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35 Chapter 2 The Politics of Comradeship Weimar Germany, 1918–33 Much of the literature on German Jewry dur- ing the Weimar Republic continues to embrace the notion that Jewish sol- diers returned to Germany in 1918 embittered and deeply disillusioned by the endemic antisemitism they encountered in the trenches, and by the realization that their struggle for social acceptance had failed.1 In the years that followed, amid rising antisemitic tensions, Jews allegedly withdrew from mainstream German life to find solace in their Judaism. Intellectu- als and

Jewish World War I Veterans under Hitler

vii Acknowledgments ix List of Abbreviations xiii Introduction 1 1. Reappraising Jewish War Experiences, 1914–18 12 2. The Politics of Comradeship: Weimar Germany, 1918–33 35 3. “These Scoundrels Are Not the German People”: The Nazi Seizure of Power, 1933–35 61 4. Jewish Frontkämpfer and the Nazi Volksgemeinschaft 91 5. Under the “Absolute” Power of National Socialism, 1938–41 117 6. Defiant Germanness 170 Epilogue 206 Notes 215 Bibliography 255 Index 287 Contents

This book, like so many, wouldn’t exist if not for the encour-agement and help of others. First and foremost, I’d like to thank those I deployed with (you know who you are). The ca- maraderie you provided was second to none, and I miss it still. There is something very special about the friendships that develop within the armed forces, and I was lucky to be given a taste of it. I especially value the comradeship of Anthony Lambert, a true one-of-a-kind, and generous to a fault. I also appreciate the sup- port of Mark Midwinter and Pete Mahoney. When the


sacrifice and, 3, 15 – 16, 64, 195 reinstatement of postwar, 207 civil service law, 69 – 73, 84, 100 288 index Cohn, Willy, 45, 48, 88, 90, 114, 116, 171 combat experience, 18 – 20, 24, 28, 32, 33, 40 Communists, 38, 39, 41, 48, 52 – 53, 72, 213. See also leftists comradeship and solidarity during WWI, 4, 6, 19 – 24, 27, 32, 46 – 47, 114 after WWI, 52 – 53, 54, 55, 59 – 60 during Nazi era: loss of, 75 – 76, 81 – 82, 102 – 3, 106, 133, 181, 205; maintenance of, 74, 86 – 87, 106 – 10, 112, 129 – 30, 141 – 43, 146, 148, 203 – 4, 211, 238n96 after WWII, 207


financial assistance for my research and study: the Australian Development Assistance Bureau (now AUSAID) for a Merit Scholarship; Monash University for a Graduate Scholarship; and the Center of Southeast Asian Studies at Monash University for a Travel Grant for my fieldwork. I shall never forget friends and colleagues in Malaysia whose comradeship and support have been invaluable to me throughout the years: Rohana Ariffin, Chan Lean Heng, Lucille Dass, Foong Kin, Otome Hutheesing, Cynthia Joseph, Khor Yoke Lim, Lekha Lehman, Loh Kok Wah, Pauline & Kntayya Mariappan

’s direction, he sought medical advice and excruciating “treatment” to overcome his desires. He dedicated himself successfully to the project of finding a wife “on Doctor’s orders” (Papa’s as well), hoping to be released from their powerful grip. Still, Symonds wrote of the encounter with the grenadier: “The thrill of contact with the man taught me something new about myself. I can well recall the lingering regret, and the quick sense of de- liverance from danger, with which I saw him fall back. . . . The longing left was partly a fresh seeking after comradeship and partly

- vember 1916.1 Only since the early 2000s have studies shown that military and political developments were often perceived differently in the field than on the civilian home front. Military discipline, comradeship, almost daily exposure to hardships and life-threatening dangers, and the experience of combat created a distinctive habitus among the Jewish combatants, one that set them apart from their civilian counterparts back home in Germany. A study of the Jewish combatants raises a series of overarching questions: Did Jewish soldiers experience the war

able to tolerate the loneliness and sense of emptiness that goes with being part of a formal organization. Second only to the physical needs is the social need (Davies 1963: chap. 2). As a consequence, informal groupings arise among the personnel of a formal organiza- tion, and they are often characterized by great tenacity, as I noticed earlier in discussing comradeship among soldiers. On occasion, no doubt, a leader thinks it appropriate to encourage such relationships because they are good for morale; but for the most part-so I argued- such groupings are


skills ignored, isolated from their workmates and deprived of the solidarity and comradeship that emerge in most workplaces even when working conditions leave much to be desired, the unemployed feel abandoned and time hangs heavy on their hands. Only the very strong can avoid demoralization. Gregory Pappas's study of the unemployed rubber workers in Bar- berton, Ohio, has above all one great virtue: at a time when the fate of the unemployed is less visible throughout the country than it was in the Great Depression, not only because of their numbers but because