A first-rate book offering a highly focused and extensively researched analysis of Germany’s Youth Aliyah movement during the 1930s [and] filling lacunae in the scholarship of German Jewry and Zionism that has largely ignored the activities of this organization.”-- Keith H. Pickus, author of Constucting Modern Identities: Jewish University Students in Germany, 18151914
"Amkraut (Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies) has written a fascinating book about young German Jews who immigrated to Palestine during the 1930s. The impediments for Jewish Germans, who had to cope with a number of hostile entities, were both practical and emotional. The British made Palestinian immigration very difficult, imposing numerous limits on settlers to avoid offending the region's Arabs. In addition, there was the issue of assimilating into a developing multiethnic land with an indigenous population that was not welcoming. Amkraut also discusses the identity dilemma for Jews who grew up feeling German, and then had to alter their self-image in the face of growing discrimination. He highlights the internal disagreements of Jewish agencies who wrestled with myriad problems. This book is based on an abundance of archival sources and a thorough use of secondary literature. The author explores how German Jews were ideologically heterogeneous, and details how different groups coped with increasing antagonism in a variety of ways. The author's focus is more European than Palestinian, and it would be interesting to have a bit more information on the settlements themselves. Overall, this interesting monograph adds to the excellent body of literature on German Jews. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
About the Author
Brain Amkraut is Assistant Professor of Jewish History at the Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland, Ohio (formerly the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies).