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Weimar Film and Modern Jewish IdentityThe Jews Have No Shame: The “Jewish Tragedy” in Weimar Urban Comedies

Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity: The Jews Have No Shame: The “Jewish Tragedy” in Weimar... [At first glance, the film A Family Day at the Prellsteins (Familientag im Hause Prellstein, 1927) is a visual dramatization of the postemancipation anti-Semitic discourse in Germany. The “typical” Jewish family of the film answers the worst stereotypes associated with Jewish appearance, behavior, and values: the greedy husband loses his fortune in a card game and dishonorably escapes from his debtors without even notifying his wife; his best friend, a scrawny, childish man—displaying a giant “Jewish” nose—slyly works his way into the wife’s bed and conspires to trick the debtors; and the old uncle, rich and miserly, comes to the rescue, explaining his action in terms of an ethnic—arguably racist—notion of loyalty (“blood is blood!”). As the story develops the spectators are exposed to various anti-Semitic clichés that explain the authentic qualities that differentiate Jews from other Germans, despite the former’s attempt to conceal them1: the avaricious Jew cannot value genuine love; he compensates physical weakness with secret scheming, sexual manipulation, miserliness, and dubiously acquired capital; and, mainly—as practically every character in the film demonstrates—he has no shame. Moreover, the film tells a story of acting, faking, and lying that aims to conceal these conspicuous characteristics, to hide or downplay the stereotypically Jewish objectives and behavior.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Weimar Film and Modern Jewish IdentityThe Jews Have No Shame: The “Jewish Tragedy” in Weimar Urban Comedies

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References (11)

Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2012
ISBN
978-1-349-34419-2
Pages
17 –42
DOI
10.1057/9781137010841_2
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[At first glance, the film A Family Day at the Prellsteins (Familientag im Hause Prellstein, 1927) is a visual dramatization of the postemancipation anti-Semitic discourse in Germany. The “typical” Jewish family of the film answers the worst stereotypes associated with Jewish appearance, behavior, and values: the greedy husband loses his fortune in a card game and dishonorably escapes from his debtors without even notifying his wife; his best friend, a scrawny, childish man—displaying a giant “Jewish” nose—slyly works his way into the wife’s bed and conspires to trick the debtors; and the old uncle, rich and miserly, comes to the rescue, explaining his action in terms of an ethnic—arguably racist—notion of loyalty (“blood is blood!”). As the story develops the spectators are exposed to various anti-Semitic clichés that explain the authentic qualities that differentiate Jews from other Germans, despite the former’s attempt to conceal them1: the avaricious Jew cannot value genuine love; he compensates physical weakness with secret scheming, sexual manipulation, miserliness, and dubiously acquired capital; and, mainly—as practically every character in the film demonstrates—he has no shame. Moreover, the film tells a story of acting, faking, and lying that aims to conceal these conspicuous characteristics, to hide or downplay the stereotypically Jewish objectives and behavior.]

Published: Nov 6, 2015

Keywords: Jewish Identity; Private Sphere; Card Game; Social Segregation; Behavioral Code

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