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Broadening Jewish History$
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Todd M. Endelman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113010

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113010.001.0001

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The Social and Political Context of Conversion in Germany and England 1870–1914

The Social and Political Context of Conversion in Germany and England 1870–1914

(p.95) Chapter Five The Social and Political Context of Conversion in Germany and England 1870–1914
Broadening Jewish History

Todd M. Endelman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Jews who left Judaism in the decades before the First World War and who were not attracted by the spiritual truths or ethical values of Christianity. It discusses disaffiliation as a hallmark of modern Jewish history in the West in which the flow out of Judaism was not equally strong in all countries and among all strata of Jewish society. It also analyses the characteristic patterns of drift and defection that emerged in every country or region bearing the impress of larger social and political conditions. The chapter talks about the temptation to abandon Judaism, which increased from 1870 to 1914, when rising antisemitism called into question Jewish integration into state and society with unprecedented intensity. It refers to England and Germany as states with dissimilar political cultures and social systems, which illuminates the history of the Jewish communities there.

Keywords:   First World War, Judaism, Christianity, Jewish history, Jewish society

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