Studies of the Simon Dubnow Institute, Vol. 28
Deutsch-jüdische Geschichtsschreibung im 20. Jahrhundert
Zu Werk und Rezeption von Selma Stern
315 pp., Hardcover with dust jacket
Göttingen/Bristol, Conn.: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017
ISBN 978-3-525-37051-3, Price: 55,00 € (D)
ISBN 978-3-647-37051-4 (e-book), Price: 44,99 € (D)
As one of the first academically trained female Jewish scientists in Germany, Selma Stern began researching on Jewish history as a result of World War I. Under the impression of the Weimar Republic, National Socialism, personal escape and exile she published her studies Jud Süß and Der preußische Staat und die Juden. These two works, the focus of the present study, are considered significant contributions to German-Jewish historiography. They also reflect the methods and conditions of working as a historian in the most different material, conceptual and political contexts. As staff member at the Berlin Academy for the Science of Judaism from 1920, Stern did research in Germany until shortly before her emigration in 1941, then continuing her research career in the US and Switzerland on into the 1970s. The institutional framework for that became the Leo Baeck Institute New York, established in 1955. Irene Aue-Ben-David's study of the multilayered history of Selma Stern's achievement points far beyond the a single historian's relevance in the history of science: her work and its reception illuminate underlying reasons, modalities and problems of reconnecting to a German-Jewish historiography whose reference framework had been annihilated by the Holocaust.