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The Life and Works of Clementine Krämer (1873- 1942)

Painter, Corinne Jayne (2015) The Life and Works of Clementine Krämer (1873- 1942). PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Although a prolific writer and leader in the women’s movement, Clementine Krämer (1873-1942) is relatively unknown today. Despite recent research interest into women’s history, much of the research centred on the German Jewish community focusses on the experiences of men. Clementine Krämer’s life and works offer a fascinating insight into a challenging period for this community. She was a prolific writer of fiction, non-fiction and reportage from about 1893 until about 1933 and, as this thesis will show, she wrote on many topics to chronicle her time, but she also played a significant role in shaping the response of her community to the difficulties they encountered. The analysis in this thesis will expand the current knowledge about the German Jewish community at the end of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth, and offer an insight into the complexity and range of German Jewish responses to the changes they experienced. This thesis uses close reading of the wealth of Krämer’s work, both published and unpublished, and including her private correspondence, to create a “thick description” of who she was and how she interacted with the world. Her writings reveal her sustained concerns about her identities and this thesis will explore the ways in which she tried to reconcile her identities as a woman, as a German and as a Jew during a life in which she experienced social and political upheaval on a dramatic scale. She struggled to balance her identities and her engagement with the women’s movement, and to retain a coherent sense of self in the face of changes which threatened to fragment the integral parts of her identity. This reading, which is the first to engage with the full range of her work, reaches conclusions about Krämer that challenge statements made by her contemporaries, revealing her as a complex, intelligent and insightful individual, deeply rooted in both German and Jewish culture, who was both representative and atypical of her community. A comprehensive study of Krämer’s life and work, her influences and motivations, will therefore nuance and complicate the current scholarly understanding about the German Jewish community during a key period in German history.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: German, Jewish, women, women's movement, Holocaust, identity, writer,
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > German (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.682251
Depositing User: Corinne Painter
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 08:59
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 15:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12185

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