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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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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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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Albert H. Friedlander

During the summer of 1999 the 'Süddeutsche Zeitung' ran a long series of articles entitled 'The Future in the Present'. This text (Number 28 in the series, somewhat altered) was entitled Der Bär kann noch viel Lernen – The Berlin bear still has a lot to learn.

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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

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Critical Thin

Haunting Sufis and the Also-Here of Migration in Berlin

Omar Kasmani

-Turkish prayer circle in Berlin who follow the Kadiri Sufi order. The group meets every Saturday evening in a neighborhood mosque to perform the ritual under the guidance of a hoca, the Turkish word for a (spiritual) teacher. Although brief, Onur's words were

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Ambivalent Sexualities in a Transnational Context

Romanian and Bulgarian Migrant Male Sex Workers in Berlin

Victor Trofimov

virtually inevitable as I conducted ethnography among Romanian and Bulgarian male migrants who did sex work in Berlin's gay neighborhood of Schöneberg. As I describe in more detail below, this ethnography involved participant observation in the drop

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Paul Delany

In January 1945 Isaiah Berlin said that he intended ‘to remain a bachelor to the end of [his] days’. 1 This was in part a diplomatic excuse, because he was fending off an attempt to match him with his second cousin Liliana Apter (whom he

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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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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.