This talk analyses the presence of generic Heimat imagery in German-Jewish family albums from the 1930s and highlights two major tendencies: the appropriation of Heimat iconography in photographs of the Jewish home, and the endeavour to situate Jewish family members within generic Heimat scenes. In both cases, Heimat iconography alluded to an alternative notion of German identity – and of belonging in the German landscape – which allowed and encouraged the integration of Jews within it. Consequently, in Jewish family albums, Heimat imagery provided an imagined landscape that sheltered Jews from the menace of Nazism.
Ofer Ashkenazi is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Koebner- Minerva Center for Germany History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is the author of three monographs on German film (most recently, Anti-Heimat Cinema: The Jewish Invention of the German Landscape, 2020). His current research project considers Jewish photography under Nazism.