Rafael Seligmann and the German-Jewish Negative Symbiosis in Post-Shoah Germany: Breaking the Silence
The Shoah has forever bound Germans and Jews. Of Germany’s contemporary German-language Jewish writers, Rafael Seligmann (1947 - ) is one of the most controversial and first writers to depict daily life in post-Shoah Germany for Jewish and non-Jewish Germans. This paper examines the constructs of German-Jewish negative symbiosis discourse in three of Seligmann’s novels: Rubensteins Versteigerung (1989), Die jiddische Mamme (1990) and Der Musterjude (1997). The protagonists in Seligmann’s works exhibit characteristics supporting Dan Diner’s German-Jewish negative symbiosis (1986), Katja Behren’s “rift” (2002) and Todd Herzog’s (2000) conclusion that a positive German-Jewish hybrid identity is not possible. This paper posits that a German-Jewish negative symbiosis – German-Jewish hybrid identity continuum is the most accurate description of Seligmann’s protagonists. This continuum recognizes that people come to terms with identity issues at varying speeds, as we see in Seligmann’s characters and their levels of acceptance of the German part of themselves.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:rafael seligmann german jewish negative symbiosis identity shoah holocaust
Date of Publication:01/01/2007