Login | Register

Between “Germans” and “Jews.” How individuals navigated the language of categorization in Nazi Germany, 1933–1941.

Title:

Between “Germans” and “Jews.” How individuals navigated the language of categorization in Nazi Germany, 1933–1941.

Duranceau Lapointe, Emilie (2018) Between “Germans” and “Jews.” How individuals navigated the language of categorization in Nazi Germany, 1933–1941. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

[img]
Preview
Text (application/pdf)
DuranceauLapointe_MA_F2018.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.
844kB

Abstract

This thesis examines requests for exemption submitted by German citizens, whom the Nazi regime categorized as “Jews” or “Mixed breeds,” between 1933 and 1941. The petitioners’ vocabulary developed alongside Nazi propaganda; they adopted the regime’s definitions of categories, increasingly defining themselves and their fellow German citizens in racial terms. This thesis seeks to understand and explain how the Nazis defined and enforced racial categories; how petitioners responded to the imposed categorization through legal means; how they used the Nazis’ racial categories as tools to assure their survival; and how their use of the state’s rhetoric impacted the Nazis’ system of racial categorization.

Petitioners not only attempted to contest the categories imposed upon them, but they were also able to strategically use the state’s rhetoric to their advantage. Their objectives were not to question or transform the system-over which they had no power-but rather to maneuver within its constraints. However, to engage the state in a dialogue, they had to pretend to adhere to the Nazis’ “Aryan” state and work within its logic. In their attempts to circumvent state-led persecution by resisting and negotiating their status using the state’s rhetoric, the petitioners might have contributed to the crystallization of categories and the system of racial classification, and they might have unintentionally enabled the authorities to redefine the population along certain categorical lines. This sheds light on how categories are created and maintained in an interactive process between “top” and “bottom” and how and why state-imposed categories can gain traction on the ground.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Duranceau Lapointe, Emilie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bergholz, Max
Keywords:Categorization, Germany, Holocaust, Identities, Jewish responses, Legal requests, Persecution, Nationalism, Nazi regime, Race, Resistance, World War II.
ID Code:984429
Deposited By: Emilie Duranceau-Lapointe
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:19
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:19
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Back to top Back to top