The other Jews. Identity formation of people of Jewish descent in post-war Germany
Zielinski explains the relations of identity and religion, introduces into Jewish religion and culture, discusses the impact of the Enlightenment on European culture, then focuses on modernity and historicism (the Bourgeois reaction to European Enlightenment qualifying historical knowledge on one´s own terms), to explain the emergence of the specific form of racism in question. In 64 interviews with survivors of the Holocaust Zielinski tries to answer the following questions: 1. Can massive repression trigger or produce a process of identity formation even if those under pressure do not have knowledge of their (cultural/religious) origin? 2. If this is so, did this identification with Judaism persist after 1945? 3. Is there a ´corporate identity´ of those people? Zielinski thus investigates (historical) ethnic processes with regard to identity in the present and the perpetuation of ´ethnic identity´ on the basis of long-standing pressing threat, and she shows how ´eschatological identity´ is superseded by ´ethnic identity´. Some of the conversations are included in the book.
Keywords: Jewish identity, identity and threat, racism, Enlightenment, modernism, Holocaust, repression and identity, violence, ethnicity, ´eschatological identity´, historicism