Post-Holocaust Jewish Masculinity in German-Speaking Europe

  • Carson Phillips
Keywords: Jewish Masculinity, Post-Holocaust, Europe

Abstract

A rich body of scholarship has emerged which analyses the crisis of masculinity in German-speaking Europe following the end of the Second World War. The specific area dealt with in this essay covers the constructs of masculinity exhibited by German-speaking Jewish men who chose to remain in a German-speaking country after the war. Such men faced challenging circumstances as many official Jewish organisations declared Germany to be off-limits for the establishment or re-establishment of Jewish communities. Indeed, the World Jewish Congress passed a resolution in 1948 stating that Jews would never again settle on the "bloodstained soil of Germany".  A critical and interpretive analysis of three memoirs demonstrates how models of Jewish masculinity were carefully constructed and performed, and how they were influenced by the effects of the Holocaust. These memoirs serve as exemplars of why some Jewish men felt almost compelled to live in the lands so deeply connected with the destruction of more than two thirds of European Jewry. They offer new information about the fragility, the resilience, and the evolutionary nature of Jewish masculinities.

Published
2018-06-08