In July 1960, a small group of German Jews held a ceremony in a Jewish cemetery in the Franconian city of Würzburg to honor eighteen Jewish soldiers who perished while fighting for Germany in World War I. This remembrance ceremony was remarkable because it revealed the extent of Jewish participation in German society. This book explores the many different ways in which the German-Jewish soldiers of World War I have been commemorated from the time of the conflict up to the late 1970s. In addition to discussing how collective memory and the politics of the past have evolved over time, it reconsiders German-Jewish life during the twentieth century as well as German history, and also examines how the involvement of German Jews in World War I gradually came to be regarded as a history of persecution and disillusionment. The book demonstrates that the Jews' relations with other Germans did not end abruptly with the war, but persisted in many areas of daily life, through the Weimar Republic and into the early years of Nazi Germany, and reappeared after 1945.
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