Edgar & Brigitte

edgarbrigetteWhen Hitler became chancellor of Germany on Janu­ary 30, 1933, there were 525,000 Jews living in Germany. By the end of that year 37,000 had left the country—including Edgar Bodenheimer and Brigitte Levy. Using an extraordinary archive of their personal journals, letters, speeches, and published writings, Edgar and Brigitte’s daughter, Boston College Professor of English Emerita Rosemarie Bodenheimer, traces her parents’ story of assimilation, emigration, and reassimilation in the new book, Edgar and Brigitte: A German Jewish Passage to America (University Alabama Press, 2016). The Bodenheimer and the Levy families embodied many of the qualities of their generation of German Jews in pre-World War II Germany: more German than Jewish, highly educated, and immersed in the German cultural ideal of Bildung. Their story is both an intimate biography of family and a wider account of the struggles faced by many immigrants with deep German roots. Rosemarie Bodenheimer is also the author of Knowing Dickens and The Real Life of Mary Ann Evans: George Elliot, Her Letters and Fiction, which was chosen as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book.

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