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Emotions and Experiences: Photography and Visual German-Jewish History, 1910-1950

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The workshop sought to analyse the role of private German-Jewish photography between 1933 and 1945. By using visual sources and focussing on the subjective emotional responses of German Jews to political developments during this period, it offered a completely new perspective on Jewish reactions to the Nazi Regime.

Private photographs in particular, frequently collected and arranged in family albums, are a prime medium for documenting a domestic perspective of how individuals situate themselves and their emotions in larger political frameworks and family dynamics. 

On the pages of such photographic albums, family history and emotions are folded into narratives of dramatically changing German-Jewish lives. 

With a special focus on reactions to National Socialism, the workshop also searched for continuities and ruptures in German Jewish private photography between 1910 and 1950. 

A particular emphasis was placed on the inter-medial makeup that characterizes such albums, often composed as scrapbooks containing diary entries, poetry, newspaper clippings and other textual elements alongside the visual material, embedding family history directly in political and cultural currents of the time. 

In order to reflect on the specificity of photographic sources for this time period, classical German-Jewish ego-documents such as diaries and letters were also examined. 


The workshop was co-organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Lichtenberg Kolleg, University of Goettingen, and the AHRC project ‘Photography as Political Practice in National Socialism’ (University of Nottingham). 

Sunday 11 and Monday 12 November 2018 


For more information on the workshop, please refer to the programme here.