The University of Wisconsin Press

German History / Jewish Studies / Holocaust Studies

In Times of Crisis
Essays on European Culture, Germans, and Jews
Steven E. Aschheim

"A beautifully written, remarkably coherent, and provocative collection of essays. It showcases the talents of one of the leading intellectual historians writing today."
—Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University

The nineteenth- and twentieth-century relationship between European culture, German history, and the Jewish experience produced some of the West's most powerful and enduring intellectual creations—and, perhaps in subtly paradoxical and interrelated ways, our century's darkest genocidal moments. In Times of Crisis explores the flashpoints of this vexed relationship, mapping the coordinates of a complex triangular encounter of immense historical import.

In essays that range from the question of Nietzsche's legacy to the controversy over Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners, the distinguished historian Steven E. Aschheim presents this encounter as an ongoing dialogue between two evolving cultural identities. He touches on past dimensions of this exchange (such as the politics of Weimar Germany) and on present dilemmas of grasping and representing it (such as the Israeli discourse on the Holocaust). His work inevitably traces the roots and ramifications of Nazism but at the same time brings into focus historical circumstances and contemporary issues often overshadowed or distorted by the Holocaust.

These essays reveal the ubiquitous of Nazi genocide within our own culture and illuminate the projects of some later thinkers and historians—from Hannah Arendt to George Mosse to Saul Friedlander—who have wrestled with its problematics and sought to capture its essence. From the broadly historical to the personal, from the politics of Weimar Germany to the experience of growing up German Jewish in South Africa, the essays expand our understanding of German Jewish history in particular, but also of historical processes in general.

Steven E. Aschheim is the Vigevani Chair of European Studies and professor of history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the author of Brothers and Strangers: The East European Jew in German and German-Jewish Consciousness 1800–1923, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and of several other books, including Culture and Catastrophe: German and Jewish Confrontations with National Socialism and Other Crises.

See the earlier book by Aschheim, Brothers and Strangers, available in a new paperback edition with a substantial new introduction.

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February 2001
288 pp.   6 x 9

The cloth edition for this title, 978-0-299-16860-5, is out of print.

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ISBN 978-0-299-16864-3
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