The systematic "Nazifying" of public spaces (beginning with streets), and the gradual exclusion of Jews from many of them, caused them to turn to closed Jewish spaces and withdraw into private spaces, thus shrinking their lived space. Based on Henri Lefebvre's and Michel de Certeau's theories, as well as on diaries by Victor Klemperer, Willy Cohn, and other Jewish contemporaries, analyzes Jewish reactions to this process, including attempts to preserve and recreate their lived space. Describes the psychological impact of these developments on German Jews. Jewish reactions to the Nazi policies included self-isolation from the German environment and mental cordoning-off from the Nazi realities, as well as attempts to enlarge lived space, like travel abroad and buying cars (before driving was prohibited to Jews in 1938). Specifically Jewish spaces, like synagogues and cemeteries, acquired increased importance in Jewish life. Synagogues became centers of secular activities as well, and the Jewish cemeteries were the last spaces in which German Jews could conduct open-air activities. With the resettlement of Jews into "Jewish houses" ("Judenhäuser") in the early 1940s, the domestic Jewish space decreased radically, and the distinction between private and public spaces for Jews collapsed. Writing diaries was one of just a few ways to reconstruct the individual's internal space and to preserve human dignity.
- Klemperer, Victor -- 1881-1960 -- Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten
- Cohn, Willy -- 1888-1941
- Antisemitism -- Germany -- History -- 20th century
- Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany