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Between Home and Homeland, Between Home and Homeland, 0817315136, 0-8173-1513-6, 978-0-8173-1513-9, 9780817315139, , Judaic Studies Series, Between Home and Homeland, 0817381627, 0-8173-8162-7, 978-0-8173-8162-2, 9780817381622, , Judaic Studies Series, Between Home and Homeland, 0817359397, 0-8173-5939-7, 978-0-8173-5939-3, 9780817359393, , Judaic Studies Serie

Between Home and Homeland
Youth Aliyah from Nazi Germany
Brian Amkraut

E Book
2009. 246 pp.
12 B&W figures
Price:  $29.95 d
Quality Paper
2018. 246 pp.
12 B&W figures
Price:  $29.95 s

The emigration of Jewish teenagers to Palestine to escape Hitler’s Germany

As Hitler and his followers consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts were set in motion, both within and without German cities, to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, Youth Aliyah--aliyah is the term for the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel. Although the youths saved by Youth Aliyah were but a small percentage of the Jewish population, the program is widely celebrated by those who seek examples of Jewish agency and of attempts to resist the coming horror.

To this day, Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contributor to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut details the story of the organization from its origins through its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, and the challenges that vexed its efforts from every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human naiveté ("surely things will get better").

Brian Amkraut is executive director of the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program at Case Western Reserve University.

"Amkraut (Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies) has written a fascinating book about young German Jews who immigrated to Palestine during the 1930s. The impediments for Jewish Germans, who had to cope with a number of hostile entities, were both practical and emotional. The British made Palestinian immigration very difficult, imposing numerous limits on settlers to avoid offending the region's Arabs. In addition, there was the issue of assimilating into a developing multiethnic land with an indigenous population that was not welcoming. Amkraut also discusses the identity dilemma for Jews who grew up feeling German, and then had to alter their self-image in the face of growing discrimination. He highlights the internal disagreements of Jewish agencies who wrestled with myriad problems. This book is based on an abundance of archival sources and a thorough use of secondary literature. The author explores how German Jews were ideologically heterogeneous, and details how different groups coped with increasing antagonism in a variety of ways. The author's focus is more European than Palestinian, and it would be interesting to have a bit more information on the settlements themselves. Overall, this interesting monograph adds to the excellent body of literature on German Jews. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."

“A first-rate book offering a highly focused and extensively researched analysis of Germany’s Youth Aliyah movement during the 1930s [and] filling lacunae in the scholarship of German Jewry and Zionism that has largely ignored the activities of this organization.”
—Keith H. Pickus, author of Constructing Modern Identities: Jewish University Students in Germany, 1815–1914