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Unformatted text preview: Stolen Manhood? German-Jewish Masculinities in the Third Reich, 1933-1945 by Sebastian Huebel Bachelor of Arts, Thompson Rivers University, 2003 Master of Arts, University of Victoria, 2009 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (History) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) June 2017 © Sebastian Huebel, 2017 Abstract When the Nazis came to power in Germany, they used various strategies to expel German Jews from social, cultural and economic life. My dissertation focuses on gendered forms of discrimination which had impacts on Jewish masculine identity. I am asking how Jewish men experienced these challenges and the undermining of their self-understandings as men in the Third Reich. How did Jewish men adhere to pre-established gender norms and practices such as the role of serving as the providers and protectors of their families? How did Jewish men maintain their sense of being patriotic German war veterans and members of the national community? And finally, how did Jewish men react to being exposed to the physical assaults and violence that was overwhelmingly directed against them in prewar Germany? These central questions form the basis of my study of Jewish masculinities in the Third Reich. I argue that Jewish men’s gender identities, intersecting with categories of ethnicity, race, class and age, underwent a profound process of marginalization that undermined their accustomed ways of performing masculinity; yet at the same time, in their attempts to sustain their conception of masculinity they maintained sufficient agency and developed coping strategies to prevent their full-scale emasculation. Jewish men adapted to their persecution by finding alternative employment, assuming an increased presence in the domestic sphere as fathers and husbands; maintaining an emotional spiritual-belonging to Germany; resisting their sexual-racial classification as racial defilers; minimizing physical victimization in concentration camps and the public by embodying military virtues like strength and discipline; and finally developing gendered survival strategies living as “illegals” in the underground during the years of the Holocaust. In their totality of perceptions, reactions and often overlapping coping strategies, Jewish men comprised a heterogenous group of marginalized men who with their families strove to have normal lives in Nazi Germany. ii Lay Summary This dissertation examines the lives of German Jewish men in Nazi Germany through the lens of gender. I show how the Nazis sought to emasculate Jewish men by way of propaganda, law and physical violence, and how in turn masculine selfunderstandings, perceptions and identities changed under Nazi rule. When their adherence to hegemonic, mainstream practices of masculinity were challenged and undermined, many Jewish men turned to despondent, depressive and even suicidal behaviors, but others were able to negotiate their new status by developing coping mechanisms that allowed them to defy emasculation and adapt – at least temporarily – to their marginalized status as men. iii Preface This dissertation is the original, unpublished, independent work by the author, S. Huebel. iv Table of Contents Abstract……………..…………………………………………………………………………....ii Lay Summary…..…………………………………………………………………………….….iii Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………...iv Table of Contents…..…………………………………………………………………………….v List of Figures…...…………………………………………………………………………...….vi Image and Photo Credits………………………………………………………………………..vii List of Abbreviations……..…………………………………………………………………..ix Acknowledgements…..………………………………………………………………………......x Dedication…...…………………………………………………………………………………..xi Introduction…..…………………………………………………………………………………..1 Chapter 1. German Jews and Military Masculinity ………...………………………………….22 Chapter 2. The Question of Race and Sex: Propaganda, Policy and Jewish Masculinities....…66 Chapter 3. Jewish Masculinity and the Importance of Work……………..…………………..107 Chapter 4. Jewish Husbands and Fathers in the Third Reich……………………………..…..152 Chapter 5. Gender, Violence and Jewish Masculinities...……………………………………..201 Chapter 6. Defying Deportation: 'Underground' Experiences and Jewish Masculinity ...…....274 Conclusion……………………...……………………………………………………………...301 Bibliography…………………...………………………………………………………………307 v List of Figures List of Figures Fig. 1. Antisemitic Postcard…….………………………………………………………………..28 Fig. 2. Caricature, Wiener Arbeiterzeitung……………………………………………………….29 Fig. 3. Cover Page, Kladderadatsch……..……………………………………………………….32 Fig. 4. Poster by Hans Schweitzer………………………………………………………………..35 Fig. 5. Sample Pages of Gefallene Deutschen Juden: Frontbriefe 1914-18………………………42 Fig. 6. Photo Richard Stern……………………………………………………………………….50 Fig. 7. Caricature “Jewish Hunt for Women”…………………………………………………….66 Fig. 8. Caricature “The Beginning and the End”………………………………………………….73 Fig. 9. Caricature “The Legion of Shame”………………………………………………………..73 Fig. 10. Image from Der Giftpilz………………………………………………………………....75 Fig. 11. Image from Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud auf seinem Eid……….75 Fig. 12. Caricature, “Children drawing Jews”……………………………………………………75 Fig. 13. Caricature, “Unfruitful”…………………………………………………………………76 Fig. 14. Poster, “Deutsche Frau. Halte Dein Blut rein!”..................................................................76 Fig. 15. Photo, Oskar Danker…………………………………………………………………......78 Fig. 16. Photo, Julius Rosenberg…………………………………………………………………78 Fig. 17. Film Poster, “Der Ewige Jude”….…………………………………………………….....80 Fig. 18. Propaganda Poster “Stadt und Land, Hand in Hand”…………………………………...114 Fig. 19. Image from Trau keinem Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinem Jud auf seinem Eid………114 Fig. 20. Passport of Expulsion (Ausschließungsschein), Reich Labor Service………………….116 Fig. 21. Red Cross Letter by Ernst Wachsner…………………………………………………...146 Fig. 22. Photo Willy Cohn………………………………………………………………………193 Fig. 23. Photos of Willy Cohn’s daughters……………………………………………………...193 Fig. 24. Photo, Carnival in Cologne……..………………………………………………………207 Fig. 25. Photo, Hermann Pressmann & Family………………………………………………….210 Fig. 26. Caricature, “The Jewish Body”………………………………………………………...210 Fig. 27. Photo Ludwig Marum under arrest……………………………………………………..235 Fig. 28. Photo, Buchenwald Concentration Camp……...……………………………………….252 Fig. 29. Konrad Friedländer’s forged military papers…………………………………………...296 Fig. 30. Photo, Eugen Hermann-Friede…………………………………………………………298 vi Image and Photo Credits Fig. 1 in Georg Heuberger & Helmut Gold, eds. Abgestempelt. Judenfeindliche Postkarten auf der Grundlage der Sammlung Wolfgang Haney (Frankfurt: Umschau Buchverlag, 1999), 145. Fig. 2 Wiener Arbeiterzeitung, 1919. Retrieved from Fig. 3 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 4 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 5 in Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten, Gefallene Deutsche Juden: Frontbriefe 1914-1918 (Berlin: Vortrup Verlag, 1935), i-ii. Fig. 6 Courtesy of NS-Dokumentationszentrum Köln. Fig. 7 in Kurt Plischke, Der Jude als Rassenschänder: Eine Anklage gegen Juda und eine Mahnung an die deutschen Frauen und Mädchen (Berlin: NS Druck & Verlag, 1934), 46. Fig. 8 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 9 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 10 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 11 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 12 in Franco Ruault, Tödliche Maskeraden: Julius Streicher und die “Lösung der Judenfrage” (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009), 177. Fig. 13 Courtesy by Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig 14 Courtesy of Deutsches Historisches Museum. Retrieved from vii Fig. 15 Retrieved from Fig. 16 Courtesy of Institut für Stadtgeschichte, Gelsenkirchen. Photo ISG FS I 6018. Fig. 17 Courtesy of German Historical Institute German History in Documents and Images, Washington DC. Retrieved from Fig. 18 Retrieved from Fig. 19 Courtesy of Randal Bytwerk. Retrieved from Fig. 20 Courtesy of Jewish Museum Berlin, Collection Familie Klotzsch, K291 Inv.-Nr 2003/145/24. Fig. 21 Courtesy of Jewish Museum Berlin, Collection Familien Wachsner/Meyerhoff, Convolute 314. K1024, Folder 3, Inv.-Nr 2014/194/539. Fig. 22 Courtesy of Danièle Cohn. Fig. 23 Courtesy of Danièle Cohn. Fig. 24 Courtesy of Yad Yashem Photo Archive, Jerusalem. FA192_3. Fig. 25 Courtesy of Sonia Pressmann Fuentes. Retrieved from Fig. 26 Franco Ruault, Tödliche Maskeraden: Julius Streicher und die “Lösung der Judenfrage” (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009), 179. Fig. 27 Ludwig Marum, Briefe aus dem KZ Kislau, ed. Elisabeth Marum-Lunau & Jörg Schadt, (Karlsruhe: Müller Verlag, 1988), 37. Fig. 28 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photo #79914. Courtesy of Robert A. Schmuhl. Retrieved from Fig. 29 Courtesy of Entschädigungsbehörde Friedländer, Reg.Nr. 1010 Fig. 30 Courtesy of Yad Vashem Photo Archive, Jerusalem. Eugen Hermann Friede11108_1 Berlin, Entschädigungsakte Konrad viii List of Abbreviations Archives: GDW Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand Berlin (German Resistance Memorial Center) JMB Jüdisches Museum Berlin LBINY Leo Baeck Institute New York USHMM United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C. ix Acknowledgements It has been a long and stony path to come to the point of completing this doctoral dissertation. After finishing High School in Germany in 2003, I was, at first, not even sure if I was made for academic studying though my interest in German History had developed much earlier. Thanks to the fantastic history staff at Thompson Rivers University, however, I felt soon vindicated in my instinct for a scholarly education. At the University of Victoria, the small-town boy that I was had to adjust to the life of a bigger city and an even more eminent university. But it was at the University of British Columbia where I made the transition from someone with a sincere interest in and a solid knowledge of European and German history to a professionally trained historian. This would not have been possible without the support of many people. First of all, of course, sincere thanks go to my supervisor Christopher R. Friedrichs who accompanied my path for the entire five years and whom I made read numerous essay drafts, scholarship applications and job applications, all filled with linguistic deficiencies and grammatical mistakes. Our meetings in his spectacular ocean-view office and at his home will be missed. Many thanks also to my other committee members Dr. Richard Menkis and Dr. Kyle Frackman who with their respective fields of expertise in Jewish history and German/Gender studies contributed significantly to this study. Special thanks also go to Thomas Kühne at Clark University who volunteered to read most of my dissertation and critically pushed me to reconsider my work. I would also like to thank Till van Rahden for his sensible criticisms in his capacity as external reviewer. Signs of gratitude also have to be forwarded to the University of British Columbia and the Department of History for its generous financial support in the form of a major fellowship and multiple summer research grants. I am further indebted to a John Conway Travel Scholarship, a German Historical Institute Summer Archival Fellowship as well as a Transatlantic Doctoral Seminar Stipend from the same organization, a Jewish Auschwitz Center Fellowship and finally, a stipend to attend the Max and Hilde Kochmann Seminar in German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex. Thanks to them, I was extremely fortunate to travel to Europe on several occasions to personally engage with some of the places I studied in such detail and meet fellows in my field. Thanks also go to the professional support at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Franziska Bogdanov; the historian Beate Kosmala who granted me access to the archives of the German Resistance Memorial in Berlin as well as Megan Lewis at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. More anonymously, I am indebted to all the staff and volunteers who helped digitalize the extensive collections at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York which sources I could conveniently access from my home in Langley. Most importantly, my gratitude goes to my family, my parents who have supported my university career from day one, and my loving wife Lindsey who not only had to deal with the time constraints, mood swings, disappointments and other deprivations I and therefore she had to endure while accompanying me during this program, but who also venerably served as the firstin-line proofreader of the crudest of my drafts. A final note of thanks goes to my two-year old daughter Ellie with whom I shared the simultaneous burden and immeasurable pleasure to spend a year together. Doing daycare and committing to this study was truly a memorable experience and the completion of it could not symbolically been better represented than by the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Writing the final pages of this work in the hospital room, I dedicate this work to Ellie and her soon-to-be-born-any-day sibling. x Dedication I dedicate this work to my children Ellie and Jasper xi Introduction This study is about stories, stories written by German-Jewish men and about GermanJewish men in the Third Reich. It is about men who put on their World War I medals at the time when German Jews were expelled from the military and their public reputations were challenged. It is about men who were deemed hypersexualized racial defilers of German women. It is about working men who faced existential struggles in Nazi Germany and challenges in fulfilling their roles as fathers and husbands. It is also about Jewish men who were specifically singled out as men and often brutalized in their homes and in concentration camps. Finally, it is about Jewish men who faced specific challenges in their attempts to resist deportation and survive the Holocaust in the underground. In short, this dissertation is about the gendered experiences, challenges, victimizations, reactions and negotiations of Jewish men who saw their masculinities jeopardized by the Nazi regime. This study asks: How did Jewish men come to perceive the onslaught of Nazi antisemitism in the Third Reich as men? How did they experience and cope with the radical dislodging of their roles as proud and patriotic war veterans who had always closely identified with their country? How did Jewish men adapt to economic restrictions and hardships in their roles as breadwinners and providers for their families? How did Jewish men as husbands and fathers perform the roles of protectors of their families? How did they experience the sudden exposure to physical violence on the street and in Germany’s prewar concentration camps, such as in the period following Kristallnacht? And finally, what risks did Jewish men face during their “illegal” lives while running away from the Nazis and their deportations during the war? These are the central questions this dissertation seeks to answer. It is a study of Jewish masculinities in the Third Reich. 1 Introduction Historiography Few other fields have received more scholarly attention and witnessed such an enormous output of literature than the Holocaust and World War II. While for years the focus had been on the political and military leaders and events, in the 1970s attention gradually shifted toward the victims of genocide. This turn coincided with the rise in women’s and gender history that criticized the neglect of women as historical agents and their subjugations and victimization. Since the 1990s, especially with the growth in oral histories and historians’ scrutiny of first-person narratives like memoirs and diaries, an impressive corpus of literature on the Jewish experience during the Holocaust and the Third Reich has emerged. As Saul Friedländer has rightly postulated, “The voices of the victims are essential if we want to attain an understanding of the past.”1 The process of writing and re-writing history is, by definition, a perpetual undertaking. The historian’s task is to formulate new questions for hitherto under-researched areas. One such field is gender. Gender history has witnessed an astounding output of literature on women in the Holocaust, most notably by scholars like Carol Rittner and John K. Roth (Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust) and Dalia Ofer and Leonore Weitzman (Women in the Holocaust) to name but a few.2 This field has shed important light on the gendered forms of victimization and overall experience by women, which was previously largely a neglected field of study. However, as inextricable as gender has become to our overall understanding of history in general and the Jewish experience during the Holocaust in particular, the study of gender continues to focus primarily on women. In the context of Holocaust historiography, as Sara Horowitz has 1 Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1939 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1998), 2. Carol Rittner & John K. Roth, eds. Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust (New York: Paragon House, 1998); Dalia Ofer & Lenore Weitzman, eds. Women in the Holocaust (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999). 2 2 Introduction elucidated, historians have used two major approaches.3 The first describes (Jewish) women as objects of various forms of Nazi violence, whereas the second approach depicts women as heroic resisters of Nazi oppression. Especially the second approach has more recently gained momentum thanks to feminist historians who criticize earlier historians’ one-sided portrayal of women as victims. Directly defying Nazi orders and managing to keep their families together and their children safe and sound, Jewish women have been put into a narrative of female self-determination, an approach most famously advocated by Marion Kaplan in her influential work Between Dignity and Despair.4 Though both approaches offered new and important insights pertaining to women’s history, in terms of gender constructions of men/masculinity in relation to women/femininity both are deficient. The first approach, looking at the persecution of women, is reticent on aspects of male suffering and instead focuses on patriarchal forms of oppression (the Nazis as misogynists), while the latter approach contextualizes femininity in relation to masculinity, arguing that women took over men’s roles, defending their families and their children and taking care of their despondent husbands. Even the second approach, as convincing as the thesis of a “gender role reversal” (Kaplan) under the Nazis might be, implies too monolithically that Jewish men – because they faced ridicule and exclusion in the public sphere as well as degradation and loss of work – lapsed into depressive behavior, passivity and often suicide. Nechama Tec, for instance, writes: The Germans put… almost impossible challenges in the fulfillment of [the role] of the breadwinner. When Jewish men found themselves unable to do what traditional society expected of them, they frequently became demoralized and depressed.5 Sara Horowitz, “Women in Holocaust Literature: Engendering Trauma Memory,” in Women in the Holocaust, eds. Dalia Ofer & Leonore Weitzman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 369. 4 Marion Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). 5 Nechama Tec, Resistance: Jews and Christians who Defied Nazi Terror (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 346. 3 3 Introduction As a result, findings on Jewish masculinities during the Holocaust have taken on a myopic and distorted character, and conclusions pertaining to Jewish men and masculinity in the Third Reich remain tenuous. When Ronit Lentin writes that “women Shoah survivors speak of sexual humiliation, rape, sexual exchange, pregnancy, abortion, and vulnerability through their children – concerns male survivors t...
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