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The Language War in the German Zionist Press (1897-1914): a debate in historical perspective

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Barbara Odebrecht Weiss
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Omar Ribeiro Thomaz; Mariana de Campos Françozo; Mônica Grin Monteiro de Barros
Advisor: Omar Ribeiro Thomaz

The present research investigates the debate about what language should be adopted as the Jewish national language. Three German periodicals of early Zionism are focused: Ost und West, Palaestina e Die Welt. The beginning of the period ranging between the First Zionist Congress in Basel (1987) and First World War, showed a great diversity of positions. Yet as the 'Battle of the Technikum' (1913-1914) approached, the positions coalesced into the 'Hebraist turn'. By the end of the period all voices raised against the Hebrew language - most of them favoring Yiddish - had been silenced. The 'Hebraist turn' corresponded to the loss of the German-Jewish's prominent role within the movement. They were replaced by a vanguard dominated by Jews of Eastern Europe. With the intent of understanding the representations found in this debate, the research proposes an analysis of the meanings attached to the incorporation of the German Jews to the surrounding societies, long before the emergence of modern Zionism. This crucial process, also because of its repercussion in the East, has been characterized, on the one hand, by the wish to adapt, specially in the linguistic realm, and on the other hand, by constant anti-Semitic attacks. It is in this specific context that the periodicals' representations were formed. They also inform much of the present debate about the language's destinies. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 06/06106-1 - In words, the cement of the nation: representations of Jewish national language in German Zionist press, 1901-1914
Grantee:Barbara Odebrecht Weiss
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master