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Title:Intimate strangers: intermarriage among Jews, Catholics, and Protestants in Germany, 1875-1935
Author(s):McKinley, Eric
Director of Research:Fritzsche, Peter
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fritzsche, Peter
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Avrutin, Eugene; Liebersohn, Harry; Koslofsky, Craig
Department / Program:History
Discipline:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Intermarriage
Mixed Marriage
Germany
Jews
Catholics
Protestants
Intermarriage
Religion
Race
Confession
Mischlinge
Abstract:In this dissertation, I examine intermarriage in Germany from 1875, when the Second Reich implemented obligatory civil marriage, to 1935, the year the Third Reich implemented the Nuremberg Laws. At its core are common mixed marriages between Protestants and Catholics, as well as the relatively less common ones between Jews and non-Jews. Like Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish communities themselves, social boundaries shaped these unions and spurred the ways in which their meanings changed over time. One of the principal claims is that “confessional,” “religious,” and “racial” boundaries have to be understood as distinct, overlapping, and changing. Most importantly, what it meant to be German in German history constituted the stakes of crossing these boundaries because the act determined the parameters of belonging and exclusion. The stakes for the historical actors constitute the stakes of this dissertation. I investigate what it meant to be German and who decided that meaning by analyzing the idea and practice of intermarriage over time. Individuals extract identity from boundaries because they create belonging. Acts of intermarriage and the reactions they generated were undertakings of boundary crossing that sparked changes to German identity. Over the course of six decades of boundary crossing examined in this dissertation, the confessional, religious, and racial boundaries themselves transformed, and sometimes overlapped. Intermarriage was central to the process of reducing Protestant and Catholic Germans into “Germans” and excluding Jews from that same category. It was not because the Nazis abolished the boundary between Protestants and Catholics, but because over the course of history individuals and German states established a language and a framework for the coexistence of Protestants and Catholics both intimately and socially.
Issue Date:2015-07-28
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/89163
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Eric McKinley
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-02
Date Deposited:2015-12


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