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Leo Baeck Institute London Lecture Series 2024

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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]

Admission is free. Lectures will begin promptly at 6.00pm. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Zoom links will be advertised closer to the dates of individual events in our lecture announcements via email, social media and on our website. To participate online and to register your booking please follow the instructions provided in those communications.

For more information on this season’s lecture series please refer to the leaflet here.

 

Dr. Baijayanti Roy

This talk examines the grey zones that exist between the established paradigms of persecution and exile in the ‘Third Reich’, as demonstrated by the trajectory of the Indologist Heinrich Zimmer (1890–1943). Zimmer, who taught at the University of Heidelberg, lost his teaching license in 1938 since his wife Christiane was classified as a Mischling (mixed race) by the Nazi regime. He tried to battle his fate by offering diverse political capital to the Nazi political establishment and by counting on some sympathetic colleagues. Zimmer was able to flee Germany with his family in 1939…

Prof. Dani Kranz

Germany is home to Europe’s third largest Jewish community. Yet surprisingly little is known about them. After the Shoah, about 15,000 German Jews returned to Germany or emerged from hiding. The growth of the Jewish population in Germany after 1945 was due entirely to immigration, which is somewhat counter intuitive. Who are the Jews who live in contemporary Germany? How do they live out their Jewishness? What Jewish cultures did they bring with them, and what kind of Jewish culture is forming in Germany? 

Prof. Kay Schiller

As a gay high-performance runner, antifascist intellectual and sportswriter, Alex Natan was a quintessential outsider in Weimar Berlin. His marginal status also remained a constant during his forced emigration to Britain, as a precarious refugee in pre-war London, as a long-time internee during World War II, as well as a schoolteacher in the Midlands and author and journalist in post-war Britain and West Germany. This lecture will demonstrate how an unusual German Jew was affected by the ‘age of extremes’, making his life story quite typical of the predicaments of the 20th century.

Grzegorz Kwiatkowski

The ability to accurately describe the past is not confined to historians alone. Artists use their creative expression to explore the cruelties of history, aiming to shape a more ethical present and future. In the case of Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, art is also mixed with activism and active efforts to preserve the memory of the victims and their cultural heritage. Kwiatkowski, whose grandfather was a prisoner of the Stutthof concentration camp, and whose wife’s Jewish family hid during the war in a forest near Rzeszów, has been leading an artistic and activist battle to fight antisemitism,…