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Between Home and Homeland, Between Home and Homeland, 0817315136, 0-8173-1513-6, 978-0-8173-1513-9, 9780817315139, , , Between Home and Homeland, 0817381627, 0-8173-8162-7, 978-0-8173-8162-2, 9780817381622, , , Between Home and Homeland, 0817359397, 0-8173-5939-7, 978-0-8173-5939-3, 9780817359393,

Between Home and Homeland
Youth Aliyah from Nazi Germany
Brian Amkraut

2006. 248 pp.
12 B&W figures
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2009. 246 pp.
12 B&W figures
Price:  $29.95 d
Quality Paper
2018. 246 pp.
12 B&W figures
Price:  $29.95 s

The emigration of Jewish teenagers to Palestine to escape Hitler’s Germany.
While the future darkened for the Jews of Germany as Hitler and his followers assumed and consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts, at first random, uncoordinated, and often at cross-purposes with one another, were set underway both within and without German cities to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, “Youth Aliyah” (aliyah refers to the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel). To this day Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contribution to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut follows the organization from its establishment, its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, its problems on every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human optimism ("surely things will get better").

Although the several thousand youths who were saved by removal from the Holocaust were a small percentage of the young Jewish population, the Youth Aliyah program is widely celebrated by those who seek examples of Jewish agency, of attempts to resist the coming horror.


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).

"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."

“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 Constructing Modern Identities: Jewish University Students in Germany, 1815–1914

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