GERMAN AND JEW by John K. Dickinson


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A need to understand motivates this story of a German Jew who came to perform ""a role which other man have condemned out of hand,"" that of collaboration with the Nazis in settling the Jewish ""problem"" in Germany before and during World War II. Sigmund Stein grew up in a Hessian village, a member of the only Jewish family in Bachdorf. He attended a Jewish school, then the gymnasium and university. Serving the Kaiser in World War I, he earned the Iron Cross. He became a lawyer in the only Jewish firm in Hochburg, but official anti-Semitism destroyed the firm, leaving him as an ""adviser"" in retirement to the Jewish community. It was in this role that, spared deportation because of his usefulness, he counselled and participated in Jewish emigration, which, one is obliged to conclude (it is never said outright), included the move to concentration camps. Ultimately, after three attempts to emigrate, he was deported to Theresienstadt and disappeared in 1945. A painstaking study, more successful in its portrayal of the course of Jewish life in Germany than in that of Stein himself, who remains a shadowy figure in the center of the picture. This will be of interest mainly to professional students of social dynamics, the Treblinka thesis exemplified.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Quadrangle