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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. 

Godela Weiss-Sussex

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…

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…

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?

  'From Weimar to Hope -- the Feuchtwangers in the Interwar Period.'

We are happy to inform you that the eleventh biennial meeting of the International Feuchtwanger Society (IFS) will take place September 13-15, 2024, in London, United Kingdom.

The conference is jointly organized by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Research Centre for German & Austrian Exile Studies, University of London, and the International Feuchtwanger Society.

The conference centers around the idea of Britain, the British Commonwealth, and the British Mandate of Palestine as hub and transit…

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,…