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The Consuming TempleJews, Department Stores, and the Consumer Revolution in Germany, 1880-1940$
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Paul Lerner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452864

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452864.001.0001

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Beyond the Consuming Temple

Beyond the Consuming Temple

Jewish Dissimilation and Consumer Modernity in Provincial Germany

(p.139) 4 Beyond the Consuming Temple
The Consuming Temple

Paul Lerner

Cornell University Press

This chapter provides a case study of the S. Schocken concern—and devotes considerable attention to the Leonhard Tietz stores as well—chains that operated outside Berlin. These Jewish-owned firms brought modern business practices, modernism in architecture and design, and modern advertising to medium-size cities like Stuttgart and Chemnitz, and even large towns like Crimmitschau and Waldenburg in Saxony and Oberhausen in the Ruhr area. Schocken’s stunning modernist department stores—designed in three cases by architect Erich Mendelsohn—are linked to developments in Jewish social and cultural history. Schocken and Mendelsohn’s rejection of the “German”-style department store parallels the rejection of a German assimilationist course by Zionists and members of German Jewry’s intellectual and cultural elite after World War I.

Keywords:   Germany, department store design, S. Schocken, Leonhard Tietz, Alfred Messel, Erich Mendelsohn

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