Marion A. Kaplan

in Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171648
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199871346 | DOI:

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This chapter shows that the family became an object of fascination and idealization in the “bourgeois century.” Like other 19th-century members of the bourgeoisie, Jews made family a central value and symbol. Far more than an ideology or a vehicle for acculturation, the family provided social sustenance as well as financial support, business resources, and connections. But family in and of itself did not lead to bourgeois respectability. Only a family that exhibited the traits of what Germans called Bildung — education and cultivation — would do. Bildung appealed to Jews because one did not have to be born into it. It could be acquired at the university, in cultured circles, and in a family of good breeding. Moreover, Bildung could be joined to Jewish ethnic and religious identities.

Keywords: German Jews; family; Bildung; bourgeoisie

Chapter.  9311 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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