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Documentary: Jewish Retailing in Germany

23rd April 2019

Television Documentary: How Trade connected our World - Wie Händler unsere Welt vernetzen

Sunday, 28 April, 7.15pm (GMT) - SWR Fernsehen

Marketplace, department store, online shop - the world of buying is changing rapidly. A look at history shows that global trade has always existed in the southwest of Germany. This German-language documentary examines retailing past and present and features Dr John Mueller (Alumni & Supporter Relations Manager) talking about the interaction of Jewish retailers and the - largely - Christian population of Germany at a crucial time in that country’s history.


From the early 19th century onward the influence of Jewish families on the retailing landscape grew gradually, to dominate the high streets of German cities and towns by the 1890s. Department stores were almost exclusively owned or run by Jewish families, which was no issue in German society, on the whole, until 1933. The inter-faith relations between shopper and retailer, which had hardly featured before the Nazi seizure of power, suddenly dominated the lives of consumers and entrepreneurs. John sets this within the larger context of the history of trade and of Germany, and modern consumer/retailer interactions.

John wrote his PhD at Fitzwilliam on German-Jewish Department Stores 1880-1939 under the former Regius Professor of History Sir Richard Evans. He is now Director of Studies in History at St Edmund’s College and works for the Woolf Institute.

John main part is broadcast between 20:30mins and 34:20mins: Watch



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