New book publication: Jewish country life - Forgotten worlds in Westphalia

Jüdisches Landleben - Vergessene Welten in Westfalen by Gisbert Strotdrees

Jüdisches Landleben - Vergessene Welten in Westfalen by Gisbert Strotdrees

On 23 May, the 75th anniversary of our Fundamental Law, the new book ‘Jüdisches Landleben - Vergessene Welten in Westfalen’ by Gisbert Strotdrees will be published by Landwirtschaftsverlag.

Jews have lived in rural Westphalia for centuries. Their lives were brutally destroyed during the Nazi era.

In his book, historian and journalist Gisbert Strotdrees reconstructs Jewish village and small town life between the Rhine and Weser rivers. The author brings to life the living conditions and fates of the Jewish minority over the centuries, addressing their persecution and murder during the Nazi era, but also the return of the few survivors after the end of the war in 1945.

The history of rural Jewry in Westphalia stretches back to the Middle Ages. They included poor have-nots as well as small craftsmen, livestock and grain traders. In the 19th century, wealthy middle-class families, farmers, doctors, vets and lawyers emerged from rural Jewry. The book tells their story and sheds light on many forgotten or suppressed chapters.

For example, you will get to know Jewish Low German poets and Jewish agricultural machinery manufacturers, learn how two rural Jews from Westphalia invented the dirndl in Munich and visit a farm where Jewish young people created a refuge during the Nazi era.

It also recalls the centuries-old roots and manifestations of anti-Semitism in Westphalia, the destruction of the Jewish communities in the countryside during the Nazi era and the shameful treatment of the synagogues and cemeteries after 1945. Richly illustrated and researched with scholarly care, ‘Jewish Country Life’ is an invitation to look and remember.

‘It is an important book. I am delighted that we have managed to produce it,’ says Dr Ludger Schulze Pals, Managing Director of Landwirtschaftsverlag.

Jana Neubert, Head of Book Publishing at Landwirtschaftsverlag, is also delighted with the publication and believes: ‘The book is an important building block for peaceful coexistence - now and in the future.’

A book presentation will take place on Wednesday 11 June at 5:30 pm at the Detmold Open-Air Museum. The author, together with museum director Dr Marie Luisa Allemeyer and Prof. Dr Miriam Rürup, Director of the Moses Mendelssohn Centre for European-Jewish Studies, will talk about the book, Jewish rural life and history during an exciting evening in the restaurant ‘Im Weißen Ross’.

If you are interested in participating in the event, please contact us at buch@lv.de.

Jana Neubert will be happy to answer any further questions about the book (jana.neubert@lv.de, 02501 801 6951).

Information about the book:
Gisbert Strotdrees
Jüdisches Landleben
Vergessene Welten in Westfalen
LV.Buch im Landwirtschaftsverlag
180 Seiten, Hardcover with ribbon marker
17 x 24 cm
24,00 €
ISBN 978-3-7843-5781-2
„Jüdisches Landleben“ - Erinnerung an vergessene Welten BuchWELTshop