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Berlin 1927

Intersections with Albert Friedlander

Susanne Kord

between connections and coincidences, that I would like to explore below, based on two case studies taken from Lovable Crooks . The time in this case is 1927, the place Berlin. Three momentous events occurred independently of each other in Berlin in

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The Israeli Diaspora in Berlin

Back to Being Jewish?

Larissa Remennick

eventually return ( DellaPergola 2012 ). Among the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 Israelis now living in Germany, the majority (12,000 to 17,000) have settled in Berlin. Smaller clusters of Israeli émigrés can be found in Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart

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The New Berlin

Elizabeth Strom and Margit Mayer

National and world events shape all cities, but in Berlin they have a

physical presence. For Berliners, the Cold War was tangible, manifested

as a wall and death strip guarded by armed soldiers and attack

dogs. Today that wall is gone and, if national power brokers and the

real estate development community have their way, Berlin will soon

be a “normal” European city and German capital. Not only will the

ghosts of the Nazi past be exorcised, but any tangible inheritance of

the postwar period—in East Berlin the legacies of state socialism, in

West Berlin the strange fruits of a subsidized economy—will disappear.

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Relativism in Berlin's Cultural Pluralism

Chisanga N. Siame

A central argument of this article is that Isaiah Berlin's notion of cultural pluralism can be described as relativistic, and that he should not have repudiated the relativism, but simply defended it as part of the reality of the global constellation of cultures. Berlin's relativism emerges into a more generous light, in which radical differences among cultures occupy centre stage. Focusing on cultural relativism and its possible sources in Berlin unveils the neglected role that his famed concept of 'negative' liberty plays in assuring the distinctiveness of individual cultures and shared humanity, both of which constitute cultural pluralism. I conclude that Berlin's notion of cultural pluralism is relativistic based not only on substantive evidence, but also on a more realistic definition of the concept. Moreover, his conception of cultural pluralism and in particular its relativism highlight the subjects of cultural identity and autonomy in a world of immense power imbalances among nations and peoples.

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'Jewish' Ethnic Options in Germany between Attribution and Choice

Auto-ethnographical Reflections at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Victoria Bishop Kendzia

This article explores the issue of ethnic attributions versus options pertaining to Jewishness in Germany. The methodology is a combination of standard ethnographic fieldwork with Berlin-based high-school students before, during and after visits to the Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) and auto-ethnography detailing and analysing my own experiences in and outside of the research sites. My goal is to illustrate particularities of interactions in sites like the JMB by contrasting the way in which Jewishness is handled in and outside of the standardised research situation. Further, the material points to continuities between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. My analysis aims to open up further, productive discussion on this point.

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The Hebrew Collection of the Berlin State Library

Petra Figeac

The Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage (Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz) holds one of the most important collections of Hebraica in Germany, on par with the collections in Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main.

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Performing the Hyphen

Engaging German-Jewishness at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Jackie Feldman and Anja Peleikis

The Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) is a dynamic, performative space that negotiates between representing the Jew as an integral part of German history and as ultimate Other. While this tension has been documented through the political history of the museum (Lackmann 2000; Pieper 2006; Young 2000), we focus on the dynamics of guided tours and special events. We claim that guiding and festival events at JMB marginalise Holocaust memory and present an image of Jews of the past that promotes a multicultural vision of present-day Germany. In guiding performances, the identity of the guide as German/Jewish/Muslim is part of the guiding performance, even when not made explicit. By comparing tour performances for various publics, and the 'storytelling rights' granted by the group, we witness how visitors' scripts and expectations interact with the museum's mission that it serve as a place of encounter (Ort der Begegnung). As German-Jewish history at JMB serves primarily as a cosmopolitan template for intercultural relations, strongly affiliated local Jews may not feel a need for the museum. Organised groups of Jews from abroad, however, visit it as part of the Holocaust memorial landscape of Berlin, while many local Jews with weaker affiliations to the Jewish community may find it an attractive venue for performing their more fluid Jewish identities – for themselves and for others.

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Revisiting the ‘ghetto’ in the New Berlin Republic

Immigrant youths, territorial stigmatisation and the devaluation of local educational capital, 1999–2010

H. Julia Eksner

Today the ‘ghetto’ has become a key trope in both public and social science discourse on urban marginality in Germany – despite overwhelming empirical evidence that rejects the notion. The article traces the ‘ghetto’ as an imagined geographic space as well as social relation imbued with social meaning. It analyses the ghettoisation of residents in Berlin's marginalised zones in relation to the devaluation of educational capital attainable there. Centrally, it interrogates how the meaning young residents in these zones make of this on‐going process, and their responses to it, are inherent to the neoliberal project of the New Berlin Republic.

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Jews and Other Others at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

Irit Dekel

Is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin a Jewish space? How are Jews presented there? What are the points of interest about Jews in the memorial from the perspective of the foundation that runs it as well as from various visitors' perspectives? This article focuses on interaction and performance at the memorial, an understudied topic in comparison to what the memorial presents in its installation and the debates that preceded its realisation. I argue that the memorial's form and location create interpretation strategies that are based on the dialectics of representation and non-representation, emotional experience versus knowledge about the Holocaust. This is differently manifested in the action of various groups visiting the memorial. Interpretation strategies rest on Jews being a category of memory. In substantiating this claim, I focus on the experience of German visitors, compared to that of Jewish visitors and claim that whereas Jews' experience of the site is directly linked to sharing intimate knowledge about the Holocaust, Germans tend to talk about the site metaphorically and in emotional terms, confirming the memorial's own ontology.

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Monument(s) to Freedom and Unity

Berlin and Leipzig

Jon Berndt Olsen

Introduction Looking out over the contemporary memory landscape or topography in Germany, especially in the capital city of Berlin, one might come to the conclusion that the Germans have reached the point of “memorial saturation.” The city of