The German-Jewish Economic Elite 1820-1935

A Socio-Cultural Profile
Mosse, W.E.
Date published: 
October 1989

This unique study makes an important contribution to our understanding of the changing problem of `Jewishness' in a German environment as it presented itself to a privileged group of Jews. Following on from Jews in the German Economy (OUP, 1987), which analysed the economic activities of this elite, it presents a detailed picture of the group's socio-cultural profile. Based largely on autobiographical material, it covers such matters as attitudes to Judaism, relations at different levels with Gentiles and with other Jews, ma rriage patterns, the public role, political culture, cultural activities, and patronage. The major underlying theme is the conflict between preservation of the Jewish identity, and integration into the surrounding society. Different forms of self-identification are examined, as well as various patterns of conformity.


This unique study makes use of largely autobiographical material to present a detailed picture of the socio-cultural life of Jews in the German environment. It follows Professor Mosse's earlier study, Jews in the German Economy (OUP, 1987).