Jewish Identities in German Popular Entertainment, 1890-1933

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At the turn of the century, German popular entertainment was a realm of unprecedented opportunity for Jewish performers. This study explores the terms of their engagement and pays homage to the many ways in which German Jews were instrumental in the birth of an incomparably rich world of popular culture. It traces the kaleidoscope of challenges, opportunities and paradoxes Jewish men and women faced in their interactions with predominantly gentile audiences. Modern Germany was a society riddled by conflicts and contradictory impulses, continuously torn between desires to reject, control and celebrate individual and collective difference. This book demonstrates that an analysis of popular entertainment can be one of the most innovative ways to trace this complicated negotiation throughout a period of great social and political turmoil.