De-Integrate!: A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st by Century Max Czollek
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Translator: Jon Cho-Polizzi
A controversial, best-selling polemic in Germany, De-Integrate! is a battle cry against Jewish assimilation into a dominant culture that seeks to paint over the past—and a handbook for minorities on how to embrace their difference and resist rising nationalism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism.
Max Czollek’s De-Integrate! is a polemical, often humorous examination of Jewish life in contemporary Germany that speaks to the position of minorities the world over. Rooted in sociological theory, the book offers an engaging and approachable critique of Germany’s much-lauded traditions of memory culture and Vergangenheitsbewältigung—its “successful” negotiation of its Nazi past.
Although modern Reunified Germany presents itself as having overcome historical trauma and integrated its now diverse, multicultural society, Czollek argues that this public image is merely a “Theater of Integration”: showcasing those minoritized stories to bolster Germany’s positive self-image, while sidelining the true potential of the country’s radical diversity. Czollek posits that today’s German minorities must embrace their differences and “de-integrate” from mainstream society in order to counter the rise of rightwing nationalism.
On the one hand a stirring look at integration, belonging, and cultural diversity, and on the other a passionate denunciation of bigotry and virulent nationalism, De-Integrate! speaks across cultural, racial, and national divisions and points to a livelier future for all of us.
Year first published: 2023