Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I

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Oxford University Press, Feb 22, 2001 - History - 272 pages
This book explores the impact of war and political crisis on the national identity of Jews, both in the multinational Habsburg monarchy and in the new nation-states that replaced it at the end of World War I. Jews enthusiastically supported the Austrian war effort because it allowed them to assert their Austrian loyalties and Jewish solidarity at the same time. They faced a grave crisis of identity when the multinational state collapsed and they lived in nation-states mostly uncomfortable with ethnic minorities. This book raises important questions about Jewish identity and about the general nature of ethnic and national identity.

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 The Jews of AustriaHungary on the Eve of World War I
14
2 Austrian Jews and the Spirit of 1914
39
Photo gallery
58
Patriotic War Work and Helping Jewish Refugees
59
4 The Experience of Jewish Soldiers
82
5 Clinging to the Old Identity 19161918
106
6 The Dissolution of the Monarchy and the Crisis of Jewish Identity October 1918June 1919
128
Epilogue
162
Notes
173
Bibliography
229
Index
245
Copyright

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Page 5 - Nationalism is a state of mind, in which the supreme loyalty of the individual is felt to be due the nation-state.
Page 5 - Smith, for example, defines nationalism as "an ideological movement for the attainment and maintenance of selfgovernment and independence on behalf of a group, some of whose members conceive it to constitute an actual or potential nation...
Page 5 - I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.
Page 6 - Nationalism is primarily a political principle, which holds that the political and national unit should be congruent.
Page 7 - The critical focus of investigation from this point of view becomes the ethnic boundary that defines the group, not the cultural stuff that it encloses.
Page 174 - Marsha L. Rozenblit, The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity (Albany...
Page 42 - And to be truthful, I must acknowledge that there was a majestic, rapturous, and even seductive something in this first outbreak of the people from which one could escape only with difficulty. And in spite of all my hatred and aversion for war, I should not like to have missed the memory of those first days. As never before, thousands and hundreds of thousands felt what they should have felt in peace time, that they belonged together.
Page vii - ... and writing of this book. In particular, I would like to thank...

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