This article explores images of the Jewish actor in modernist German theatre. It deals with the question of theatrical identities on the stages of the Weimar period and discusses the complexities of cultural stereotyping applied to actors of Jewish origin. Special attention will be devoted to the perspectives of the avant-garde used here in the historical sense of the term. In the second part of the article, individual actors such as Max Pallenberg, Alexander Granach and Fritz Kortner will be analysed with respect to certain physical or vocal characteristics deemed to be typically ‘Jewish’. In the final section Kafka's reactions to visiting Yiddish performers will be examined as an example of aesthetic (self)reflection on the question of Jewish identity and modernism.
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