The University of Wisconsin Press

European History / Judaica / Cultural Studies / Ethnic Studies / German Studies


Jews and Other Germans
Civil Society, Religious Diversity, and Urban Politics in Breslau, 1860–1925
Till van Rahden
Translated by Marcus Brainard

George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History

“A pathbreaking book in German-Jewish history.” —David Sorkin, author of The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840

Jews and Other Germans is the first social and cultural history to probe the parameters of Jewish integration in the half century between the founding of the German Empire in 1871 and the early Weimar Republic. Questioning received wisdom about German-Jewish assimilation and the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany, van Rahden’s prize-winning book restores some of the complexity and openness of relations between Protestants, Catholics, and Jews before World War I.

Closely analyzing the political, social, and cultural life in a major German city, van Rahden shows that Jews were a part of a broad urban community that encompassed diversity within unity, at once offering them a large measure of equality while permitting them to remain meaningfully Jewish. Jews and Other Germans also substantially revises the chronology of anti-Semitism in Germany, showing that Jews only began to experience exclusion from Breslau’s social world during World War I.

Yet van Rahden not only illuminates Breslau’s multicultural fabric; he also tells the story of this remarkable city as one of cultural and religious conflict and coexistence. Recounting the experiences of Jews, Protestants, and Catholics within a single narrative, he offers a critical intervention into scholarship on liberalism and civil society in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Europe.

“This sophisticated and original work traces new paths through German-Jewish and general German history in the imperial period. May anglophone historians follow van Rahden’s lead.”—William W. Hagen, Social History

Till van Rahden holds the Canada Research Chair in German and European Studies and is associate professor in the department of literature and modern languages at the Université de Montréal. Marcus Brainard earned his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, and is the editor and translator of numerous works of philosophy and history.

  • Winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History
    First English-language edition
    German edition, Juden und andere Breslauer 2000 paperback Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen
  • The translation of this work was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institute
George L. Mosse logo
George L. Mosse Series in Modern European Cultural and Intellectual History

• Translation was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
• German edition, Generation des Unbedingten, published by Hamburger Edition, 2002, was honored as the "Historical Book of 2002" by German H-Net
• Visit Michael Wildt's Web site at

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

the cover of van Rahden's book is illustrated with a brown-toned streetscape from the period.

September 2008
LC: 2007040520 DS
480 pp.  6 x 9  48 tables

The cloth edition for this title, 978-0-299-22690-9, is out of print.

Book icon
Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22694-7
Shopping cart ADD TO CART

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated July 20, 2011

© 2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System