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Marcelle Santana


PhD candidate, History, University of Regensburg, Germany. PhD Project: The German People’s Party and the Jews in the Weimar Republic (working title)

Master’s Degree, Modern and Contemporary History, Social and Economic History and Mass Communication, University of Munich, Germany. MA Thesis: A Radical in the Service of the Party. The National Socialist Propagandist Alfred-Ingemar Berndt (1905–1945)

Bachelor’s Degree, Communication Studies (Journalism), Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil. BA Thesis: The Last Romantics: On Foreign Correspondents of the Brazilian Press


Professional Experience:

2003‒2012 Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin, Germany (2003‒2008 Student and later Research Assistant in the edition project of the Diaries of Joseph Goebbels, 2008‒2012 Research Assistant)

2000 Journalism Intern, newspapers O Estado de São Paulo and O Fluminense, Brazil


Fields of specialization: German history (Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, German-Jewish history between 1871 and 1945), Brazilian history (media, politics, culture and society between 1964 and 1989)


Research interests: political ideas, parties and movements in the 19th and 20th centuries; propaganda in dictatorial regimes; agents of cultural exchange (emigrants, political exiles, foreign correspondents); questions of ethnicity, race, identity and belonging; memory construction; auto/biographical writing; diaries as historical sources; history in film and television



The German People’s Party and the Jews in the Weimar Republic (working title)

German Jews who were politically liberal-oriented were well known to have favored the German Democratic Party (Deutsche Demokratische Partei, DDP). Ranking among the party’s Jewish members and supporters were some prominent personalities such as the Reich Ministers Walther Rathenau and Hugo Preuß, the journalist Theodor Wolff (the chief editor of the Berliner Tageblatt), and the publisher Rudolf Mosse. A number of more conservative Jews opted however for the right-wing liberal German People’s Party (Deutsche Volkspartei, DVP).Well-known DVP members of Jewish descent were representatives of the so-called “great bourgeoisie”, such as the bankers Max Warburg and Jakob Goldschmidt, the industrialist Paul Silverberg and the politician Fritz Rathenau (a cousin of Walther Rathenau). Jakob Riesser, who held office for a time as vice president of the Reichstag, belonged likewise to the party; he was also, among other things, the chairman of the board at the Darmstädter und Nationalbank and, for many years, the president of the Hansa League for Trade, Commerce and Industry. In spite of their Jewish members, the DVP was, however, marked by an ambivalent attitude towards the problem of growing anti-Semitism in and outside the Reich.

By focusing on the particular case of the DVP, the proposed dissertation seeks to investigate the connection between the disintegration of liberal parties and the fate of German Jews in the turmoil of the Weimar Republic. It intends to be, therefore, a contribution not only to German party history, but also to the social and cultural history of German-speaking Jewry.