Jan Kühne

Ph.D. candidate in the Center for German Studies, European Forum, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Junior Visiting Fellow
(October 2010 – March 2011)


Sammy Gronemann –
A Study in Satire, Secularism, and the Sacred

I approach Sammy Gronemann (1875-1952) as a case study in the genesis and genealogy of secular Jewish identity. Educated according to religious Jewish tradition, he eventually became one of the early German Zionists. In this transition, satire appears to have played a key role. As a jurist, journalist, and especially as a writer and dramatist, he had been one of the most famous Jewish humorists in Germany until 1933, and thenceforth in Palestine and Israel. Here, he not only contributed to the creation and strengthening of a secular society, but his satire also exposed those secular values critically, which themselves had become sacred.