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Title: German politics and the 'Jewish Question', 1914-1919
Author: Linares, Lucia Juliette
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 146X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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The First World War confronted German politicians with a range of unprecedented, vital questions in the spheres of domestic as well as foreign policy. As the fortunes of war shifted, so did borders, populations and national allegiances. In a period of acute and almost constant political crisis, the German government faced issues concerning citizenship, minority rights, religious identity, nationhood and statehood. My dissertation analyses these issues through the prism of the so-called 'Jewish Question'. The Jewish Question, I contend, casts important new light on Germany’s difficult path towards a new democratic and pluralistic constitution in 1919. Jewish questions revealed the paradoxes of German state-building and the difficulties of breaking down older forms of corporate identity for the sake of national-cultural homogeneity. My principal aim in this dissertation is to offer a novel interpretation of the role that the 'problem' of German Jewry played in the political debates and decisions that paved the way for the Weimar Republic. The relevant historiography still tends to read the Jewish Question with hindsight, that is, in the context of the Holocaust and from a social or cultural historical perspective. While it does not ignore the short- and long-term effects the Jewish Question had on the rise of German antisemitism, my dissertation stresses its contingency and ambivalence. It offers the first sustained examination of the ways in which questions about German-Jewish citizenship and religious as well as national identity shaped the politics of the last Imperial government and influenced the processes of parliamentarisation and democratisation in the final years of the war. The Jewish Question, I argue, affords revealing new perspectives on the difficult birth of the Weimar Republic.
Supervisor: Ruehl, Martin Alexander Sponsor: HM Government of Gibraltar ; Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Imperial Germany ; Jewish Question ; Nation-state ; Citizenship ; Nationality ; Minority rights ; Weimar Republic ; Paris Peace Conference ; First World War ; Zionism