Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

View Table of Contents

Get Email Updates

Continental Britons

German-Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany

Marion Berghahn
New and Revised Edition

280 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-090-8 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (March 2007)

Pb   Recommend to your Library


“…a scholarly yet readable book…pioneering workJournal of Jewish Studies


Based on numerous in-depth and personal interviews with members of three generations, this is the first comprehensive study of German-Jewish refugees who came to England in the 1930s. The author addresses questions such as perceptions of Germany and Britain and attitudes towards Judaism. On the basis of many case studies, the author shows how the refugees adjusted, often amazingly successfully, to their situation in Britain. While exploring the process of acculturation of the German-Jews in Britain, the author challenges received ideas about the process of Jewish assimilation in general, and that of the Jews in Germany in particular, and offers a new interpretation in the light of her own empirical data and of current anthropological theory.

Marion Berghahn, Independent Scholar and Publisher, studied American Studies, Romance Languages and Philosophy at the universities of Hamburg, Freiburg and Paris. She went on to receive an MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, followed by a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick. These subjects, together with history, later on formed the basis of her scholarly publishing program.

Subject: Jewish Studies Refugee & Migration Studies 20th Century History Sociology
Area: Europe Germany



I. Problems of Identity

II. Concepts of Assimilation and Ethnic Identity

1. The Process of Jewish Assimilation in Germany

The Debate of German-Jewish Assimilation

Towards a Re-definition of German-Jewish Ethnic Identity

2. Life Under the Threat of Nazism

The Crisis of the German-Jewish Identity

A Period of Re-orientation

The Significance of the Eastern European Jewish Immigrants

Aspects of Jewish-Gentile Relationships in the 1930s

Effects of the Nazi Policies on the German-Jewish Community

3. Emigration


The Medical Profession

The Legal Profession


Business People

November 1938

4. Search for New Roots

The Burden of the Past

German-Jewish Institutions

5. The Ambiguities of Ethnic Identification

England—A New Haven?

Germany—A Winter’s Tale

6. ‘Continental’ Britons

Problems of Identity

Elements of Continental Ethnicity

Encounters with Anglo-Jewry

The Third Generation




Back to Top