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German City, Jewish Memory

The Story of Worms

German and Jewish ways of life have been interwoven in Worms, Germany, for over a thousand years. Despite radical changes brought about by expulsion of Jews, wartime devastation, social advancement, cultural and religious renewal, and the Jewish community’s destruction during the Holocaust, the Jewish sites of Worms display a remarkable degree of continuity, which has contributed to the development of distinct urban Jewish cultures, memories, and identities. Tracing the recollection and invention of local Jewish historical traditions in religious commemorations, historical writings, museums, and historical monuments, and the transformation from “sites” to “sights” in the form of tourism from the Middle Ages to the present, Roemer’s rich study of Worms offers a blueprint for historians interested in developing similar studies of cities over the longue durée.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations • Acknowledgments • Introduction • FROM MEDIEVAL ORIGINS TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT: OBSERVING THE PAST • Sacred Realms • Between Rituals and Texts • Christian Interlocutors and Jewish Memory • MOVING LOCAL JEWISH HERITAGE INTO MODERNITY AND ITS DESTRUCTION • Restoring the Lost Memory • Jewish Traveling Cultures of Remembrance • Worms: A Jewish Heimat on Borrowed Time • AFTER THE HOLOCAUST: DISTURBING REMAINS • Place and Displacement of Memory • Worms Out of the Ashes • The Presence of Absence • Conclusion • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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