive marlret: the 80% of German Jews classifi- able as belonging to the middle classes. Let us not forget that Ost un.d West was a proponent of a distinctive Jewish cultural nationalism of Eastern Jewish provenance. As such, the journal was interested above all in cu1tu1,al origins, and it consistently pointed up Eastern Jews as more "rooted" than their Western brethren. Ost und West radically contrasted Eastern Jewish cul-


ture and society with its Western counter- part. Jews from the East were generally held to be less acculturating, more obser- vant, less wealthy, more prolific, less inter- marrying, and more tolerant of Yiddish.64 All Jews, but especially arrivistes, were called upon to acknowledge their parents' (or grandparents') place of origin, be it Ger- many, Austria, Hungary, Galicia, the Buko- vina, Poland, or Russia.65 This requirement that Western Jews concede their Eastern backgrounds became more imperative when parrying attacks on Eastern Jews coming from nativist German anti-Semites, especially after the late 1870s. In repelling attacks on Eastern Jews by Jews and non- Jews alike, Ost und West directed its barbs against Western Jewish parvenus, i.e., those whose families had resided in the West for more than one generation. While success stories about Russian and Galician Jews who had built up business empires within one generation were not unheard-of, it was statistically more likely in the Second Reich that Jewish family dynasties had humble Western or Central European origins.66 In other words, for Ost und West, Jewish "arrivistes" included not only 'Yirst- generation parvenus" but all "parvenu" de- scendants of Jews from Western communities who had been born prior to 1871. Even so, in contrast to their class mobility, a number of actual Jewish parvenus remained religiously observant and sus- tained cultural and social ties with other Jews.67 Similarly, Ost und West never dis- tanced itself completely from Jewish religious tradition, which it envisioned as the cultural antecedent of Jewish secular nationalism.

Like all successful efforts in magazine publishing, Ost und West strove to make its readers desire something they had not pre- viously felt they needed. In this spirit, Ost und West constructed a Jewish nationalism which made ethnic particularity "desirable" to bourgeois Jewish Westerners. Under Winz's leadership, the journal delivered a consistent message: that cultural nation- alism could protect the interests of the Jewish middle classes in Germany.

Jewish audiences in Western Europe valued Ost und West because it combined ethnic separatism with acculturationist elements. Even though its program urged "deculturation," Ost und West was increas- ingly read by German Jews, both by those who adopted the existing Jewish subculture and by those who embraced the dominant culture and its mores. At the same time, the journal's respectable Jewish nationalism was also capable of appealing to an Eastern Jewish intelligent~ia.~~

Thanks in large measure to Ost und West, Jews began to internalize the judisclzer htz as a nega- tively marked Western Jew, entirely in and of the West. The reigning historiographical view that the Eastern Jews were the sole targets of "Jewish self-hatred" is therefore in need of revision.69

Ost und West's efforts at marketing Eastern Jewry by means of stereotyping the Western Jewish parvenu proved to be suc- cessful-and even profitable. Despite renewed anti-Semitism in Russia, Roma- nia, andGermany, 1906 was adecisive tran- sition year for Ost und West in the financial as well as the social arena. Winz's ultimate coup as a publisher was to secure an agree- ment in 1906 from the Alliance Isra6lite Universelle, whereby the Westernizing philanthropic organization agreed to finance part of the journal's production in exchange for space in the journal and dis- counted subscriptions for its 10,000 Ger- man membem70 That Winz himself may have been something of a parvenu after 1905, at least in the publishing world, is indicated by his relocation in 1907 to Ber- lin-Charlottenburg. While Winz never moved into the Tiergarten, the appraised value of Ost und West in 1914 was set at 250,000 marks (approximately two million present-day U.S. dollars).


Ost und West achieved trendsetting status in the world of GermanJewish jour- nalism. Seeking to profit from its success, three other major Jewish literary-cultural monthlies began publication during the Kaiserreich: Fritz Mordechai Kaufmann's Die Freistatt (1913-14), Buber's Der Jude (1916-24), and Neue jiidische Monatshefte (1916-23). Tovaryingdegrees, eachof these periodicals juxtaposed Eastern Jewish art and literature with negative images of the Jewish Geldprotz. All of thAm adopted the nonpartisanship of Ost und West, and Kaufmann and Buber each betrayed a good deal of envy toward Winz and his journal.71 Like Ost und West, these journals were Jewish nationalist in orientation. In addition, they made their ethnic particularism palatable to Jews and other would-be Bildungsburger by presenting themselves asan alternative to the existing Jewish publications in Ger- many, which they derided aspartisan or as low-brow "family" j~urnalism.~~

And each of these journals, like Winz's, placed an East-West Jewish rapprochement and a revival of Jewish ethnicity at the top of its agenda.

Many historians who are aware of its better-known imitators fail to note that Ost und West pioneered the advocacy of East European Jewry in the West long before the emergence in World War I ofwhat Gershom Scholem dubbed the "Cult of the Ost


The thriving Eastern Jewish im- migrant culture of the Weimar Republic also witnessed a final legacy of Ost und West: namely, the victory of the Jewish- nationalist Jiidische Volkspartei in a num- ber of Gemeinde elections in Germany during the 1920sa74As a middlebrow cul- tural institution, Ost und West did not just mirror the values and practices of Wilhel- minian Jewish culture; it also shaped Jewish self-representations in a constant exchange with its historical surroundings. By promoting negative stereotypes of Western-based Jewish arrivistes, Ost und West redefined Western Jewish identity.


lUntil1906, Oat udWest was subtitled 'lllu- strierte MonatsschriR fiir modernes Judentum," and &er that time, "Illustrierte MonatsschriR fiir das gesarnte Judentum." According to Winz's and independent estimates, the journal had anywhere from 16,000 to 20,000 subscribers in the period between 1906 and 1914. Allowing for families, cafhs, reading rooms, and libraries, these figures should be multiplied by a factor of three (or more). The Jewish population in Germany remained fairly stable near 625,000 in this period. (I would like to thank John Hoberman, Janet Swdar, and Katherine Arens for their comments on drafts of this essay.)

2Stereotypes are best characterized as "the products of normal cognitive processes by which individuals attempt to make sense of the world. They are affectedby the individual's psychology as well as her or his position within a larger group, along with that group's self-image"; see Mark Webber, "Intercultural Stereotypes," Die Unter- richtspruxis 23 (Fall 1990): 136. The three most common approaches to stereotyping are the cogni- tive, the psychoanalytic, and the sociocultural. For all the merit of the cognitive and psychological ap- proaches to stereotyping, I shall concentrate on the sociocultural approach, since it provides most ade- quately for the communicative system of peri- odicals, giving a framework for all levels in the process, includingproducer, text, and recipient. On imagining the Jew, see esp. Sander L. Gilman, Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race, and Madness (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985); Gilman, The Jew's Body (London: Routledge, 1991); Hans Mayer, Aupenseiter (Frankfurt: Suhr- kamp, 1975).

amere exists no comprehensive and compara- tive history of parvenuism, to my knowledge.

4For a collection of narratives drawn from pe- riodicals, see Jost Hermand's anthology Geschichten aus dem Ghetto (Frankfurt: Hain, 1990).

6The thesis of the "invisible community" stems from David Sorkin; see his The 'lFansformation of German Jewry, 1780-1840 (New York: Oxford UP, 1987).

60st und West's "Bekenntnis des Judentums" is implicit in its cover art of a seated Renaissance- costumed woman figure (the Jewish version of "Germania" or "Britannia"). In an allusion to the vanitas vanitatis, she gazes into a root which blos- soms into a bush of thorns.

'on embarrassment, see Shulamit Volkov, Jii


disches Leben und Antisemitismus im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Munich: Beck, 1990) 178-79. Apply- ing the arguments of Norbert Elias to relations between Eastern and Western Jews, Volkov claims that Schm (evincedby one's own social behavior) and Peinlichkit (evinced by others'behavior) con- stitute the emotional poles of Zivilisation; see Elias, &r den ProzeB der Zivilisation: Soziogene- tische und psychogenetische Untersuchungen Vol. 2 (Basel: Haus zum Falken, 1939) 397409,424-

34. See also Jack Wertheimer, Unwelcome Stran- gers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany

(New York: Oxford UP,1987) and Steven E. Aschheim, Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German Jewish Conscious- ness, 18OG1923 (Madison: Uof Wisconsin P, 1982).

qodd M. Endelman, 'The Social and Political Context of Conversion in Germany and England, 1870-1914," Jewish Apostasy in the Modern World,ed. Todd M. Endelrnan (New York: Holmes &Meier, 1987) 98. See also Felix A. Theilhaber, Der Untergang der deutschen Juden: Eine volkwirt- schaftliche Studie, 2nd ed. (Berlin: Jiidischer Verlag, 1921) 117. It is possible that as many as 100,000 converts and their children and grandchil- dren lived alongside 620,000 German Jews on the eve of World War I; see Gershom Scholem, "On the Social Psychology of the Jews in Germany, 1900-

wuater Geschaftsassimilanten geben, aber von ihnen zu denjenigen, denen der wirterchaftliche Antrieb die Suggestion und Autosuggestion er- leichtert, ist ein ungeheuer weiter Abstand. Ebenso zwischen denjenigen, deren wirtschaftli- che Motive streng eigenniitzige sind, und denjeni- gen, die sich vom wirtschdichen Interesse der Gesamtheit leiten lassen. Aber sie alle brauchen gar keine Entschuldigung, weil sie nicht schuldig sind. Sie stehen da, wo ihre apezifische Abstam- mung und ihr spezifisches Milieu sie hingestellt haben. Sie siindigen nicht, sie leben ihr Leben. Sie sind, ebenso wie wir, von Verantwortung freie Ele- mente des groRen Existenzkampfes, den das jiidi- sche Volk in sich fiihrt."From 'CEinige Bemerkun- gen iiber die Assimilation" (18971, as quoted in Die judische Moderne, ed. Henryk Broder (Augsburg: ~lbaum, 1989) 111. See also Birnbaum's "Das westjiidische Kulturproblem," Ost und West (Feb

ruary 1904): 73-88.

13For stereotyping of the parvenu as Eastern

Jewish in 17th- and 18th-century Germany, see

Moses A. Shulvass, From East to West: The West-

ward Migration of Jews from Eastern Europe

during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

(Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1971),passim. On the

court Jew (Hofjude)as a Western Jewish parvenu,

see Selma Stern, The Court Jew: A Contribution to

1922,"Jews and Germans fiom 1860 to 1933: T~Q the History of the Period of Absolutism in Central

Problematic Symbiosis, ed. David Bronsen (Hei- delberg: Winter, 1979).

gSee the discussion below of Brieger-Wasser- vogel's "Das alte Testament" in Ost und West (November 1901): 849-54, which exemplifies the nar- rative tradition of anti-apostate, anti-parvenu fictions.

1°For a discussion of the popularity of the Jewish parvenu in non-Jewish media, see the analysis of the Fliegende Bltitter in Henry Wasser- mann, 'The Fliegende Bltitter as a Source for the Social History of German Jewry,"Leo Baeck Insti- tute Year Book 28 (1983): 126.

llIn current usage, 'Wichtigtuer, Angeber, Prahler." According to Wassermann, 'Siidische Geldprotze" became common coinage in the late 19th century.

12Some Jewish nationalists at the turn of the century did not believe that the Western Jewish parvenu was as extreme as stereotyped. Nathan Birnbaum, who frequently wrote editorials under the pseudonym of "Mathias Acher" in Ost und West,maintained: ''Die Assimilanten sind mitnich- ten samt und sonders als so eine Art von Verratern anzusehen. Es mag wohl eine gewisse Anzahl be- Europe, trans. Ralph Weiman (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1950).

14Early essays on the Western Jewish parvenu in 0st und West include Alfred H. Fried, "Das soziale Motiv der Tracht und die Judenfrage," Ost und West (April 1903): 259-64 and Fabius Schach, "Zur Psychologie des Renegatentums," Ost und West (July 1903): 451-62.

15See Benedid Anderson, Imagined Commu- nities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London/New York: Verso, 1983).

16".4had Ha'am," i.e., "one of the people," was the pseudonym for Asher Giberg, the father of cultural Zionism.

171 understand "middle-brow" in two senses. Firstly, 0st und West tried to present content of a challenging, but not intellectual nature. Secondly, the journal was directed at a German-Jewish public which was by and large middle-class. On the genre of the cultural review (Kulturrundschau), see Karl Ulrich Syndram, Kulturpublizistik und nationdes Selbshrersttidnis (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1989).

18For more on German-Jewish women, see Marion Kaplan, The Making of the Jewish Middle


Chs (New York: Oxford UP, 1991),230-34. It ia worth noting that Felice Bauer introduced Franz Kafka to Ost und West in 1912.

l90n the Jewish salon women at the turn of the last century, see Deborah Hertz, Jewish High Society in Old RegimeBerlin (New Haven: Yale UP, 1988). On the ambivalent modem and traditional nature of German-Jewish women, see Kaplan passim.

NSee Marion A. Kaplan, 'Tradition and Tran- sition-% Acculturation, Assimilation, and Inte- gration of Jews in Imperial Germany-A Gender Analysis,"Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 27 (1982):


21In an age of competingclaima of what consti- tuted Jewishness, welfare and philanthropy became primary expressions of Jewish identity, especially Jewish female identity. In the 19th century, mutual-aid societies became widely devel- oped among German Jews. Between 1870 and 1899, no fewer than 297 new Jewish welfare asso- ciations (Wohlfahrtsvereine) were initiated in the Kaiserreich; see Kaplan, The Making of the Jewish Middle Chs 202-04. Not coincidentally, the years between 1896 and 1914 represent the most pros- perous period in an otherwise economically de- pressed Imperial Germany.


Josefa Metz, "Siinde," Ost und West (May 1904): 341-48; and A. Warszawski (probably, a pseudonym for Segel), "Die Lehrerin. Eine Skizze nach dem Leben," Ost und West (May 1913): 389- 94; (June 1913): 445-58.

23~ccording to Kaplan: 'The wealthy Jewish woman who married the penniless Prussian aris- tocrat or officer was a well-known but not particu- larly representative type. Although Jewish demog- raphers have suggested that between 1874 and 1884 it was 'particularly fashionable' for poor Prus- sian nobles to marry wealthy Jewish women, with the growth of anti-Semitism in the early 1880s, these marriages, despite the attractiveness of wealth, were seen as racial misalliances and de- clined in frequency"; Kaplan, The Making of the Jewish Midclle Class 81.

24~eeGeorge Mosse, Nationalism and Sexual

ity (Madison: U of Wisconsin, 1985).

25Taken from Ost und West (January 1901): 2 (my emphasis). The emphasis on "ethnic Jewry" is corroborated by the preferred usage in Ost und West of "Stammesjude." Ost und West tended to reject myths of racial chosenness, especially ifused to compensate for an individual's parvenuism.

26~eitschke'sexact quotation is: 'aer unsere

Ostgrenze . . . dringt Jahr fiir Jahr auer der uner- schopflichen polnischen Wiege eine Schaar streb- samer hoeenverkaufender Jiinglinge herein, deren Kinder und Kindeskinder dereinst Deutschlands Borsen und Zeitungen beherrschen sollen; die Ein- wanderung wachst zusehenda und immer ernster wird die Frage, wie wir dies fremdevolksthum mit dem unseren verschmelzen k6nnenn; see Wnsere Aussichten," Preupische Jahrbucher (1879), as quoted in Der Berliner Antisemitismusstreit, ed. Walter Boehlich (Frankfurt: Insel, 1988) 112.

2'In the Jewish tradition, the basis for the Western parvenu stereotype are the Hebrew- language debates on the Haskalah (Jewish En- lightenment), where Enlighteners UMaskilim) and Western-style Jews-the parvenus of the shtetl- are satirized as daytshe. To date, there is no ex- haustive survey of these figures.

Z8See Itta Shedletzky, "Some Observations on the Popular Zeitroman in the Jewish Weeklies in Germany from 1870-1900," Canadian Review of Comparative Literature1 Revue Canadienne de Littirature Comparie 9 (Sept. 1982): 34946. See also Hans Otto Horch, Aufder Suche nach derju- dischen Erzdzlliteratur: Die Literaturkritik der 'Nllgemeinen Zeitung des Judentums" (18371922)(Bern: Lang, 1985).

290n Berlin specifically, see Katherine Roper, German Encounters with Modernity: Novels of Im- perial Berlin (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities P International, 1991) 14663.

30~eeMikhail M. Bakhtin, Speech Genres and OtherLate Essays, trans. Vern W. McGee, ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: U of Texas P, 1986).

31For background to Ost und West's pro-Eastern imagolow, w the series of photographs in Ost und West (1901: 673-74) which depicts the physical transformation of Russian-Jewish immigrants to Germany over four generations; entitled "Die Transformation der russischen Juden," it was probably authored by Simon Bernfeld.

32~hristopherHutton, "Freud and the Family Drama ofYiddish,"Studies in Yiddish Linguistics, ed. Paul Wexler (Tiibingen: Niemeyer, 1990) 21.

33~heNaturalist subgenre of the satirical sketch proves an excellent vehicle for the propagat- ing of these stereotypes. As a "modern" magazine keeping pace with literary fashion, Ost und West was attracted by the Berlin Naturalism in its own backyard. The dominant prose genre of the Moderne, the Shizte, can be defined as follows: 'Was daer Marchen fiir die Romantik geweeren war, wurde die 'Studie' fiir den Naturalismus, denn wie die romantische Weltanschauung in jener Form


zur vollen Entfaltung gekommen war, realisierte sich in dieser Form der von den Naturalisten er- strebte Lebensausschnitt ohne Anfang und Ende als Schilderung eines rein qualitativ gesehenen, nie als 'komplett' anzugebenden Milieus. Man schuf keine eigengesetzliche Welt mehr. Man'studierte' und beschrieb wissenschaftlich blo13 die gegebene, von der man-weil sie rein quantitativ verstanden wurde-lediglich eine 'Skizze' bieten konnte"; Roy Cowen, "Naturalismus," Geschichte der deutschen Literatur, ed. Ehrhard Bahr, Vol. 3 (Tiibingen: Francke, 1988) 135.

34Brieger-Wasservogel (1879-1949), more commonly known as 'Brieger," was born in Zurchau, the son of an optometrist who was also a composer. Brieger spent most of his life as a book dealer in Berlin-Charlottenburg. His novel RerG Richter: die Entwicklung eines modernen Juden. Berliner Roman in 3 Buclwrn (Berlin: Schroder, 1906) is his best-known work on German Jewry. Further references are to the relevant year of Ost und West with column numbers in parentheses.

35The term "Altes Testament" underlines Goldstein's distance from Jewish traditions. The traditional terms would be tanalzh, torah (toyre), or Khumesh. The double meaning of 'Testament" as "witness" and "will" was the subject of many jokes by German Jews and Eastern Jews.

360ne military officer asks the other what such an interethnic couple is doing together. The other quips: 'Wahrscheinlich will er [i.e., Goldstein] ihre alten Kleider kaufen" (849).

371n response to the prevailing stereotype of the Jew as weak, feminine, and malleable, Western Jews-liberals and nationalists alike- stress the image of masculinity epitomized in Max Nordau's call for a tough Muslzeljc~dentum. The Jewish parvenu was also frequently characterized as weak in morals and weak in will power. Hence, Ost und West, in its rhetoric, compensates by proving that Jewish nationalism is more "mascu- line" than Jewish liberalism.

38Brieger-Wasservogel's didactic, ahistorical , Zionism purveys stereotypes and does not explain that Jews were restricted for centuries to professions in trade and commerce.

39The contest, while an excellent marketing idea, was beet by problems. Fist disseminated in "Unsere Preisschreiben," Ost und West (February 1902): 129-30, the results were not announced until the September issue; 'Der Rabbi" appeared later (Nov. 1902): 767-78; and the art contest, to be juried by E. M. Lilien, Hermann Struck, and Leser Ury, never even came to fruition. Thejudges of the literary contest, Theodor Lessing, Fabius Schach, and Berthold Feiwel, were all known for their use of literary stereotyping. Lessing himself was known for excoriating Eastern Jews, and went on to write the first explicitly titled work on Jewish self-hatred (Judischer Selbsthap, 1923). For his part, Schach was a persistent advocate of the Jewish psychological novel well into the 1920s; he also indulged in reverse stereotyping in an article praising Yiddish (Ost und West, March 1901). Feiwel, a major voice in the call for a Jewish Zeit- roman, maintained in his anthology Judischer AL manach (Berlin: Jiidischer Verlag, 1902) that Jews possessed a "rassentiimlicher Einschlag," that is, a racially-based element.

40~eeHorch 240.

41"Mauschel" was reprinted in the special Herzl issue of Ost und West (August-September 1904): 545-50.

420n Herzl, see Ernst Pawel, The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989).

43~tthis time, Ost und West competed in re- producing these images with Simplicissimus and Fliegende Bltitter and, later, with the Zionist satire magazine Der Schlemiel, of which Winz was the original publisher. See Der Schlemiel: Illustriertes

judisches Blatt fur Humor und Satire (Berlin:

1903-05, 1919-23, and irregularly), a spin-off of

Ost und West.

44Roughly 10% of the Berlin population at the turn of the century was Jewish.

45See especially Sammy Gronemann, Erinne- rungen (19481, an unpublished memoir at Leo Baeck Institute New York, 13637.

46~etween1900 and 1905, the foreign Jewish population of Berlin nearly doubled, rising from 11,615 to 18,316. Yet, in the census of 1910, of 137,000 Jews in Greater Berlin, only 15.8% were born outside the Reich. Moreover, only 9.5% of all Jews in Greater Berlin were "Ostjuden," i.e., from Russia, Galicia, or Romania. See Gabriel Alexan- der, "Die Entwicklung der jiidischen Bevolkerung in Berlin zwischen 1871 und 1945," Tel Auiuer Jahrbuch fir deutsche Geschichte 20 (1991): 287-


47Siegbert Salter (pseudonym for Simon Salomon) was born in 1873 in Speicher near Trier. Son of a businessman, he studied in Bonn, Heidel- berg, and Berlin, and later lived in Paris, London, Milan, writing for popular magazines such as Die Koralle, Die Zeit im Bilde, Das Leben im Bilde, and even editingone: Europa aufReise. The first fiction of Salter's printed in Ost und West was 'Kleine


Ursachen.. ."(Odober 1904): 709-14 and featured disposition, see Pawelpassim.

a parvenu Jew. The eleven-year-old Jewish hero of the novella, Mlixchen, inherits the hypocrisy of the older generation, growing into a self-hating as- similationist as an adult. The sketch is not, however, set among Berlin Tiergartenjudentum.

*On Mann's Wdsungenblut, see Jacques Darmaun, "Thomas Mann und die Juden--eine Kontroveree? Thomas Manns Bild des Judentums bis zur Weimarer Republik," Kontroversen, dte und neue: &ten des VII.Internationalen Gemnistenhongresses, Gttingen 1985. Vol. 5: Aweinandersetzungen um jiddische Spmche und Litera- tur; Judische Komponenten in der deutschen Literatur--die Assimilationshntroverse, ed. Albrecht Schone, Walter Rolle, and Hans-Peter Bay- erdorfer (Tiibingen: Niemeyer, 1986) 208-14. See also Mark H. Gelber, UDas Judendeutsch in der deutschen Literatur: Einige Beispiele von den frii- hesten Lexika bis zu Gustav Freytag und Thomas Mann," Juden in der deutschen Literatur: Ein deutsch-ismelisclzes Syrnposion, ed. Stephane Moses and Albrecht Schone (Frankfurt: Suhr- kamp, 1986) 173. See also Ruth Angress-Kliiger, "Jewish Characters in Thomas Mann's Fiction," Horizonte: Festschrifi fur Herbert Lehnert zum 65. Gkburtstag, ed. Hannelore Mundt, Egon Schwarz, William J.Lillyman (nbingen: Niemeyer, 1990): 161-72.

49~he usage may have originated with Houston Stewart Chamberlain. See also Clemen- tineKramer's sketch "GetauR," Ost und West (Jan. 1913): 77-80, which offers the analogy that blacks cannot become white by means of a ceremony. The Zionist satire journal Der Schlemiel also stereo- typed blacks in order to elevate Jews. See, for instance, theMarch 1904 issue, or any issue with the 'Brief aus Afrika."

50~erzl'sprogrammatic book, published in October 1902, cannot be discussed fully in this context. It is sufficient to note that cultural Zion- ists-that is, those Zionists such as Ahad Ha'am who advocated the spiritual and cultural regener- ation of the Jewish people and notjust the renewal of national sovereignty-reacted very critically, focusing on Herzl's negative cliches of the Hebrew andYiddish languages, of narrow-minded Eastern Jewish nationalists, and of assimilationist Jews.

51See Nordau's trenchant reply "Achad Ha'am iiber Altneuland," Die Welt (13 March 1903): 1-5. Ost und West's editorial, '9ie Juden von Gestern" (April 1903): 217-26, was probably penned by Bin- jamin Segel, but did not quite match Nordau's per- formance in its acerbity. On Herzl's monarchical

5wi's letter of 15 August 1903 to Adolf Frie- demann (who also supported Ahad Ha'am in the Altneuland controversy) in Michael Heymann, The Uganda Controversy (Jerusalem: Israel UP, 1970) 1: 68-71.

53See the Wlnz file A 136 at the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem.

54After 1880, each pogrom was woree than the previous one, and they also occurred with greater frequency. According to David Roskies, "in allthe pogroms of 1881-1883, fewer Jews were killed than in Kishinev during Passover of 1903. The forty-nine casualties of Kishinev, in turn, paled before the 800 dead in the pogroms of 1905-1906. . . . To compound the irony, each wave of violence was preceded by a period of hope: the pogroms of the 1880s followed the liberalization under Alex- ander 11. Kishinev was supposed to usher in a century of promise . . . ";see Roskies, Against the Apocalypse: Responses to Catastrophe in Modern Jewish Culture (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984) 82ff.

550n "interpretive communities," see Stanley

E. Fish, Is There A Tat in This Class? The Author- ity of Interpretive Communities (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1980). Unfortunately, there are no surviving reader testimonies on which to base a Rezeptionsgeschichte of Ost und West.

56Their champions also included Berdichevsky, who privileged the Israelite prophecy of the Bible over fossilized Exilic halalchuh. The Faction, often to the chagrin of Herzl, opposed po- litical Zionism and its religious allies (rabbis, preachers, clerics) in the Mizrachi faction of the organization. Moreover, they protested against the nondemocratic party organization, though they were criticized for being too elitist and too intellec- tual themselves.

57Appealing to the Bund was a sign of a dilemma in Ost und West's ideological program. In favor of tolerance toward "backwardJ' Eastern Jewish culture, Ost und West sought at the same time to be "modern," i.e, to be scientific and cul- tured according to Western principles.

580st und West's contribution to the so-called Jewish Renaissance went hand in hand with the vogue of the Moderne, i.e., of literary Naturalism, artistic Jugendstil, and of secular Jewish culture. On the young Jewish avant-garde, see Mark H. Gelber, "The jungjudische Bewegung: An Unexplored Chapter in German-Jewish Literary and Cultural History," Leo Bmck Institute Year Book 31 (1986): 105-19.


THEGERMAN Spring 1993

590n class and Jewish students, see Norbert Kampe, "Jews and Anti-Semites at Universities in Imperial Germany (I): Jewish Students: Social History and Conflict," Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 30 (1985): 357-94. Seealso Aschheim 191 and Hans Dieter Hellige, "Generationskonflikt, Selbst- ha13 und die Entstehung anti-kapitalistischer Po- sitionen im Judentum: Der Einflulj des Antisemi- tismus auf dae Sozialverhalten jiidischer Kaufmanns- und UnternehmersBhne im Deut- schen Kaiserreich und in der K. u. K. Monarchie," Geschichte und Gesellschaft 5 (1979): 476-518.

@Arthur Ruppin, Die Juden der Gegenwart: Eine sozialwissenschaftliche Studie (Berlin: Jiidi- scher Verlag, 1920).

61Kaplan, 'Tradition and Transition" 18.

@That is, they had renounced their member- ship in the Jewish community by choosing not to pay Gerneindesteuer.Jews formed the overwhelm- ing number of this class of Germans who were officially classified as bnfessionslos.

63Even the anti-Semitic Court Preacher Adolf SGcker preferred Dotzjuden over converts and modernized, enlightened Jews; see Binjamin Segel,Die Entdeckungsreise des Herrn Dr. Theodor Lessing zu den Ostjuden (Lemberg: Hatikwah, 1910) 49.

G4See especially Ezra Mendelssohn, The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983) 42.

65Thus, at a meeting with Berlin's liberal Jewish representatives who were inveighing against Eastern Jewish infiltration, the Zionist leader Alfred Mee went round the room and dem- onstrated that without exception those present were themselves from Posen, Breslau, or Poland, or, at the very least, had forefathers from that part of the world. See Gronemann 407.

@See n. 13, above.

G7For examples, see Werner Mosse, The German-Jewish Economic Elite, 1820-1 935 (New York: Oxford UP, 1991).

68~till,this community of readers already had

Russian, Hebrew, and Yiddish journals at its dis-


define "Jewish self-hatred" as a form of

Jewish anti-Semitism fied to subgroups within

Jewish ranks. One caveat is, however, in order:

open, hard-hitting speech about Jews in the Kaiserreich cannot be automatically termed anti- Semitic. As Henry Wassermann maintains: "Selfhatred may have been endemic to intellectuals; the majority of German Jews managed to exist without recourse to it." Whereas conventional ac- counts of Jewish "self-hatred" locate Jews as trapped between conflicting cultures, and de- nouncing their native one, "German Jews, like other minorities, could adhere to conflicting posi- tive reference groups for generations with minimal psychological damage"; see Wassermann 138. More tolerant of ambiguity, German Jews "ap- peared to be capable of being amused at the expense of another, conflicting part [of Jewry], without renouncing either part"; ibid. 135. For a different view on Jewish self-hatred, see Sander L. Gilman, Jewish Self-Hatred (Baltimore: Johns

Hopkins UP, 1986).

70See the contracts in subfde "J3erlifli" at the archives of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris.

71See Buber's letter to Herzl of 26 May 1903, in Briefwecl~elus sieben Jaltrzehnten, ed. Grete Schaeder (Heidelberg: Lambert Schneider, 19721, 197 and Jehuda Reinharz, Chaim Weizmann (New York: Oxford UP, 1985), 183-85. On Kauf- mann, see the first issues of Die Freistatt.

72Like the "new ethnicity" present in the

United States today, the new Stmnmesbewuptsein

can be thought of as a way for ethnic elites (from

the middle classes upward) to maintain their eco

nomic and political influence over their perceived

ethnic constituencies; see Richard H. Thompson,

Theories of Ethnicity: A Critical Reappraisal

(Westport: Greenwood Press, 1989). On the re-eth- nification of elites, see also Joshua A. Fishman, Ideology, Society & Language: The Odyssey of Nathan Birnhm (AnnArbor: Karoma, 1987) 6465,85.

73GershomScholem,From Berlin to Jerusalem

[expanded Hebrew edition] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved,

1982) 47. On the status of Eastern Jewry in

Germany aRer World War I, see Trude Maurer,

Ostjuden in Deutschland 1918-1933 (Hamburg:

Christians, 1986).

74See Mchael Brenner, 'The Jiidische Volks-

partei-National-Jewish Communal Politics

during the Weimar Republic," Leo Bueck Institute

YearBook 35 (1990): 21W4.

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