Five Germanys I Have Known: A History & Memoir

3,96 valoración promedio
( 202 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9780374530860: Five Germanys I Have Known: A History & Memoir

The "German question" haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life. Born in the Weimar Republic, exposed to five years of National Socialism before being forced into exile in 1938 in America, he became a world-renowned historian whose work opened new perspectives on the German past.

Stern brings to life the five Germanys he has experienced: Weimar, the Third Reich, postwar West and East Germanys, and the unified country after 1990. Through his engagement with the nation from which he and his family fled, he shows that the tumultuous history of Germany, alternately the strength and the scourge of Europe, offers political lessons for citizens everywhere―especially those facing or escaping from tyranny. In this wise, tough-minded, and subtle book, Stern, himself a passionately engaged citizen, looks beyond Germany to issues of political responsibility that concern everyone. Five Germanys I Have Known vindicates his belief that, at its best, history is our most dramatic introduction to a moral civic life.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Fritz Stern, University Professor Emeritus and former provost at Columbia University, is the author of many works of European history, including Gold and Iron:Bismarck, Bleichröder and the Building of the German Empire and Einstein's German World.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

FIVE GERMANYS I HAVE KNOWN
CHAPTER 1ANCESTRAL GERMANYTHERE HAVE BEEN FIVE GERMANYS I have known since my birth in 1926, but it is the Germany I didn't know, the Germany of the years before World War I, that I think I understand the best. That Germany I have studied in my professional life, with proper distance and a measure of detachment. Only when beginning this book did I discover the thousands of letters my parents brought with them when we immigrated to the United States in 1938: bundles of letters, neatly wrapped or placed in wooden boxes, that had been left unopened since they were brought here; letters from earlier generations of my family, from my parents' friends and colleagues, family letters written in the peaceful times of that earlier Germany; and a trove of letters written to and by my father when he was at the front in the Great War. The letters are conversations about the mundane and the unusual; they take for granted the unspoken assumptions of that earlier time. They touch on all manner of subjects, and they confirm, amplify, and modify what scholarship has taught me. They speak with a special immediacy, and even their silences bespeak the customs of their time. Many, I now realize, would have served me well as illustrative footnotes to my earlier work or prompted second thoughts.Home to at least four generations of my family was Breslau, capital of Silesia, in eastern Germany, a city with different masters and its own disputed history. Its origins went back to medieval times, its growth favored by its location on the banks of the River Oder, which flows into the Baltic. In early centuries,it was a Polish city called Vretslaw--a fact that Germans later tended to forget. When I grew up there, I knew that it had been part of the Habsburg Empire, until the day in 1741 when the young Prussian king, Frederick II, later known as Frederick the Great, wrested all of Silesia, the jewel of the Austrian Empire, from Empress Maria Theresa, a major moment in the astounding rise of Prussia. After 1871, Breslau became part of the newly created German Empire, a federal structure that apportioned some powers to its member states and allowed the great, ancient German states such as Prussia, Bavaria, and Saxony to retain their monarchies. Prussia was preeminent in the Reich by virtue of its size and tradition, and this was symbolized by the fact that the Prussian monarchs doubled as German emperors.The citizens of Breslau had multiple overlapping civic identities: they were Silesians, with their own dialect; Prussians with austere traditions; and Germans, heirs to an old national culture. Breslau was the second largest city in Prussia. Many of Breslau's citizens in the nineteenth century were partisans of the struggle for the twin goals of unity and freedom--that is, for a German nation-state with the basic civic freedoms guaranteed in a modern constitution. Their liberal dream was shattered with the failure of the revolution in 1848; the Prussian king granted a constitution in 1850 that reserved executive power to the monarch (still deemed of divine right), though it provided for a legislature with some budgetary powers to be elected by (almost) universal male suffrage according to a three-class voting system (depending on the amount of direct taxes paid). Skipping over the details, one need but remember that this was a blatantly plutocratic system--and of course it had unanticipated consequences. After a decade of reaction and repression, during which the German economy grew significantly, the prosperous bourgeoisie of Silesia and elsewhere sent a liberal majority to the Prussian Diet.In the face of this liberal opposition, the king, in a desperate effort to safeguard his monarchical power, appointed Otto von Bismarck as prime minister. Bismarck, a passionate but unconventional monarchist, fought the liberals and divided them--by fulfilling their wish for national unity. Under his leadership, Prussia was victorious in three wars in a span of only eight years, culminating in the victory over France in 1871 and the concurrent establishment of a unified Germany, with its federal structure leaving important powers to the member states. Prussia's old aristocracy and army struggled to maintain political dominance, but Bismarck also provided for a German parliament, the Reichstag, to be elected by universal male suffrage. He resorted to this revolutionary principle of universal suffrage (and was consequently often labeled "awhite revolutionary") because he assumed that a conservative peasantry would outnumber the detested liberal bourgeoisie. This was a miscalculation: the exuberant growth of Germany's industrial capitalism created a different society--with an ever-swelling proletariat swamping a shrinking peasantry and sending its own, socialist, deputies to the Reichstag.Most middle-class and professional Germans rejoiced that national unity had been achieved at last--pleased about or accepting of a country that combined the rule of law with a monarchical-authoritarian order at home and ever-increasing power abroad. The deepening divisions within the new Reich--Bismarck himself began to call Socialists and politically organized Catholics "enemies of the Reich"--were partly obscured by the astounding growth in every kind of power and by the often overweening pride in seeing Germany rise to dominance in Europe. Left-liberals, with their commitment to popular sovereignty and tolerance, were a declining minority within the Reich; the discrepancy between the ever more conservative Prussian Diet, determined to preserve the anachronistic political system, and an increasingly progressive Reichstag, presaged an ultimate conflict. But only a very few contemporaries recognized the contradiction between a dynamic modern society and an anachronistic political system marked by a coalition of overlapping elites--East German landowners (Junkers), powerful industrialists, the armed forces, and high civil servants. Put differently, in a dynamically growing capitalist country an economically declining agrarian aristocracy was desperately clinging to power, while the once-liberal middle classes felt squeezed between the old rulers and the ascendant Social Democrats, an ever-growing political by-product of Germany's industrialization. There were many Germans who realized the need for political reform--a frightening prospect to the entrenched powers.My forebears reflected the successes and the contradictions of this world. To them, "the German Question" seemed settled after 1871; they were mostly absorbed in other things than national politics. After his dismissal in 1890, Bismarck became an idol for many of them--there was a virtual cult that celebrated the "strong leader," a dangerous view to which some of my family succumbed. Municipal politics, however, were different: the voting system favored, in urban local affairs, the prosperous bourgeois class that still happened to be liberal.My great-grandparents and their descendants participated in the prosperity and prominence of Breslau, a dynamically expanding commercial-industrial center with a large agricultural hinterland and rich coal mines to the southeast. The population of the city grew apace; between 1861 and 1910 it quadrupled,from 128,000 to half a million; of these, 60 percent were Protestant, 35 percent Catholic, and about 5 percent (20,000) Jews. Breslau had a proud civic life and a vibrant cultural one--the two closely related. German cities competed for cultural distinctiveness, with their bourgeois fathers striving to replicate for their class and era what princely courts had done before.A key institution in Breslau's cultural life was the Schlesische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, established in its modern form in 1811, during the Prussian Reform Era that had responded to the forces unleashed by the French Revolution with a carefully controlled "revolution from above." It replaced a Catholic university that had been founded in 1702 by Emperor Leopold of Austria, and it was Prussia's first nonconfessional university, with both Catholic and Protestant theological faculties. After four decades of penurious mediocrity, it became eminent--in medicine, even preeminent--and internationally renowned. The state sustained the university, while the city fathers promoted Breslau's cultural life--as evident in theater and music, in its academy of arts--attracting talent in all fields. Breslau wasn't comparable to Berlin or Munich or Vienna, but it was ambitious and successful.Given its important industrial sector, exemplified by the Borsig engineering plant, Breslau also had a growing proletarian population. In the early 1860s, Ferdinand Lassalle, a converted Jew and son of a Breslau merchant, had become the first leader of a German working-class movement, a non-revolutionary alternative Marx. And for decades, Breslau had a strong Social Democratic Party and radical groups to the left.The Jewish community of Breslau was as diversified as any in the German lands. Some Jewish families had lived there since Jews were first readmitted to the city in 1744; others, attracted by Breslau's urban opportunities, had moved there from smaller towns in the countryside. A few had come from farther east, so-called Ostjuden, who thought of Prussia as a promising haven. Breslau Jews were rich and poor, Orthodox and Reformed, traditionalist and fully assimilated; as we shall see, some Jewish men lived a full civic life while women pioneered in social work and communal responsibilities. Jews, barred from certain careers, as in the army, or hindered in others, as in the civil service, were disproportionately concentrated in trade and the professions; and they were disproportionately represented in the highest rungs of the public educational system. Also, they were disproportionately wealthy, that is, they were major taxpayers and philanthropists.In many ways, my forebears--going back to my great-grandparents, born in the 1820s and 1830s--exem...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Los mejores resultados en AbeBooks

1.

Stern, Fritz
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 2007. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VV-9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,04
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,33
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

2.

Fritz Stern
Editorial: MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción MacMillan Publishers. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0374530866

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,97
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 2,92
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

3.

Stern, Fritz
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Cantidad: 3
Librería
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 2007. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 8,50
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,33
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

4.

Stern, Fritz
Editorial: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0374530866 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Nº de ref. de la librería NATARAJB1FI1068212

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 9,23
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,33
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

5.

Fritz Stern
Editorial: Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The German question haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life. Born in the Weimar Republic, exposed to five years of National Socialism before being forced into exile in 1938 in America, he became a world-renowned historian whose work opened new perspectives on the German past. Stern brings to life the five Germanys he has experienced: Weimar, the Third Reich, postwar West and East Germanys, and the unified country after 1990. Through his engagement with the nation from which he and his family fled, he shows that the tumultuous history of Germany, alternately the strength and the scourge of Europe, offers political lessons for citizens everywhere--especially those facing or escaping from tyranny. In this wise, tough-minded, and subtle book, Stern, himself a passionately engaged citizen, looks beyond Germany to issues of political responsibility that concern everyone. Five Germanys I Have Known vindicates his belief that, at its best, history is our most dramatic introduction to a moral civic life. Nº de ref. de la librería LIB9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 12,72
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

6.

Fritz Stern
Editorial: Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The German question haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life. Born in the Weimar Republic, exposed to five years of National Socialism before being forced into exile in 1938 in America, he became a world-renowned historian whose work opened new perspectives on the German past. Stern brings to life the five Germanys he has experienced: Weimar, the Third Reich, postwar West and East Germanys, and the unified country after 1990. Through his engagement with the nation from which he and his family fled, he shows that the tumultuous history of Germany, alternately the strength and the scourge of Europe, offers political lessons for citizens everywhere--especially those facing or escaping from tyranny. In this wise, tough-minded, and subtle book, Stern, himself a passionately engaged citizen, looks beyond Germany to issues of political responsibility that concern everyone. Five Germanys I Have Known vindicates his belief that, at its best, history is our most dramatic introduction to a moral civic life. Nº de ref. de la librería LIB9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 13,02
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

7.

Fritz Stern
Editorial: Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
Librería
Book Depository hard to find
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The German question haunts the modern world: How could so civilized a nation be responsible for the greatest horror in Western history? In this unusual fusion of personal memoir and history, the celebrated scholar Fritz Stern refracts the question through the prism of his own life. Born in the Weimar Republic, exposed to five years of National Socialism before being forced into exile in 1938 in America, he became a world-renowned historian whose work opened new perspectives on the German past. Stern brings to life the five Germanys he has experienced: Weimar, the Third Reich, postwar West and East Germanys, and the unified country after 1990. Through his engagement with the nation from which he and his family fled, he shows that the tumultuous history of Germany, alternately the strength and the scourge of Europe, offers political lessons for citizens everywhere--especially those facing or escaping from tyranny. In this wise, tough-minded, and subtle book, Stern, himself a passionately engaged citizen, looks beyond Germany to issues of political responsibility that concern everyone. Five Germanys I Have Known vindicates his belief that, at its best, history is our most dramatic introduction to a moral civic life. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 13,02
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

8.

Stern, Fritz
Editorial: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0374530866

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 12,47
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 1,66
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

9.

Fritz Stern
Editorial: Macmillan USA (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos Tapa blanda Cantidad: 1
Librería
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Macmillan USA, 2007. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería TH9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 12,32
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 2,99
De Alemania a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

10.

Professor Fritz Stern
Editorial: Farrar Straus Giroux 2007-07-24 (2007)
ISBN 10: 0374530866 ISBN 13: 9780374530860
Nuevos paperback Cantidad: 5
Librería
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Farrar Straus Giroux 2007-07-24, 2007. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780374530860

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 13,03
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,38
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

Existen otras copia(s) de este libro

Ver todos los resultados de su búsqueda