The Face of Janus

The Historian Selma Stern (1890–1981) and Her Portrait of the Court Jew

in European Judaism
Author:
Marina Sassenberg Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

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As the unification of contemporary Europe becomes a reality, new questions arise about a common cultural identity. In this context, research on a common European Jewish heritage has achieved wide public interest. Involving economic and political, cultural and religious, social and academic questions, the history of the Hoffaktoren, as they were called in German, was not constrained by European borders. It is the history of those entrepreneurs, bankers, politicians and diplomats, who served their princes throughout seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, which serves perfectly as a research field relating to European identity. Though centred on Germany, Austria and Holland, the history of the Court Jews had a decisive influence on many other countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Italy, England and Ireland

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European Judaism

A Journal for the New Europe

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