Stadt ohne Jüdinnen

Lisa Silverman

in Becoming Austrians

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199794843
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950072 | DOI:
Stadt ohne Jüdinnen

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter examines how Hugo Bettauer’s 1923 novel The City Without Jews explicitly addresses the way in which the presence of Jews in interwar Vienna was in fact conditional upon their accepting an abstract form of their own “absence.” By omitting Jewish women from the text, the book also reveals how Jewish men predicated the possibility of their own presence upon the effacement of Jewish women. The implications of this gendered absence are explored via examples from the publishing industry. Publishers provided opportunities for Jewish women to earn a living as writers, translators, and literary agents, but only at the price of strictly limiting their content. Vicki Baum was more successful in the German market, but the rigidity with which she was marketed as a New Woman by her Jewish publishers in Berlin indicates the strict limits placed upon her visibility in the public sphere. Ironically, those same limits allowed Austrian writers like Mela Hartwig to experiment with less mainstream writing styles and content, albeit at the cost of Jewish visibility. The lives of these writers underscore the various ways in which Austrian literature—and its accompanying rules of consumption—framed the condition of Jewish “absence.”

Keywords: Hugo Bettauer; Vicki Baum; Mela Hartwig; publishing; absence; New Woman; Jewish visibility

Chapter.  16077 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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