In Private: The Daily Lives of Jewish Women and Families, 1933–1938

Marion A. Kaplan

in Between Dignity and Despair

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130928
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854486 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Jewish History

In Private: The Daily Lives of Jewish Women and Families, 1933–1938

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The chapter relates how Jewish women reinvented and expanded their roles within their families and the community in order to adjust to the rapidly deteriorating situation. The focus is on individual lives, which were not affected much by the Nazi government's broad antisemitic policies but were instead pummeled by particular social decrees resulting in cruelty and humiliation. The impact varied across individual lives through gender, wealth, and even marital status. To cope, Jews closed ranks in friendship and community organizations such as the League of Jewish Women. Others turned to Zionism. Within households, Jewish women were forced to assume new roles and responsibilities and families were confronted with the issue of emigration, which the Nazi government exerted all efforts to promote. The chapter ends with a discussion on the hindrances to migration which include gender attitudes among Jews, the lack of financial means, and the threat of confiscation and plunder.

Keywords: Jews; Jewish women; Nazi government; antisemitic policies; League of Jewish Women; Zionism; emigration

Chapter.  10379 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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