When Der Struwwelpeter Made Aliyah: Germanness in Hebrew Children's Literature during Israel's Nation-Building Era

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Abstract

Focusing on Hebrew-language children's books published in Palestine in the 1930s and 40s by first-generation immigrants from German-speaking countries, this article explores the cultural and social legacy that this community of recently arrived German speakers sought to transmit to its children. It illustrates this immigrant community's ambivalence toward both socialist-Zionist discourse-which was hegemonic among Jews in Palestine-and its own German cultural heritage. It shows that these publishing initiatives gave voice to an alternative model of immigrant adaptation: accepting and even embracing the patriotic local culture in Palestine, without completely merging with it. Even in the 1940s, when German culture was generally taboo, subtle yet persistent attempts to reproduce Germanness in Hebrew-language children's books revealed that this first generation of immigrants harbored conflicting feelings about their country of origin and their new national identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-117
Number of pages27
JournalJewish Social Studies
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Hebrew children's literature
  • Heinrich Hoffmann
  • Jewish immigrants
  • Leah Goldberg
  • Nation building
  • Peretz Ruschkewitz
  • Yekkes

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