New Publication by Gerdien Jonker: Zwischen Juden und Muslimen. Eine europäische Familiengeschichte 1836 – 2016

title of Gerdien Jonkers book
Source: Wallstein Verlag

The new publication by Gerdien Jonker, which will be published in 2018 by the Wallstein Verlag, tells the story of the Oettingers, a Prussian-Jewish family from Posen. Recognized as German citizens in in 1836, the family members went from being Prussian Jews to German patriots, who proved their loyalty to the German Reich by getting their children baptized. Afterwards, they became convinced Lebensreformer, who strived for giving their everyday lives a new and deeper meaning. The women of the family, Emilia Oettinger and her daughters Lisa and Susanna, decided to join a Muslim avant-garde in the interwar period. They wanted to become part of a global “world culture”. However, war and persecution became an existential caesura for them. But nevertheless, they survived, migrated to England after the war and reconnected with Muslim networks.For their children, Islam was the focus, until they oncee again started to consider conversion as a means for change.

In her work, Jonker, who is scientific researcher at EZIRE, traces the ways of the Oettinger family with the help of witnesses and historical reconstructions. Thereby, she also presents a new chapter of European religious history.