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My German Question

My German Question

By Peter Gay

In this poignant book, a renowned historian tells of his youth as an assimilated, anti-religious Jew in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939 - "the story, " says Peter Gay, 'of a poisoning and how I dealt with it.' Gay describes his family, the life they led, and the reasons they did not emigrate sooner, and he explores his own ambivalent feelings -- then and now -- toward Germany and the Germans. Even before the events of 1938-39, culminating in Kristallnacht, the family was convinced that they must leave the country. Gay describes the bravery and ingenuity of his father in working out the agonizing emigration process, the courage of the non-Jewish friends who helped his family during their last bitter months in Germany, and the family's mounting panic as they witnessed the indifference of other countries to their plight and that of others like themselves. Gay's account -- marked by candor, modesty, and insight -- adds an important and curiously neglected perspective to the history of German Jewry.

Paperback
208 pages
Yale University Press
ISBN 9780300080704

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