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Welcome to the LBI London

The Leo Baeck Institute London is devoted to the study of German-Jewish history and culture. The LBI is an independent charity and aims to preserve and research this history by organizing innovative research projects, Fellowship programmes, and public events. Through the lens of German-Jewish history, the Institute seeks to address some of the most topical and timely questions of our times.

News and Events

Leo Baeck Institute London Lecture Series 2024

This season’s lecture series Outsiders in German-Jewish History seeks to uncover the shared experiences of individuals and communities who found themselves on the margins of society. Transcending both time and geography, talks will offer different perspectives on the resilience and tenacity of those who have grappled with the challenges of being outsiders. How have they found identity and a sense of belonging in societies that have not understood or even accepted them?

Organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.

Lectures will be held in Room G3, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. They will also be streamed live on Zoom. Places at Senate House are strictly limited and must be reserved by contacting the Leo Baeck Institute London at [email protected]

Who was Fritz Kittel? A German Railway Worker Decides, 1933–2022
Esther Dischereit

In 2023, Esther Dischereit created an exhibition in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn to honour the railroad worker Fritz Kittel. In 1944 and 1945, he hid her mother Hella and sister Hannelore, who as Jews were persecuted by the Gestapo and threatened with death in Germany under National Socialism. They were liberated by U.S. troops in 1945. Dischereit began to search for the family of the rescuer and found them in 2019. Fritz Kittel had not told his own family about his courageous act throughout his life.

Esther Dischereit's literary response in 17 text pieces includes other found objects from the lives of her mother, sister, and Fritz Kittel, and they offer a dialogue with those who are now the daughters and sons or grandchildren. False information given at a registration office, illegal names and addresses ... What do we read when we read these documents? What do we see when we look at these photos?

 

Esther Dischereit lives in Berlin,…

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Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme

We are pleased to announce that applications for the international Leo Baeck Fellowship Programme 2024/2025 (German academic year October 2024 - September 2025) are now open.

We invite applications from PhD students researching aspects of history and culture in the field of German-Jewish Studies. The programme is jointly organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Leibniz-Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow in Leipzig and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. Our programme is open to PhD candidates worldwide. The deadline for application is March 1st, 2024.

Fellows receive a stipend of 1,550 € a month. In addition, a monthly research allowance of 100 € is available. Fellows can also apply for supplements for health insurance (max. 100 €/month) and childcare, as well as travel allowances to support research tips and…

On Provenance, Prints and People - A Stroll Through the LBI London’s Secret Art Gallery

Kinga S. Bloch

Did you know that libraries can also serve as the custodians of secret art galleries?

In our 12th Snapshot of German-Jewish History and Culture, we would like to introduce our readers to a unique set of etchings and woodprints that is tucked away beneath the covers of the books in our library: a hitherto dormant collection of ornate late 19th and early 20th century imagery that tells us stories about both the practice of collecting books and the self-perception of German-Jewish book collectors. To be more specific, we want to take you for a stroll through our small but nonetheless compelling gallery of Jewish ex libris and talk a little bit about the people who owned them.
 

Ex libris (Latin: ‘from the books [of]’) is another term for a bookplate that is glued or stamped on the inside cover of a book to signify ownership. The practice of attaching these often intricately designed miniatures originated in the 15th century…

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Library of Lost Books Launch at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin

 

The Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem together with Leo Baeck Institute London and the association Freunde und Förderer des Leo Baeck Instituts are pleased to announce the launch of our hybrid exhibition project centred on the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums and the remnants of its library:

The Library of Lost Books

https://libraryoflostbooks.com/

This exhibition project aspires to engage broad international audiences in joining the search for the library’s lost books as citizen scientists.

 

The launch event was held at the Staatsbibliothek Berlin on the 28th November 2023.

 

Speakers Dr Irene Aue-Ben-David, Director of the LBI Jerusalem Prof Dr Achim Bonte, Head of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin His Excellency Shimon Stein, Chair…
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Dressing Eve: Re-drawing Biblical Women through Comics
Dr Sarah Lightman

Jewish women have been at the forefront of feminist autobiographical comics since the 1970’s as they challenged sexism in popular culture. But how have they revised misogynistic images and stories closer to home? Sarah Lightman will illustrate how Sharon Rudahl in her bildungsroman ‘The Star Sapphire’, Miriam Katin in her Holocaust memoir, We Are on Our Own, and her own graphic novel, The Book of Sarah, transform biblical narratives and images to reflect their own, lived, experiences.

Sarah Lightman is an artist, writer and Faculty at The Royal Drawing School, London. She attended the Slade School of Art for her BA and MFA, University of Glasgow for her PhD and was an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London (2018-21). She edited the multi-award-winning Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews (McFarland, 2014), published her autobiographical graphic novel, The Book of Sarah…

Writing the Lives of Those that Stayed Behind. Georg Hermann’s Long-Lost Exile Novel ‘Die daheim blieben’

Speaker: Godela Weiss-Sussex (ILCS, London)

In the winter of 1939–40, exiled in the Dutch city of Hilversum, Georg Hermann was working on a novel that he regarded as one of his most important. Entitled Die daheim blieben (Those that Stayed Behind), it was to be composed of four parts and tell the story of a large, diverse German-Jewish family in Berlin from March 1933 to November 1938. He was unable to complete the novel or see it published, and it was long thought to have been lost. Recently, however, the manuscripts of the first two parts were discovered among papers held by Hermann’s grandson, George Rothschild. After careful editing by Godela Weiss-Sussex, the text was finally published for the first time by Wallstein Verlag (Göttingen) in September 2023. 

In her talk Godela Weiss-Sussex, Professor of Modern German Literature at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (University of London), considers the…

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Feuchtwanger Book Club

To celebrate the conference of the International Feuchtwanger Society coming to London in 2024, the Leo Baeck Institute London is organising a Feuchtwanger Book Club, focusing on the work of the acclaimed – but now somewhat forgotten – German Jewish novelist Lion Feuchtwanger. 

This book club, which will be held online between March and June 2024, will focus initially on a reading of Feuchtwanger’s 1933 novel The Oppermanns, a chronicle of the collapse of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazis, seen through the eyes of one German Jewish family. 

An English translation of The Oppermanns is widely available in various editions. You can also read it for free at the Internet Archive. (You can, if you prefer, read the novel in German.)

If time permits, we will also read and discuss some of Feuchtwanger’s other works, including The Devil in France…

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Invitation for submissions to the 2025 Leo Baeck Institute Year Book Essay Prize in German-Jewish Studies

The Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of the History and Culture of German-speaking Jewry is inviting submissions for the 2025 Year Book Essay Prize. The Leo Baeck Institute Year Book is a fully refereed Oxford University Press journal and covers cultural, social, and economic history. A leading journal in the field, the Year Book has appeared annually since 1956.

The Essay Prize was established in 2011 to stimulate new research on the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry, and to promote young researchers in the field. The essay can be on any topic on the history and culture of German-speaking Central European Jewry from early modern times through to the present.

 

The Prize 

The winner will receive:

Publication of the winning essay in the 2025 volume of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book  A cash prize of £500 A free year's print and online subscription to the Leo Baeck Institute Year…
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London Calling! – The Library of Lost Books in Britain

Kinga S. Bloch

We are excited to announce that the Leo Baeck Institutes in Jerusalem and London celebrated the launch of their international collaboration on 28 November 2023 in a grand opening ceremony at the German National Library (Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden) in Berlin. On this occasion, the innovative online exhibition and citizen science project Library of Lost Books (www.libraryoflostbooks.com) was released to the public in Germany. This international project aims to commemorate and educate about the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies, Berlin (Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, 1872–1942) that was dedicated to the study of Jewish history and culture and to rabbinical studies in Liberal Judaism. The team also pursues a pioneering innovative methodological approach in provenance research,…

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News from the LBI London Pamphlet Collection Digitisation Project

The Leo Baeck Institute London was happy to welcome Naomi Korn and Sean Waterman of Naomi Korn and Associates this morning who will do a copyright review of the LBI London Pamphlet Collection today. This marks an important step in our conservation and digitisation project, commenced in 2019 with the support of MAX Communications and Queen Mary University of London’s library where our archive is currently on loan.

 Stay tuned for more news about our unique collection of leaflets, pamphlets and prints!

 

More information on our pamphlet collection:

https://www.leobaeck.co.uk/pamphlet-collection

https://www.leobaeck.co.uk/snapshots

https://naomikorn.com/about/who-we-are/

https://maxcommunications.co.uk/