Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University


These smaller conferences, focused on a specific theme and lasting for one to two days, take place several times a year, in part in cooperation with external organizations.

Juridical Testimonies after 1945 – Expectations, Contexts and Comparisons

8 to 9 April 2019

Workshop at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow in collaboration with the Fritz Bauer Institute


Bearing witness to the Holocaust was integrally related to the prosecution of the perpetrators after 1945. Many survivors who testified to their experiences did so in conscious support of the prosecution of perpetrators. Lamentations for the dead and indictments of the crimes blended together, as did demands for justice, truth, and occasionally vengeance. 

Later, the realms of prosecution of and bearing witness to the Holocaust increasingly diverged. The legal testimony of survivors became a controversial issue, characterized by contradictory expectations and demands. Federal German criminal lawyers as well as a part of the general public demanded by reference to constitutional principles that the trials against perpetrators of and collaborators in the state-organized mass murder be conducted as completely ordinary criminal trials. From this perspective, the survivors, with their deep traumas, were dubious witnesses, too biased and emotional. Witness credibility was assessed not least of all in the extent to which they exhibited signs of hatred or feelings of vengeance

Former concentration camp inmates and Holocaust survivors continued using the trials to publicly proclaim their knowledge of the crimes within the frameworks enabled by criminal law. Their motives and concerns were manifold; their ability to make themselves understood in court varied. Legal testimony concerning the Holocaust was a transnational phenomenon; the origins of the witnesses in different, often shifting communities of remembrance and the languages that were spoken on the witness stand significantly shaped the contents and reception of the testimony. This workshop will discuss the legal testimony of Holocaust survivors from various disciplinary perspectives and with regard to different time periods and countries.




Contact and Registration (until 29 March 2019)

Dagi Knellessen / Katharina Stengel

Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow

Goldschmidtstraße 28, 04103 Leipzig

Phone +49 341 21735-755


Makom //: – :// Place

Transdisciplinary Perspectives in the Field of Jewish Cultural Studies

25–26 February 2019


Workshop at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow in collaboration with the "Da’at Hamakom" – I-CORE Center for the Study of Cultures of Place in the Modern Jewish World



The academic workshop will deal with transdisciplinary perspectives in Jewish cultural studies. At this meeting of Israeli and German scholars at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow, fellows of the I-CORE Center of Excellence "Da’at Hamakom" will present their research projects in Leipzig.


All contributions correspond to notions of "place" in Jewish culture in modernity. They will present cultural landscapes, musical enactments and representations between the sacred and the profane. The participants will give insight into their current work and discuss innovative research results in their respective disciplines.


The aim of the two-day event is to deepen existing scholarly exchange and to promote sustainable academic relations in the humanities between Germany and Israel.



International Working Group

Cultural Agency, Transnational Innovation, and Publishing Economics: The Romm Printing House and the European Republic of Letters

11–12 February 2019


Kick-off meeting of scholars from Israel, Lithuania and Germany with the aim of preparing two funding applications at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow





Dr. Nicolas Berg (Leipzig), Prof. Dr. Jörg Deventer (Leipzig), Dr. Arndt Engelhardt (Leipzig), Dr. Ada Gebel (Beer Sheva), Dr. Markus Kirchhoff (Leipzig), Yair Kleitmann (Beer Sheva), Dr. Lara Lempert (Vilnius), Yael Levi (Jerusalem), Dr. Maya Shabbat (Beer Sheva), Prof. Dr. Yfaat Weiss (Jerusalem/Leipzig), Dr. Gil Weissblei (Jerusalem), Prof. Dr. Motti Zalkin (Beer Sheva)