Deborah Hertz

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Deborah Hertz
Born (1949-02-09) February 9, 1949 (age 68)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Academic background
Alma mater PhD University of Minnesota 1971
Academic work
Notable works Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin
How Jews Became Germans

Deborah Hertz (born February 9, 1949), is an American historian whose specialties are modern German history, modern Jewish history and modern European women's history. Her current research focuses on the history of radical Jewish women.[1]

Since 2004, she has taught at the University of California, San Diego, as a professor of history and is the Herman Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Holocaust Living History Workshop at UCSD, a joint project of the UCSD Library and the Jewish Studies Program.

Hertz’s first book, Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin (Yale, 1988 and Syracuse, 2005).[2] It traces the rise and decline of Jewish salons in Berlin at the close of the eighteenth century. Jewish High Society appeared in a German edition called Die jüdische Salons im alten Berlin, published by Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag.[3]

Her second book is How Jews Became Germans: The History of Conversion and Assimilation in Berlin (Yale, 2007).,[4] It examines the frequency and significance of Jewish conversion to the Lutheran faith from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century.[5] This book has also been translated into German under the title Wie Juden Deutsch Wurden: Die Welt jüdischer Konvertiten vom 17. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, published by Campus Verlag.

Early life and education[edit]

Deborah Hertz was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1949 and graduated from Highland Park Senior High School in 1967.[6] She attended New York University for two years and studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for her Junior Year Abroad in 1969–70. She then returned to the United States and graduated with a major in Humanities, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1971. She remained at the University of Minnesota and received her PhD in German history in 1979.

After a year teaching at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, she moved to the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1979 and remained there until 1996. In that year she accepted a position at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Hertz joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego as the Wouk Chair in Modern Jewish Studies in 2004.

Hertz has held visiting appointments at the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, and held two visiting professorships at Harvard University.

Hertz is married to Professor Martin Bunzl of Rutgers University and they have two grown children.


How Jews Became Germans: The History of Conversion and Assimilation in Berlin

(New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007) (Paperback edition Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009) German edition Wie Juden Deutsch Wurden: Die Welt jüdischer Konvertiten vom 17. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, translated by Thomas Bertrand. (Frankfurt am Main and New York: Campus Verlag, August 2010).[7]

Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin

(New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988). The German edition of Jewish High Society has appeared with three German publishers (Frankurt am Main: M.: Anton Hain, 1991) (Munich: Deutsche Taschenbusch Verlag, 1995) (Berlin: Philo Verlag, 1998). A total of 10,000 copies of the book have been sold in Germany.[7]

Briefe an eine Freundin: Rahel Varnhagen an Rebecca Friedländer (Cologne: Kiepenheuer and Witsch, 1988).

'The following are Hertz’s articles since moving to the University of California, San Diego':

    • "Judaism in Germany 1650---1815", Cambridge History of Judaism (Volume 7) Ed. Adam Sutcliffe and Jonathon Karp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015)
    • "The Red Countess Helene von Racowitza: From the edict of emancipation in 1812 to Suicide in 1912", Das Emanzipationsedikt von 1812 in Preuβen, Europäisch-jüdische Studien, Ed. Irene Diekmann (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013)
    • "Family Love and Public Judaism: The Conversion Problematic in 19th Century Germany", Treten Sie ein! Treten Sie aus! Konversionen, Ed. Dr. Hanno Loewy (Hohenhems: Jüdische Museum Hohenhems, 2012)
    • "Masquerades and Open Secrets, Or New Ways to Understand Jewish Assimilation", Versteckter Glaube oder doppelte Identititäte? Das Bild des Marranentums im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Ed. Hannah Lotte Lund, Anna-Dorothea Ludewig and Paola Ferruta (Hildesheim: Olms Verlag, 2011)
    • "Männlichkeit und Melancholie in Berlin der Biedermeierzeit", Deutsche-Jüdische Geschichte als Geschlechtergeschichte, Ed. Stephanie Schüler-Springorum (Hamburg, 2006)
    • "Dueling for Emancipation: Jewish Masculinity in the Era of Napoleon", Jüdische Welten: Juden in Deutschland vom 18. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart, Ed. Marlon Kaplan and Beate Meyer (Hamburg: Wallstein Verlag, 2005)
    • "Amalie Beer als Schirmherrin bürgerlicher Kultur und religiöser Reform", Der Differenz auf der Spur. Frauen und Gender in Aschkenas, Ed. Christiane Müller and Andrea Schatz (Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 2004)
    • "Be Careful What You Wish For: Missing Women in the New Picture of Jewish Masculinity", Femininities, Masculinities and the Politics of Sexual Difference, Ed. Dorothy Sue Cobble (New Brunswick, 2004)


  1. ^ "Deborah Hertz". Jewish Women’s Archive. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Krüger, Von; Heinz, Karl (23 March 1991). "Die Rebellion der Töchter". Der Spiegel (in German) (13). Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin (Google Books), Jewish High Society in Old Regime Berlin Google Books Preview.
  4. ^ Gay, Peter (1 March 2008). "The last temptation. How Jews Became Germans: The History of Conversion and Assimilation in Berlin (book review)". Moment (accessed via HighBeam Research, subscription required). Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ How Jews Became Germans (Google Books), How Jews Became Germans Google Books Preview.
  6. ^ Hertz, Deborah. "Deborah Hertz".  External link in |website= (help);
  7. ^ a b "Deborah Hertz Curriculum Vitae". Archived from the original on 2014-08-29. 

External links[edit]