At the turn of the century, German popular entertainment was a realm of unprecedented opportunity for Jewish performers. This study explores the terms of their engagement and pays homage to the many ways in which German Jews were instrumental in the birth of an incomparably rich world of popular culture. It traces the kaleidoscope of challenges, opportunities and paradoxes Jewish men and women faced in their interactions with predominantly gentile audiences. Modern Germany was a society riddled by conflicts and contradictory impulses, continuously torn between desires to reject, control and celebrate individual and collective difference. This book demonstrates that an analysis of popular entertainment can be one of the most innovative ways to trace this complicated negotiation throughout a period of great social and political turmoil.
Review of the hardback: 'Otte has unearthed interesting material' The Times Literary Supplement
Review of the hardback: 'Otte's book is undoubtedly a major contribution to the study of Jews and the German stage in Imperial and Weimar Germany. Based on meticulous, comprehensive research work, including documents from ten archives, Otte sheds light on a branch of entertainment that has long been neglected, if not ignored. Offering interdisciplinary academic research of high quality, based in cultural studies and gender studies as well as performance and theatre studies, Otte's subtle analysis is enriched by lively storytelling.' PaRDeS
Review of the hardback: 'Her book is an important contribution to German history at large. ... The book is not only noteworthy for cultural historians, its rich material and its fruitful approach also call for a revised reading of German theatre history and especially the avant-garde and its interplay with popular culture.'
Journal of Theatre Research International