Jews perceived themselves in different ways during this time period. In a broader sense, German Jews began to organize themselves into two groups within different ideologies. These included the Zionists and the German Jews. Those who considered themselves Zionists argued that the Jewish people should establish themselves back in their original homeland, Palestine. They also argued that the Jewish people were their own race. “Wear the Yellow Badge with Pride!” an editorial written in response to hatred Jews were facing by Robert Weltsch and published by the Zionist Federation of Germany, examined how some Zionists may have perceived themselves during this period, “This editorial called for pride in Jewishness, rejection of assimilation, and support of Zionism; its impact – especially on German Jewish youth – was electrifying (Dawidowicz, 143).” Throughout his piece, Weltsch calls on fellow Jews to be proud and more vocal about their heritage in communities across Germany, “Today Jews can speak only as Jews; anything else would be senseless (Dawidowicz, 147).” Weltsch addresses the boycott of Jewish businesses encouraging Jews to experience an awakening. He says there can be a Jewish rebirth, “if the Jews are not as they are depicted by their adversaries (Dawidowicz, 147).” T...
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The escalation of the nature of the threat the Jews were facing also limited the amount of responses they had when facing the new regime. As the hatred and persecution the Jews faced continued to become more intense, the option to resist became less realistic as they faced death.
Overall, Jewish perceptions of themselves and of the threat they were facing resulted in various responses to the rise of the Nazi regime. Initially, both groups of German Jews, the Zionists and those who remained loyal to Germany, had different views of themselves as Jews in the community. However, they each desired to cling to their traditions when faced with hatred. This outward pride diminished as the German Jewish community began to face more hostile persecution from the Nazis. As this threat escalated, German Jews had two viable options, to emigrate or to wait it out in Germany.
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