Eastern European Jews in Germany
Between 1880 and 1924 Jews emigrated to Germany from Eastern Europe to escape poverty and persecution in their home countries. Although they met with hostility and discrimination, many were able to create new lives for themselves.
Representing the different fates of migrants are the lives of Chaim Weizmann, Cecylie and Heinrich Bien, Alexander Granach, Joseph Budko, the Friedmann and Goldstein families, and the Mandelbaum family.
The Jewish influx was part of a large migration movement towards the West. Germany was above all a transit country: Most headed for the U.S., but about 80,000 remained permanently in Germany.
As foreigners and Jews, the immigrants came up against fierce prejudice that made their daily lives difficult. They were under a lot of pressure to assimilate and at the same time strove to retain the culture and tradition they had brought with them.
The relationship between Eastern European Jews and long-time resident German Jews was often strained. The stereotypes created by Jewish and non-Jewish Germans about the immigrants contributed to this difficult relationship.
Contemporary novels and autobiographies such as those by Arnold Zweig, Joseph Roth, Manès Sperber, Gabriele Tergit, Sammy Gronemann, Martin Beradt, Alexander Granach, and Gad Granach reinforced but also overthrew these stereotypes.