Merchants of Helsinki: Jewish Stereotypes of a Yiddish Stage

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Abstract

This article analyses a New Year’s revue from 1929 by Helsinki-born Jac Weinstein (1883–1976) and the image of the Jewish merchant. Many stereotypes concerning ethnicity and gender are at play in the revue and the line between humour, Jewish self-deprecation and antisemitic depiction of the Jew becomes blurred. The questionable business ethics of Jewish merchants is one of the core themes of the revue.The article asks what role ethnic stereotypes played in Jewish humour before the height of National Socialist racial antisemitism, and what purpose such performances served. It examines the various stereotypes found in the couplets, sketches and one-act plays in Weinstein’s kleynkunst performance against the background of transnational Jewish performing arts and current research on Jewish entrepreneurship and antisemitism in Finland.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.30752/nj.85933
JournalScandinavian Jewish Studies
Volume30
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)27-45
Number of pages19
ISSN0348-1646
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities

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