Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, Scholem. Fyra tyska judar och första världskriget


  • Svante Lundgren Åbo akademi


Jews -- Germany, World War, 1914-1918, Buber, Martin, 1878-1965, Cohen, Hermann, 1842-1918, Rosenzweig, Franz, 1886-1929, Scholem, Gershom Gerhard, 1897-1982, Nationalism, Dialogue (Theology), War


The outbreak of World War I in 1914 was seen in Germany as the final test for its Jewry. The Jews had an opportunity to prove that they were good German citizens by acting loyally and patriotically as the rest of the population and would thus, hopefully, make an end to German anti-Semitism. This essay attempts to analyse the attitudes of four prominent German Jews to the war. Hermann Cohen appeared as a super-patriot appealing to the Jews of other countries for solidarity with Germany and trying to show the deep affinity between Germanism and Judaism. Martin Buber first supported the German cause, but gradually grew more critical of it. The war came to signify a dramatic shift in his thinking: away from his earlier mystical thought to his insistence on dialogue. Franz Rosenzweig similarly experienced a great change. He developed away from rationalism and Hegelianism while serving in the German army in the Balkans. Gershom (Gerhard) Scholem was an opponent of the war from the very beginning. As a radical Zionist he despised German Jewry, which he considered to be ideologically bankrupt, and had no sympathies for the German cause or for the Jewish support of it.



How to Cite

Lundgren, S. (1999). Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, Scholem. Fyra tyska judar och första världskriget. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 20(1-2), 65–78.