By Wolfgang Zank (auth.)
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Extra info for The German Melting-Pot: Multiculturality in Historical Perspective
7 Germany by 1900: the Jews. in a positive way. There were hardly any proletarian Jews any more, and they were highly over-represented in the higher status groups. Many leading politicians were Jews, and they were to be found in the immediate entourage of Emperor Wilhelm II, so their 'box' goes right to the top of the cube. The dividing line around them is rather thin. They had progressed a long way on the road towards assimilation, and the figures of intermarriage were high and increasing, particularly in urban Protestant centres such as Hamburg.
Gothic 'fotus' (foot) instead of Latin 'pedes'. Unfortunately, the sources of the Germanic languages are scarce. It is very likely that the Germanic tribes spoke a common language which, though divided by dialects, was common enough to allow for communication. 5 Additionally, it is very probable that the Germanic tribes shared identical or at least similar religious concepts. Archaeologists can also identify many common traits in the material culture. 6 But this linguistic and cultural unity did not create a political unity.
In the fourth century, Christianity was the dominant religion in the towns of the Rhine Valley. According to some sources, the Germanic tribes of the eastern side of the Rhine were already converted. 8 Inside the territories which later became Germany, the Roman presence at the Rhine created a marked difference in the level of civilization between west and east. This difference remained a basic feature of German society right into modern times. The Romans called the vast areas beyond the Rhine Germania.