No Longer Ladies and Gentlemen
Gender and the German-Jewish Migration to Mandatory Palestine
Viola Alianov-Rautenberg



Migration, Gender, and Change

THE DUSTY STORAGE BOX IN the little archive in central Israel was filled to the brim with materials from the late 1930s and 1940s. The letters, pictures, and protocols of official meetings bore witness to the early community life of Bet Yitzhak, a small village established in 1939 by new immigrants from Germany. In with the other documents, the box also included an unexpected find: the lyrics to a song written in 1940 by the recent immigrant Leni Grünstein. In this song, written for a celebration with her fellow community members, the author reflects on the new realities they had all faced since their immigration:

Als wir einst ins Land herkamen— When we first came to the country,
waren Herren wir und Damen we were ladies and gentlemen
Anders ist es heut´ Today it is different.
Arbeitsanzug—unsre Mode— Work clothes are our fashion now
Primus—unsre Kochmethode Primus is the way we cook
Haben niemals Zeit. We never have time.
Arbeitstag währt 15 Stunden— The working day lasts 15 hours—
Bäuche sind dahin geschwunden our bellies are gone
Anzug ward zu weit. Our clothes become too big.
Mit Turiah und Spaten— Armed with turiah and spade,
sind als Beth Jizhaks Soldaten we are always ready to fight
Wir stets kampfbereit. As Bet Yitzhak’s soldiers.
Fort mit Lippenstift und Smoking— Away with lipstick and tuxedoes
Fort mit Frack, denn das ist shocking Away with tailcoats, they are shocking
Fort das Abendkleid. Away with evening gowns.
Weil ab jetzt dem Hühnerzüchten— Because from now on, raising chickens—
Kühe melken, Felder richten Milking cows, and working the fields
Wir uns ganz geweiht.1 Is what we are entirely devoted to.

Leni Grünstein was part of the mass Jewish emigration from Nazi Germany: between 1933, when Hitler came to power, and 1941, when emigration became illegal, two hundred and fifty thousand German Jews left the National Socialist state. While the largest group went to the United States, about sixty thousand German Jews migrated to Mandatory Palestine, then a small, poor, underdeveloped country that was not yet a sovereign state. Before the beginning of Nazi rule, German Jews had been a heterogeneous group, yet with a distinct shared socioeconomic profile: predominantly middle class, educated, urban, secularized, and assimilated. Immigration to Palestine brought about radical change, transforming their professional and social lives in almost every way. Crucial to these all-encompassing shifts were the changing gender relations within the immigrating group.

Grünstein’s song speaks directly to these changes. As she writes, she and her peers arrived as ladies and gentlemen—terms that are deeply connected with both class and gender roles. And while in pre-Nazi Germany before Nazi rule, Jewish men and women of the middle class had primarily lived and worked in separate spheres and according to different norms, this changed after immigration. As Grünstein vividly sums it up, there was a transformation from lipstick and evening gowns for the ladies and tailcoats and tuxedoes for the gentlemen to uniform work clothes for both sexes. Those who settled in agricultural villages, both men and women, now worked together, doing physical labor in agriculture and poultry farming, without leisure time or creature comforts, which brought changes to their bodies, relations, and self-perceptions.

The majority of the immigrants from Germany eventually settled in the cities of Mandatory Palestine, rather than the countryside. However, they, too, experienced the same dramatic changes that Grünstein describes for her little village: downward social mobility, accompanied by a loss of former profession, status, and class affiliation.

For almost all of the German immigrants to Mandatory Palestine, new employment patterns led to immediate changes in their gender relations and family dynamics. In the cities, husbands and fathers, who had formerly been their families’ breadwinners and providers, often became unemployed and had to depend on the incomes of their spouses and former homemakers. At the same time, families that had once lived according to middle-class gender norms now needed to dwell in small apartments, often shared with other families, while simultaneously coping with a new climate and language, as well as an emergent society engaged in an intensive nation-building process, characterized by a socialist pioneering ethos, which emphatically penetrated all aspects of the immigrants’ lives and produced relentless demands to change. As this book argues, both the absorbing bodies and a majority of the immigrants themselves experienced this situation as a crisis—and this crisis was gendered. While the migration led to radical transformations in the lives of all of the immigrants, the experience and outcome of the migration process differed for men and women. These crucial differences in the immigration experience, along with the consequences of a highly gendered absorption policy, have not yet been explored in the research literature.

This book analyzes the German-Jewish migration to Mandatory Palestine through a close examination of the first decade of absorption in order to shed light precisely on the critical role that gender played in this time of turmoil. Employing a great variety of sources that have not previously been focused on, I look here at gender in a broad array of different spheres (from private to public), scenes (from the ship to the workplace to the kitchen), and perspectives (of the immigrants, the absorbing apparatus, the veteran society). This multiplicity of sources and perspectives makes it possible to juxtapose the levels of discourse, policy, and experience and to demonstrate, in the process, that gender differences in policies of migration, absorption, and support caused gendered changes in the most intimate aspects of the individual immigrant’s life: from how they cooked and cleaned, through how they worked and lived their family lives, to their apparel and their bodies.

Methodologically, this combination of micro and macro perspective brings to the fore a new understanding of migration. By bringing such diverse sources as cookbooks and statistics, social welfare reports and songs, letters of complaint and newspaper articles into dialogue with each other, this approach demonstrates the relational quality of gender not only between men and women but also between everyday life and policies, between public and private, between center and margins. Integrating these extremely varied perspectives allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of the migration process, its historic actors, and their decisions more generally.

Ultimately, considering the impact of gender on this unique historical migration can help us in thinking more broadly about the timely phenomenon of large migration movements. How do normative ideologies from their countries of origin influence migrants’ absorption processes? How do gendered and ethnic hierarchies in the absorbing societies affect the migrants? And how do societies, after absorbing large migration movements, transform and reorganize around questions of power, privilege, and access to resources?


Immigration brings about radical change: migrants leave their old homes and homelands, families and friends, professions, and mother tongues. While these aspects of migration affect all migrants, migration is not by any means a gender-neutral process. The term gender, the social construction of differences between men and women (as opposed to sex, the biological differences), refers to a category defined by the historian Joan W. Scott as a constitutive element of social relationships. It includes symbols, normative concepts, social organizations, and subjective identity.2 As such, gender is a crucial aspect of immigration processes: from a macro perspective, the migration policies of both sending and receiving countries influence and provide differing migration opportunities for men and for women.3 For example, immigration laws can generate gendered disadvantages by giving women a derivative status.4 Simultaneously, from a micro perspective, migration challenges and often transforms individual immigrants’ gender relations and gendered self-perceptions. While under sedentary conditions, such change usually takes many years, immigration tends to propel processes that had begun long before, causing drastic and immediate transformations in the allocation of tasks within the family, concepts of masculinity and femininity, and participation in the labor market.

Located at the intersection of German-Jewish and Israeli history, this book tells the gender history of the “German Aliyah” to Mandatory Palestine / Eretz Israel. It argues that this Jewish migration from Nazi Germany was shaped and structured by gendered policies and ideologies and experienced in a gendered form by men and women who found refuge in Mandatory Palestine between 1933 and 1940. It uses gender as a relational category, discussing not only women or men but their relation to one another, as well as the relation between different kinds of women and different kinds of men. Therefore, gender is used here neither as an equivalent for women nor as an essential and stable category but as a historical category and, consequently, subject to change. Relating both to the immigrants’ lives in Germany before migration and to the complex reality of their new homeland, this book analyzes where such change occurred and how it was perceived by the immigrants, on the one hand, and the absorbing society, on the other.

These issues are crucial for understanding not only this specific immigration wave, but also the involuntary Jewish exodus from Germany more broadly. The respective conditions of the host countries across the globe led to a wide variety of different experiences among the immigrants. What was shared, however, was the experience of a gender role reversal for the immigrants, in conjunction with downward social mobility.

Employing gender as a methodological tool also enables a more comprehensive discussion of the character of the organized Jewish community in Mandatory Palestine, the Yishuv. Using the case of German Jews in this society, this book discusses their interactions with the receiving society on the cultural, social, political, and economic levels. In so doing, it reveals the ideologically charged discourse of these years and the demands of the absorbing society toward newcomers more generally. Further, it brings to the fore the question of interactions among different groups in Mandatory Palestine, both Jewish and non-Jewish, arguing that gender was crucial to these encounters and to the self-perception of the immigrants vis-à-vis the other groups. Lastly, this book also makes a methodological claim about the historical study of migration in general, asking how we study migrants and migration: do we choose the perspective of the immigrants or of the absorbing society, and do we base our analysis on contemporary documents or those conducted in hindsight? This study makes a case for bringing together both macro and micro viewpoints, as well as a multiplicity of sources.


The migration movement at the center of this book is part of two historical processes: on the one hand, the Jewish exodus from Nazi Germany and the subsequent development of a worldwide German-Jewish diaspora, and on the other, the history of Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine in the crucial decade before the founding of the state of Israel. This migration can hence be understood as both an epilogue to Jewish life in Germany before the Holocaust and a chapter in the history of the Yishuv at the height of its nation-building period, and has accordingly been researched from two different disciplinary standpoints: that of exile studies and that of Israeli migration history. In exile studies, the German Jews on the move are generally understood as emigrants and refugees rather than immigrants. Their history is considered mainly in the context of the Holocaust, since—as Debórah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt have pointed out—if they had not managed to leave Germany in time, they would have been murdered, too.5 Given this focus, the terminology used to describe them highlights their forced emigration and flight. Research on the mass Jewish emigration from Nazi Germany to the various countries of absorption initially concentrated on famous émigrés, such as scientists, intellectuals, and authors, most of whom were men. In the 1980s and 1990s, the research turned to simple rank-and-file immigrants and their immigration experiences.6 As interest shifted in this way, the studies also began to include female émigrées and, later, gender.

In Israeli research, the focus is different. The history of the Yishuv and of the modern state of Israel are inextricably linked with immigration; indeed, as the historian Aviva Halamish has put it, “Immigration is Israel’s history.”7 Until recently, the historiography was dominated by a Zionist narrative in which immigration to Israel was perceived as a unique and incomparable form of migration, expressed in the terminology of Aliyah (Hebrew: ascent) and Yerida (Hebrew: descent) for immigration and emigration, respectively, with all the positive and negative connotations of each of those terms.8 From the Zionist point of view, once Jews had entered Palestine, it was assumed that they automatically became members of the society and, thus, they were no longer considered refugees, even if they had fled from their country of origin.9 Immigrant was also the legal category that the British Mandate power applied to Jews arriving in Palestine with the intention of staying. The German-Jewish migrants, therefore, are also called immigrants in this field of research and considered mainly as a memorable part of the last and largest immigration wave to arrive in Palestine before the establishment of the state of Israel.

In this book, I will address the German Jews in Mandatory Palestine as migrants and immigrants, rather than as emigrants. Firstly, this is for historical reasons. While emigrating from Germany did take place under conditions of persecution and discrimination, it was not generally characterized as a refugee movement: from 1933 until late 1938, as Hagit Lavsky and others have pointed out, migrants did have the choice to emigrate and therefore the opportunity to plan and prepare for that process, even though that choice became increasingly limited as time went on.10 After the November pogrom, the situation changed: German Jews now tried to leave Germany at all costs, turning emigrants into refugees who were fleeing with not much more than their lives. But by that time, most of the emigrants who would eventually settle in Palestine had already arrived there, and the United States and the United Kingdom had become the central absorption countries.

The second reason for this terminological choice in this book is conceptual. Researching these immigrants using the methods of historic migration studies, rather than treating them as a refugee movement, means taking into consideration the different stages of the migration process: the developments leading to their emigration, the process of decision-making, their preparations, the journey itself, and the immigration policies and conditions in the country of absorption. This book is interested primarily in migration and absorption and the interaction with the receiving society. But by the same token, while the focus is on the immigrants’ lives in Palestine, I do also consider their pre-migration life in Germany, because I am precisely interested in the change from the gender relations and gendered perceptions that were rooted in their old life. For these women and men, neither emigrants longingly looking back to their old homeland nor ideologically motivated olim (Hebrew: immigrants), the words migrants and immigrants encompassed their many different experiences on the move and the ways in which they were absorbed into their new homeland.


The research literature on German-Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine has hitherto largely concentrated on two issues. Firstly, it has assessed the eventual level of the integration of these immigrants into society. Secondly, it has pointed out their manifold contributions to the emerging state of Israel. These two focal points already emerged in early historiographic works in the 1960s, which were almost entirely penned by the immigrants themselves.11 With these two focal points, the early research set the tone for much of the later literature; the topics of contribution and integration have remained the main topics of interest in the research literature on the German-Jewish immigration to Palestine. A plethora of studies has since researched this population’s contributions to industry and production, commerce and consumer culture, banking and finance, architecture, the tourist industry, medicine and medical services, science and academia, the judicial system, technology, and high culture.12 Collectively, these contributions have been referred to as impulses toward the modernization, professionalization, and Westernization of the culture, economy, and society of the Yishuv and later the state of Israel. Since the 1990s, the research has begun using different methodologies, including oral history and autobiography-based research. As a result, questions of experience, identity, and the memory of the immigrants have been brought to the fore.13 As a part of this shift, and due to more general interest in gender as a discipline, the research has also begun to address questions of femininities and masculinities as well as most recently sexuality.14 Gender as a relational category, however, considering both men and women, has not yet been systematically utilized.

How can we historicize these shifting focal points of the research literature? The argument about contributions originates in the initial dominance of the immigrants’ own perspectives and can be read as their desire to become part of the master narrative of Israeli historiography, as well as a reaction to the criticism on the part of the receiving society in the 1930s and 1940s that the immigrants allegedly refused to merge into the Yishuv melting pot.15 In his analysis of memoir literature, Guy Miron has characterized these German-Jewish migrants as an “interpretive community” whose members grappled extensively with both their individual and their collective past in an effort to shape their legacy for future generations.16 In recent decades, this attempt has been continued, through exhibitions, conferences, and publications, by members of the second and third generations of German immigrants. Such initiatives “demand the integration of the German story within the heroic national narrative, to emphasize its importance in the Zionist epic and promote its potential for the general society, present, and future,” as Hagit Lavsky has put it.17 Methodologically, this concentration on contributions is not analytical, as it automatically concentrates on positively connoted features and limits the research perspective. For example, what was crucial to the immigrants’ self-perception was the Orientalist lens through which they observed the absorbing society. This book is interested precisely in this self-perception of the newcomers in the context of the absorbing society, as well as the intersecting categories of power, class, ethnicity, and gender that such a perspective entails.

The focus on integration must also be understood as an attempt by the immigrants-turned-historians to pinpoint the success of their extensive attempts at “self-absorption” through their organizations. In an immigration country such as Israel, the question of integration appears straightforward from the perspective of the absorbing society; after all, the society is interested in successfully integrating the newcomers. Studies agree on the eventual economic integration, but the degree of cultural and social integration has been more disputed. The assessments range from slow but thorough integration to assertions of alienation and cultural incompatibility. The latter position claims that a distinction between German Jews and the receiving society based on the former group’s adherence to its own language, cultural heritage, and habits hindered or even prevented its complete integration. This narrative of distinction, in the research literature as well as in popular memory, has strengthened a stereotypical and folkloristic characterization of the immigrants. Rakefet Sela-Sheffy, for one, has challenged this notion, criticizing the uncritical perpetuation of this narrative of cultural alienation—a narrative, she claims, that helped the immigrants to achieve what she calls “integration through distinction.”18 The standard narrative about well-to-do immigrants with cultural integration problems may well have contributed to the under-studied status of difficult economic integration and social distress. Studies that explicitly concentrate on the ultimate integration of the German Jews, along with research that uses mainly sources composed in hindsight, run the risk of omitting the struggles of early absorption. It is precisely these challenges, and the place that gender had in them, that this book is interested in.

Because the migrants are part of two national histories—the histories of Germany and Israel—most of the research has been conducted in those two countries. The shift in interest away from the former focal points of research, both in Germany and in Israel, has different reasons in the different places: the two national historiographies have addressed the topic not only from different vantage points but often also using different terminologies and methodologies. The concentration on identity and experience in the newer Israeli studies can be seen as a reaction to the dominant historiography of Israeli academia: looking at the perspective of the immigrants themselves rather than using a viewpoint from above can be understood as a reaction to the traditional Israeli narrative that made German-Jewish contributions to the state-in-the-making and its institutions, along with successful integration, the main factor, rather than focusing on experiences.19 Meanwhile, on the side of German scholars, the emphasis on experience and memory may have different reasons behind it. Here, since the 1990s, studies have increasingly been based on either oral history or research into autobiographies.20 Because most autobiographies were published in German, and the interviewees still spoke German, this research focus bypassed any need for German scholars to read Hebrew sources and research literature. This may have amplified the perspective that treats German Jews in Palestine more as isolated emigrants looking back on their lost life in Germany than as immigrants who were a part of Yishuv society. The extensive use, in Germany, of oral history in place of, rather than in addition to, contemporary sources may also have helped perpetuate the stereotype of culturally alienated and isolated immigrants who did not manage to properly integrate into the host society. As Anja Siegemund has suggested, such a research approach understands the German Jews as part of German history rather than Israeli history.21 The historical research itself thus reflects how the German-Jewish migrants are remembered by the two societies, for different reasons and with different ramifications.


Gender has so far not been used as a systematic tool in researching this migration movement. However, rich historical studies, most notably Marion Kaplan’s work, have proven gender to be a crucial category for understanding modern German-Jewish history. In 1933, the Jewish minority made up less than 1 percent of the total German population, about five hundred thousand people. Before Nazi rule began, most understood themselves as Jewish Germans and identified with the ideals of German culture. Despite an ever-present anti-Semitism, German Jewry had been a successful group with a quick social upward mobility. Between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of World War I, they had undergone a process of modernization, assimilation, and emancipation. Marion Kaplan argues that women, by preserving Jewishness within the family while enabling the process of acculturation, were instrumental in this “making of the Jewish middle class.”22 While the primary responsibilities of German-Jewish women were toward the home and the family, from the beginning of the twentieth century there had been more possibilities provided for female education. The number of female students at the universities as well as that of female professionals rose, and alternative female role models, such as the Neue Frau (New Woman), appeared in Weimar.23

With the National Socialist rise to power in 1933, the emancipation of German Jewry was set back. Over the course of thirteen years, from 1933 through 1945, German Jews were first subjected to legal disenfranchisement, then social ostracism, discriminatory legislation, economic expulsion, Aryanization, and finally forced emigration, violence, deportation, and murder. The destruction of Jewish businesses and the limitation of Jewish participation in the economy started as early as April 1933, with the nationwide boycott. The introduction of the so-called Aryan Paragraph then led to the dismissal or early retirement of “non-Aryan” civil servants, lawyers, judges, and physicians, causing increasing unemployment and privation. The formal deprivation of Jews’ rights as citizens and the establishment of racial segregation were finalized in the September 1935 Nuremberg Laws. In 1938, a period of increasing brutality in the National Socialist persecution began. In November of that year, the pogrom night escalated the violence, with the burning of synagogues, the demolishing of flats and businesses, the murder of hundreds, and the imprisonment of thirty thousand Jews in concentration camps. In 1941, emigration was banned, and the deportations to the extermination camps began. And of the millions of Jews murdered in the Shoah, 165,000 were German Jews, including those who fled to other countries that were later conquered by the Nazis.24

Gender was a decisive factor in Jewish life under National Socialism. As Kaplan and others have demonstrated, both Nazi persecution and the survival strategies of the victims were gendered. Jews were attacked first and foremost as Jews, but while Jewish women were ultimately targeted too, it was men who were in the direct line of fire of Nazi politics at first: their careers were destroyed, they became incapable of providing for their families, and they also, initially, faced the more immediate physical danger. As a result, Jewish women in Nazi Germany had to take on new roles as breadwinners when their husbands lost their sources of livelihood, while simultaneously continuing to fulfill their old roles, such as homemaking and child-rearing, under worsened conditions. Emotional support was especially needed for those men who now felt worthless because they were no longer able to provide for their families, and even more so for those who were traumatized after having been imprisoned in the camps. Many women also became active defenders of their families and their businesses and interceded with the authorities on behalf of their arrested husbands.25

Nazi rule radically transformed the lives of German Jews, increasingly eroding their socioeconomic position. This meant a wearing away of what Guy Miron and others have described as the bourgeois habitus that had characterized German-Jewish life in pre-1933 Germany, including gender roles and female participation in the labor market.26 The slow changes that had been taking place in gender roles over the previous decades were hence involuntarily accelerated through the National Socialist persecution, even before German Jews emigrated.

The approximately two hundred and fifty thousand German Jews who did manage to emigrate found shelter in about ninety countries around the world. Roughly a hundred thousand of them emigrated to the United States, sixty thousand to Palestine, and forty thousand to England. Other main countries of refuge included South American states such as Brazil and Argentina, as well as South Africa, Australia, and Shanghai.

German-Jewish women and men in all countries of exile experienced gendered crisis and role reversal. The specific manifestations differed from country to country, however, due to the ranges of gender relations and ideals of masculinity and femininity in each place.27 These manifestations also depended on the timing of their migration. Many of the challenges that emigration posed to their former middle-class status, such as male unemployment, female participation in the labor market, and downward socioeconomic mobility, had already increasingly been part of Jewish life in Nazi Germany. Most of the German Jews who immigrated to Palestine, however, left Nazi Germany relatively early. Therefore, in comparison with the majority of German-Jewish emigrants, who left after 1938, and mainly to other countries, the migrants to Palestine had been subjected to less Nazi persecution and less of the concomitant erosion of their middle-class identity while they were still in Germany. This is why, for German-Jewish immigrants to Palestine, the socioeconomic changes in immigration were perceived as bringing such radical change, as described in Leni Grünstein’s song above.

For emigrants from Nazi Germany in general, the picture that has been drawn in the research literature is that, at least in the first decade, men suffered more from the deterioration of their status, the loss of their career, the loss of the fatherland, and the breakdown of their old culture. As a result, many became depressed or ill or even collapsed. The female immigrants, by contrast, appear from the research to have shouldered the overall immigration situation and their new lives much better.28 However, most of these scholarly works did not engage with gender relations per so but focused instead on women or, in a few cases, men.29

The same narrative appears in the research on German Jews in Palestine. Guy Miron and Dorit Yosef have dealt with female immigrants and their features in autobiographies and memoir literature.30 Patrick Farges has recently examined oral history interviews conducted in the 1990s regarding expressions of masculinity in this material.31 These studies point out that gender did matter for the experience and memories of the individual immigrants; however, they do not apply gender as a relational category. In other words, they do not consider both men and women, nor do they examine gender as a structural element in migration and absorption policies. The same is true for other Israeli studies that have recently touched upon German immigrants in the framework of professional women in medicine, social work, education, and architecture in Mandatory Palestine.32 Aiming to highlight the contributions of women in all these fields (and, ultimately, in the establishment of the state of Israel), these historical works tend to engage with a small professional elite and not the experience of the majority of immigrants. In addition, few of these studies discuss how these professional women perceived themselves in contrast with other groups of women in Mandatory Palestine, namely those Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origin who were referred to as “Oriental” Jews at the time. In other words, they do not explore gender as a relational category with multiple dimensions, where groups of women are studied in relation not only to men but also to other groups of women in different categories of class and ethnicity. As this book argues, however, such perceptions and related questions of power, superiority, and inferiority were crucial to the immigrants’ efforts to find their place in their new society.

This book discusses men and women as gendered actors in relation to each other in the immigration process. Moreover, it relates to gender on both micro and macro levels, bringing to the fore gender as a factor in individual experiences and memory and as a structural category in immigration and absorption policies. Furthermore, instead of researching this immigrant group in isolation from the rest of society, I investigate the gendered interaction between this group and the receiving society on the cultural, social, political, and economic levels. In using gender as a relational category, I critically examine the paradigm of women being able to cope better than men in Jewish migration by questioning the social circumstances of the contemporary debates and the underlying normative ideas of femininity and masculinity.

How did gender matter in Jewish emigration from Nazi Germany? Being able to leave Germany depended both on Nazi politics and on the immigration policies of the countries of refuge. At first, it was the objective of Nazi policy, using economic pressure, discrimination, and isolation, to prompt as many Jews as possible to leave Germany. At the same time, the Nazis restricted the amount of currency and property that Jews could take with them. With each year of Nazi persecution, these conditions worsened, and the German Jews were increasingly expropriated. The Nazi policies were unpredictable and deceptive. In the 1930s, therefore, it was not possible to predict the deportations and mass murder of the “final solution” or to know that emigration would be the only way to survive. Even Jewish organizations concerned with emigration initially thought that they would have much more time for the emigration process. So rather than hurrying the process, they worked to ensure that German Jews were well prepared for their emigration.33 Only in the wake of the 1938 pogrom did emigration became mass flight. By this point, the conditions for leaving had become even more desperate, mainly because most Jews still in Germany were destitute by then.

FIGURE 1. A train carrying German-Jewish emigrants from Berlin to Marseille leaving the Anhalter train station in Berlin, September 1, 1936. Photographer: Herbert Sonnenfeld. Source: Jewish Museum Berlin, FOT 88/500/106/034, purchased with funds provided by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin. Reprinted with permission.

Meanwhile, most countries of absorption had restrictive immigration policies. Already suffering from massive unemployment due to the Great Depression, they did not want impoverished immigrants who would become indigent. This was even more the case when these immigrants were old and when their professions did not suit the demands of the host country—in most countries of refuge, different occupations were asked for than those prevailing among German Jewry. The most attractive countries of immigration, namely the United States and England, both had restrictive immigration policies until 1938 and only eased those restrictions after the November pogrom. Then, with the outbreak of World War II in September of 1939, the belligerent nations halted immigration from Germany almost completely, while the neutral states strictly restricted it. In the autumn of 1941, Nazi Germany banned emigration entirely. Shortly after that, the deportations to the extermination camps began.

Trying to start a new life abroad, therefore, required not only courage but also money, skills, knowledge, and networks. In deciding to emigrate, gender was a crucial factor, in addition to age, political affiliation, and marital and socioeconomic status. As Marion Kaplan argues, women were more willing than men to leave Germany and start a new life abroad because women were less integrated into the public world but more family-oriented. Therefore, she continues, women sensed hostility in everyday encounters earlier than men, causing them to favor emigration.34 And yet, ultimately, fewer women than men emigrated from Nazi Germany. The research literature suggests several possible reasons for this. Despite the changes in gender roles discussed above, in married couples it was still mainly the husband who made the emigration decision for the couple. Another reason for the unequal emigration ratio was that women, unlike most men, were still able to find employment in commercial jobs and as household personnel within the Jewish sector in Germany for a while.35 Men, on the other hand, had more business connections abroad—a fact that helped them leave Germany. However, as Stefanie Schüler-Springorum has argued, there were also women who did not want to leave, whether for fear of the unknown or because of responsibilities for family members who were unable to leave and needed to be taken care of. And at the same time, there were also many men who were not willing to leave their life’s work behind. As Schüler-Springorum suggests, it is therefore impossible to reach a definitive answer to the question of whether it was men or women who pushed harder for emigration.36 Furthermore, there was the structural factor that Jewish community welfare organizations provided more support for emigrating men than for women, leading to greater emigration by young men.37 Lastly, there were also gendered restrictions in migration policies from the absorbing countries, as in the case of Palestine.


Palestine was one of the main destinations for German Jewry: between 1933 and 1940, it absorbed almost a quarter of the total emigration. Palestine had been a relatively neglected part of the Ottoman Empire until it was conquered by the British during World War I, after four hundred years of Ottoman rule, and subsequently became subject to British colonial rule from 1918 to 1948. Entrusted in 1922 by the League of Nations to serve as the Mandatory Power for Palestine, the British had full legislative and administrative power over the region’s clashing inhabitants: the majority Arab population and the Jewish community of pre-state Israel. Between the end of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, championed by the Zionist movement, five “Aliyot” or immigration waves arrived in Palestine, mainly from Russia and Eastern Europe, leading to the establishment of the so-called New Yishuv. The “Fifth Aliyah” (ca. 1929–1939), larger than all previous immigration waves, brought nearly a quarter of a million people to Palestine and doubled the population of the Yishuv. The majority of this Aliyah was from Poland, but the sixty thousand immigrants from Germany and another thirty thousand from German-speaking central Europe (Austria, Czechoslovakia, and the Free City of Danzig) figured prominently and led to a common perception of this wave as the “German Aliyah.”

The German Jews arrived during a period of intensive nation-building efforts by the organized Jewish community. In the 1930s, the Yishuv was a state-in-the-making, striving for autonomy. It had formed an infrastructure with political, military, cultural, and health institutions and a rudimentary parliament recognized by the British Mandate. A unique cultural life emerged in the Yishuv, characterized by a socialist pioneering ethos and centered on the renewal of the Hebrew language and its use in developing a Hebrew culture.38 While women were part of all these developments in the Yishuv, and despite its proclaimed goal of creating a new society, traditional gender inequality continued to exist in the political and private life of the Yishuv.39

Despite the economic depression, the Yishuv retained its great interest in large-scale immigration and continued to support that immigration, against the wishes of the majority Arab population. It was the British Mandate, though, that ultimately decided on immigration policy.40 British immigration regulations divided the immigrants into four groups and allocated certificates accordingly: category A certificates for “capitalists,” persons of independent means who could prove the ownership of 1,000 Palestine pounds; category B certificates for students, pupils, and persons of religious occupations whose maintenance was assured; category C certificates for persons with a definite prospect of employment, labeled “labor,” or pioneering immigrants; and category D certificates for dependents of permanent residents of Palestine or of immigrants in other categories. In the first years of the German immigration, between 1933 and 1937, the British policy was conducted under the “economic absorptive capacity,” an estimate of the country’s ability to absorb immigrants without harming the economy. Only category C (labor) immigrants were subject to the economic absorptive capacity principle in this period; immigrants in the A, B, and D categories were not expected to join the labor market and hence not regulated in this way. In 1937, though, this policy was replaced with the “political high level.” The immigration policy became restrictive, causing a decrease in German-Jewish immigration to Palestine. Britain now aimed to maintain the existing demographic composition of Palestine (one-third Jewish and two-thirds Arab) by limiting Jewish immigration of all types. In May of 1939, the total number of Jewish immigrants was limited to 75,000 for the following five years (i.e., only 15,000 per year).

Now persons of independent means were also restricted by a quota and had to wait for a certificate. While the British had sole control over immigration in the categories A, B, and D, they granted partial authority for the allocation of labor certificates (category C) to the Zionist Organization (which had to guarantee the maintenance of the immigrants during their first year in Palestine).41 The Zionist Organization dispensed these certificates among its members primarily according to party affiliation and according to the needs of the country; preference was given to young and mainly male pioneers.

A crucial gendered difference in migration to Palestine was that women were disadvantaged in the allocation of visas by both the British and the Jewish Agency.42 They were not, for instance, entitled to obtain category A (capitalist) certificates, for owners of private means, even if they possessed such means. Nor could they be considered heads of families; hence, they could not bring dependent husbands or children of their own, and female residents of Palestine could not request certificates for their family members. Instead, married women could only immigrate as dependents. Single women without relatives could come as dependents or could obtain labor certificates, but these were limited.43 Divorced women and widows, as opposed to still-married women with living husbands, could get their own certificates, but in the labor category (category C) they could do so only if they immigrated without children. The ratio of men to women among German Jews migrating to Palestine was 51.9 (men) to 47.4 percent (women). Within Germany in 1933, however, the German-Jewish population was 52.4 percent women.44 In other words, women and men eager to leave Nazi Germany did not have the same chance to enter Palestine.

Two organizations were central to the absorption of German Jewry in Palestine: the immigrant self-help organization Hitahdut Oley Germania (Association of Immigrants from Germany) and the German Department of the Jewish Agency. The Hitahdut Oley Germania (HOG) was founded in 1932 from within the small community of early German-Jewish immigrants. It turned into a self-help organization when the mass immigration began, and it became the backbone of the absorption process, representing the immigrants before both the Palestine government and the national Yishuv institutions. Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1933, under the lead of the Zionist Federation of Germany (Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland), a new body was established to organize the sudden mass immigration of German Jews: the Central Office for the Settlement of German Jews. It was divided into three branches, based in Jerusalem, London, and Berlin, respectively, with the London headquarters headed by Chaim Weizmann. The office in Jerusalem, colloquially referred to within the Jewish Agency as the German Department, was headed by Arthur Ruppin and led by the German Zionists David Werner Senator and Georg Landauer. Both the German Department and the HOG were staffed by German or Central European veteran Zionists. The German Department administered the funds that were collected internationally for the German Jews and coordinated the measures for their integration, while the HOG perceived itself as the executor of the German Department and as a bridge builder between the immigrants and the Yishuv, with financial support from the latter. Together, the two organizations provided information for those still in Germany and organized the absorption of those already in Palestine: from admitting the immigrants at the ports and seeing to their preliminary arrangements; through finding housing, vocational training, employment, loans, and education for children and adults; to arranging Hebrew classes, social and cultural acclimatization, and financial support and establishing mutual aid organizations.45 As Irith Cherniavsky and others have pointed out, German Jews were treated favorably, in some ways, when compared to the other main group of immigrants at the time, Polish Jews. For one thing, the British determined a specific number of certificates that had to be given to German Jews, but without increasing the overall number of certificates. This led to a de facto decrease in certificates for immigrants from other countries. In addition, the special funds that were collected to help with the absorption of German Jews were to be used only for them and not for any other migrants. And lastly, German Jews were given more flexibility in fulfilling some of the criteria for obtaining certificates.46

German-Jewish immigration to Palestine occurred in waves that were related both to National Socialist politics and to British immigration policy. The very first immigrants arrived in the direct wake of the shock of January 1933. Because they had left Nazi Germany in haste, they were inadequately equipped and organized, and the number of capitalists among them was small. After these first months, however, the character of the immigration changed. From 1933 to 1936, the immigrants included a large proportion of “capitalists.” Almost thirty-five thousand immigrants—the majority of this migration movement—arrived in these first years of mass immigration. These were prevailingly prosperous years, and the positive economic climate was an incentive for German Jews to invest in the Yishuv. Another incentive for immigration to Palestine was the Ha’avara agreement (Hebrew: transfer). This agreement, reached in August 1933 between German Zionists, the Jewish Agency, and the Reichswirtschaftsministerium (German Ministry of Economics), enabled German Jews to transfer money and property in more significant proportions to Palestine than to other countries.47 However, after 1936, the character of immigration changed again. Economic crisis, the so-called Arab Revolt from 1936 to 1939 (which violently opposed British rule and the Jewish presence in Palestine), and the more restrictive policy of the British combined to produce a severe decline in the number of German immigrants. Then, with the outbreak of the war, immigration dwindled even further due to the problems of reaching Palestine, both because of restrictions within Nazi Germany and because of the British restrictions on immigration from an enemy country. Throughout World War II, only a few thousand immigrants came from Germany, most of those arriving before 1941, and the majority of them young students who were part of the Youth Aliyah. Finally, when there was no longer any legal way to enter, the last option for getting to Palestine was through risky voyages across the Mediterranean (dubbed “Sonder-Hahshara” or “Aliyah Bet”).48 The several thousand German Jews who managed to save their lives in this way constituted the last chapter of German-Jewish immigration to Palestine before the end of the war.

FIGURE 2. Emigrants boarding a ship to Palestine from Marseille, September 1936. Photographer: Herbert Sonnenfeld. Source: Jewish Museum Berlin, 2003/229/27. Reprinted with permission.

This book focuses primarily on immigration in the years from 1933 through 1940. Hence, immigrants before 1933 and survivors of the Shoah after 1945 are not the subject of this study. With the beginning of World War II in September 1939, as already noted above, immigration to Palestine largely came to a halt. In addition, the political and social situation in Palestine drastically changed in the war years, as it did later, once again, with the fight for national independence. Further, this book investigates only German Jews who immigrated to Mandatory Palestine. It does not include immigrants from other German-speaking countries, such as Austria. The element of a shared language, while meaningful, does not justify treating these diverse groups as one. There were crucial differences between these countries in terms of cultural and geographic experiences, as well as in terms of the experience of Nazi rule. Moreover, the conditions of emigration varied widely given the immigrants’ country of origin, leading to very different migration experiences.

This book is attentive to the place of gender in a multidimensional way. It asks what impact gender had on the processes of immigration and absorption of the immigrants, how immigration affected the gender relations of the immigrating group, and how it shaped interactions with the receiving society. In understanding gender as a central axis of social relations, this study considers both the macro and the micro levels of migration. Such a focus means incorporating sources in such a way as to enable an analysis of migration policies, guidelines, and the implementation of absorption, as well as individual experiences, family dynamics, and self-perceptions. To integrate these multifold perspectives, my research draws on a wide variety of archival material in German, English, and Hebrew, including administrative records, personal documents, contemporary newspapers, and oral history interviews.

The administrative perspective on the German immigrants is expressed in immigration statistics, surveys, and reports on the absorption of the German Jews into the Yishuv, as well as the minutes of the discussions of various committees. These materials document all aspects of the work of the absorption apparatus and provide pivotal insights into social, political, economic, and legal questions regarding mass immigration from an administrative perspective. Most members of these bodies were themselves part of the German-Jewish community. In this book, I not only read these materials as documentation of the activities of the apparatus, but I also analyze discussions of potential absorption policies with an eye to the inherent questions of normative ideologies and expectations expressed in them. The same is true for the analysis of information material, running the gamut of daily life, that was provided for the immigrants in the form of leaflets, booklets, newsletters, and guidebooks. On the one hand, these materials were intended to offer valuable information to the new immigrants. On the other hand, they also aimed to boost immigration to Palestine, foster occupational change, and encourage settlement in agricultural villages.

This book also uses contemporary newspapers and periodicals, especially the two most prominent and widely circulated publications for the new immigrants: the Mitteilungsblatt and the Jüdische Rundschau. The Mitteilungsblatt (German: Bulletin) was the newsletter of the Hitahdut Oley Germania (Association of Immigrants from Germany). Published bimonthly and for the most part in German, it provided new immigrants from Germany with much practical information regarding life in Palestine and information about the activities of the Hitahdut Oley Germania. The Jüdische Rundschau (German: Jewish Review), the official mouthpiece of the Zionist Federation of Germany, covered immigration to Palestine extensively. Correspondents in Palestine covered political, social, economic, and cultural developments in the Yishuv and the state of German immigration. In this, the Jüdische Rundschau had a double task: it provided information both for Jews who were still in Germany and were seen as potential immigrants, and for those who had already immigrated to Palestine. Thus, the correspondents were under pressure to report in a way that did not underestimate the hardships of those settling in Palestine, but at the same time encouraged additional immigration. The contents of both of these periodicals are used in this book to shed light on contemporary events and how these were communicated to the immigrants. In addition, they are used to explore debates and controversies, which can be traced not only through the articles but also through readers’ letters, advertisements, and personal ads.

While the administrative documents provide a perspective from above, ego-documents shed light on the absorption from the standpoint of individual immigrants. To this end, this book uses contemporary letters, diaries, songs, poems, and plays, as well as sources written in hindsight, such as unpublished autobiographical manuscripts and published memoirs. An additional source group consists of oral history interviews. I interviewed close to forty individuals who had emigrated from Germany to Palestine as children, youth, or young adults between 1933 and 1939.

This book focuses on the perspective of German Jews in Mandatory Palestine. Hence, the sources used here are mainly German-Jewish sources, written from the perspective either of the immigrants themselves or of the responsible absorbing bodies—which themselves also consisted mainly of German Jews. The various source groups analyzed in this book were created at different points in time. They also differ significantly in their purposes and perspectives. Unlike contemporary documents, the autobiographies and interviews look back at experiences that took place many decades earlier and express selective memories of these events, memories that have likely changed over time.49 Memoirs hence always also (and sometimes even mostly) reflect the present situation of the authors, as Miron demonstrates in his analysis of the autobiographies of German-Jewish immigrants.50 The same is true for oral history, in which the historian, as interviewer, is also part of the creation of the source.51 While an understanding of these limitations needs to be incorporated into any analysis of documents conducted in hindsight, it is crucial to be aware of the limitations of contemporary documents as well: letters written to family members are phrased differently than those to authorities; reports by social workers differ in purpose from published articles on the same subject. Hence, all of these sources, not only those composed in hindsight, are closely analyzed regarding their respective intentions, expectations, and omissions. By utilizing a broad basis of different sources, this book is able to include various aspects of the respective materials while critically interpreting and linking them with each other and thus can shed light specifically on the struggles of early absorption and the conflictual encounter with the absorbing society.


Gender mattered in different ways at different stages of the migration process. The first chapter of this book considers the place of gender in the preparations and the physical journey from the old to the new homeland, as well as in the experiences of the new immigrants during their arrival and first absorption in Palestine. It argues that while the shock of arrival was experienced by both men and women, they felt it in different ways, as different roles were prescribed to them by the immigration apparatus as well as by the immigrant community itself.

From the moment they set foot on the shore of Palestine, the immigrants engaged with the absorbing society, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The second chapter takes a close look at these interactions and discusses encounters with the British and Arabs in Palestine as well as interactions with Mizrahim and Eastern European Jews within the Jewish community. The chapter demonstrates how gender contributed to the dynamics of these encounters and how the respective interactions were framed in gendered terms. It argues that being a German immigrant—in terms of both the perception from outside and self-perception—was different for men and women.

One of the most crucial challenges the immigrants faced was finding a way to earn an income. The third chapter investigates the integration of immigrants into the labor market in two different ways. First, it discusses the attempts of the absorbing apparatus to monitor and support the immigrants. Gender, intersecting with class, age, and the body, played a crucial role in this process. And second, the chapter turns to the perspective of the immigrants themselves and explores how they coped with occupational change, unemployment, and loss of former status. Women and men featured differently in this process: they worked in different jobs, under different conditions, and for different wages.

As the immigrants rebuilt their lives in Palestine, their homes were in no way shelters of privacy from the all-encompassing demands of immigration. The immigrants’ housework was not an invisible and private practice but was, rather, highly visible and publicly discussed, exposed to demands from the absorbing society, the community, and the family. Immigrant cuisine, in particular, was a focus of attention. The fourth chapter discusses the various ways in which homemaking practices changed due to immigration and how they were examined by social workers, the authorities, and the immigrant community.

Relationships between family members—whether between spouses, or between parents and children—were one of the most intimate realms in which migration forced decisive changes. Responsibilities within the family that had been distributed according to the sex of the family members changed over the course of the immigration process, as did the responsibilities that had been distributed to parents and children. The final chapter of this book turns a gendered lens on the immigrant family. It discusses the myriad challenges to which families were subjected through the immigration process—such as chain migration, different marriage strategies, pressure on marriages, and new forms of parenting—as well as the consequences of those challenges.

In writing gender into the history of this migration, this book questions historical assumptions about the German-Jewish migration to Palestine and its place in the emerging society, as well as about German-Jewish emigration in general. Rather than following the dominant approaches in the research literature, focusing on long-term contributions to the emerging state or questions of memory and identity, this book uses gender as a novel approach to conflict and crisis in the immigrants’ first decade in the country. As Leni Grünstein wrote in the song with which I began this introduction, migration changed how the migrants worked, cooked, looked, dressed, lived, loved, and related to one another. As this book ultimately argues, gender was a crucial element in each of these all-encompassing shifts.


1. Leni Grünstein, “Als wir einst ins Land herkamen,” Bet Yitzhak 1940. Bet Yitzhak Archive, Leni Grünstein Collection, Box 5, File 4. All translations of written sources and interviews into English are by the author, unless otherwise noted. A turiah is an agricultural tool, comparable to a hoe.

2. Scott, “Gender.”

3. See Green, “Changing Paradigms”; Green and Reynolds, “Four Ages of Migration Studies”; Nawyn, “Gender and Migration”; Donato and Gabaccia, Gender and International Migration.

4. Calavita, “Gender, Migration, and Law”; Piper, “Gendering the Politics of Migration.”

5. Dwork and van Pelt, Flight from the Reich, xiii.

6. See Benz, Das Exil. For an overview of the emigration of German Jews, see Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Berlin and Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Heimat und Exil.

7. Halamish, “Immigration Is Israel’s History.”

8. Shuval, “The Mythology of ‘Uniqueness’”; Alroey, An Unpromising Land; Lavsky, The Creation of the German-Jewish Diaspora.

9. Halamish, “Palestine as a Destination,” 123.

10. Lavsky, The Creation of the German-Jewish Diaspora, 2–6. See also see Niederland, Yehudey Germania.

11. See the contributions in Tramer, In zwei Welten; Feilchenfeld, Michaelis, and Pinner, Haavara-Transfer nach Palästina; Turnowsky-Pinner, Die zweite Generation; Luft, Heimkehr ins Unbekannte.

12. See for example Niederland, “Deutsche Ärzte-Emigration”; Jütte, Die Emigration der deutschsprachigen “Wissenschaft des Judentums.

13. Miron, Mi “sham” le “kan” beGuf rishon; Schlör, Endlich im gelobten Land?; Zimmermann and Hotam, Zweimal Heimat, 10–13; Brunner, Deutsche(s) in Pälastina und Israel; Siegemund, Deutsche und Zentraleuropäische Juden.

14. Yonay, “Gay German Jews and the Arrival of ‘Homosexuality’ to Mandatory Palestine.”

15. See for example Erel, Kaleidoskop Israel.

16. Miron, Mi “sham” le “kan” beGuf rishon, 297.

17. Lavsky, The Creation of the German-Jewish Diaspora, 10.

18. Sela-Sheffy, “Integration through Distinction”; Sela-Sheffy, “High Status Immigration Group.”

19. Wassermann, “Das Deutsche in Erez Israel.”

20. For interview collections, see for example Betten and Du-Nour, Wir sind die letzten. For autobiography-based research, see for example Kreppel, Deutsch, Jüdisch, Israelisch.

21. Siegemund, “‘Die Jeckes,’” 22.

22. Kaplan, The Making of the Jewish Middle Class.

23. See Freidenreich, “Die jüdische ‘Neue Frau.’

24. See, e.g., Meyer and Brenner, Deutsch-jüdische Geschichte in der Neuzeit; Zimmermann, Die deutschen Juden 1914–1945; Dahm and Benz, Die Juden in Deutschland 1933–1945; Paucker, Gilchrist, and Suchy, Die Juden im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland.

25. Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair, 8–10. See also Ofer, “The Contribution of Gender”; Koonz, “Courage and Choice”; Thalmann, “Jüdische Frauen”; Huebel, Fighter, Worker, and Family Man.

26. Miron, Lehiot Yehudi beGermania ha Nazit, 1–12.

27. Quack, Between Sorrow and Strength; Quack, Zuflucht Amerika; Quack, “Changing Gender Roles”; Kushner, “Fremde Arbeit”; Levine, Class, Networks, and Identity; Kaplan, Dominican Haven; Luscher, Frauen in der Emigration; Grossmann, “‘Neue Frauen’ im Exil”; Miron, “Introduction,” 44–54.

28. Quack, “Introduction,” 9. See the same notion in other contributions to Quack’s edited volume Between Sorrow and Strength, for example Gay, “Epilogue: The First Sex”; Kranzler, “Women in the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Community,” 133; Kaplan, “Jewish Women in Nazi Germany.”

29. For a study on masculinities, see Gerson, “Family Matters.”

30. Miron, “From Bourgeois Germany to Palestine”; Miron, Mi “sham” le “kan” beGuf rishon, 256–63; Yosef, “Mi ‘Yekkiot’ le Zioniot”; Yosef and Miron, “Burganut ve Zionut.”

31. Farges, “‘Muscle’ Yekkes?”; Farges, “Multiple Masculinities”; Farges, “‘Generation Palmach’?”

32. Shilo, Nashim bonot Uma; Halpern, “Jewish Social Workers”; Davidi, Bonot Aretz Hadasha.

33. See Barkai, “Selbsthilfe im Dilemma.” See also Jünger, Jahre der Ungewissheit.

34. Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair, 63–65; Kaplan, “Jewish Women in Nazi Germany,” 34–48.

35. Kaplan, Between Dignity and Despair, 59, 67; see also Barkai, “Jüdisches Leben unter der Verfolgung.”

36. Schüler-Springorum, Geschlecht und Differenz, 121–22.

37. Kaplan, “Jewish Women in Nazi Germany,” 41–42.

38. Halperin, Babel in Zion.

39. Shilo, “The Double or Multiple Image.” See also the various chapters in Bernstein, Pioneers and Homemakers as well as in Kark, Shilo, and Hasan-Rokem, Jewish Women in Pre-State Israel.

40. Halamish, “Palestine as a Destination.”

41. Halamish, “Palestine as a Destination,” 125.

42. Halamish, “Aflayat Nashim beTkufat haMandat”; Halamish, BeMirutz Kaful Neged haSman, 178–85.

43. Bernstein, “Daughters of the Nation.”

44. Department of Statistics of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Jewish Immigration into Palestine from Germany during 1933–1938. Bulletin No. 3, February 1939, CZA S7/787; Kaplan, “Jewish Women in Nazi Germany,” 42.

45. On the history and development of the German Department and the HOG, see Gelber, Moledet Hadasha, 222–316.

46. Cherniavsky, BeOr Shineyhem, 27–28.

47. Feilchenfeld, Michaelis, and Pinner, Haavara-Transfer; Barkai, “German Interests”; Nicosia, “Haavara, Hachschara und Aliyah-beth.” See also Segev, The Seventh Million, 19–20.

48. For a description of this experience, see for example Heller, Dr. Seligmanns Auswanderung.

49. On the use of memoirs in German-Jewish gender history, see the debate between Marion Kaplan and Miriam Gebhardt: Kaplan, “Weaving Women’s Words”; Gebhardt, “Der Fall Clara Geißmar.” See also Gebhardt, Das Familiengedächtnis.

50. Miron, Mi “sham” le “kan” beGuf rishon, 54.

51. See for example Portelli, “What Makes Oral History Different.” See also Niethammer, Lebenserfahrung und kollektives Gedächtnis.