Contemporary History and Contemporary Studies, The Long Nineteenth Century

Julianne de Sousa, M. A.

This doctoral thesis project examines the widely ramified German-Jewish circus companies of Blumenfeld and Strassburger. Several generations of families with their respective companies – from the beginnings of the first circuses in the Kaiserreich to the reconstruction of the last companies in the post-war period – are considered in different epochs. The entertainment repertoire of the families/companies, which hardly differed from non-Jewish enterprises, ranged from classical horse shows to ostentatiously staged pantomimes featuring historical attire and equipment to depict colonial and exotic subjects. In this context, representations of families/companies in the German circus industry are analyzed, and continuities and discontinuities of “being Jewish” are explored during the period under study.

Julianne de Sousa, M. A.