Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

PostDoc, »The Short Life of Soviet Yiddish Literature«

For the Project »The Short Life of Soviet Yiddish Literature«, which is being funded through the »Leibniz Collaborative Excellence« program of the Leibniz Competition, we are seeking to fill altogether four positions as soon as possible. The job locations are Leipzig, Berlin, and Regensburg.


The departure point for the project is the secret trial of the leading members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.,The writers Perets Markish (1895–1952), Dovid Hofshteyn (1889–1952), Itsik Fefer (1900–1952), Leyb Kvitko (1890–1952), and Dovid Bergelson (1884–1952) numbered among the most prominent proponents of Yiddish literature in the Soviet Union. They were initially supported but then from the late 1920s onwards increasingly distrusted by the state. In the so-called »Night of the Murdered Poets« from 12 to 13 August 1952 they were executed by firing squad. This research project aims to prepare a collective biography of the five writers, a study of modern Yiddish literature in the Soviet Union, an examination of Perets Markish’s literary engagements with anti-Jewish violence, and a case study of the world tour of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1943. An additional aim is to publish a bilingual edition with translations into German of the key works of the authors murdered in 1952.


Participating Institutions:


The Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (DI) is an interdisciplinary research institute. Its main focus lies on the investigation of Jewish history and culture in Central and Eastern Europe from the Early Modern Period to the present day.The DI offers university courses on this research area and presents its research findings in various forms to both an academic and a broader interested public.


The Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL) is a humanities institute for literary studies in interdisciplinary contexts that draw from a cultural studies framework. The ZfL fosters a broad concept of literature. It uses interdisciplinary tools to fundamentally question the etiology of various literary concepts, their potential for the future, and the relationship between literature and other arts or cultural practices.


The Institute for Slavic Studies at the University of Regensburg is the only institute in Germany with a professorship in Slavic Jewish studies. It combines education, research, and teaching on Slavic languages, literatures, cultures, and their interdisciplinary relationships. It is a key component of the University of Regensburg and a member of the Leibniz-ScienceCampus »Europe and America in the Modern World: Transformations and Frictions of Globality in Past and Present«.




Research Associate/Postdoc

at the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow in Leipzig, full-time.


Proceeding from a reconstruction of the trial against the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and the »Night of the Murdered Poets«, the successful candidate will prepare a problem-oriented collective biography of the five executed authors Markish, Hofshteyn, Fefer, Kvitko, and Bergelson. An ancillary product will be an overview (which could potentially be published online and augmented successively) on relevant sources regarding the lives and works of the murdered authors intended to promote further research in this largely neglected field.


The position will be attached to the Research Unit Politics and will be paid according to the 13 TV-L pay grade, conditional on appropriate qualification. Full-time employment is preferred; part-time is also possible. The job location is Leipzig.



  • Work on a research project on the topic »The Murdered Poets: A Collective Biography« and preparation of a publication;
  • Independent project coordination (including the creation of an overview of relevant sources), documentation and supervision of project procedures and costs;
  • Constructive and involved collaboration in the general project as well as in the research agenda of the institute (including participation in the obligatory events of the DI);
  • Organization and execution of scholarly events with public appeal.



  • Completed doctorate in a subject relevant to the DI, especially modern and contemporary history, Eastern European history, Judaic studies, Jewish studies, or cultural studies;
  • Proficient knowledge of English and spoken and written skills in German are advantageous, as well as a very good knowledge of Yiddish and Russian as the relevant foreign languages for the research topic; computing skills (Office) are expected;
  • Good teamwork and communication skills.


The DI offers good opportunities to combine career and family. Qualified women are emphatically encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled people with equal suitability and capability will be given preferential treatment. The data supplied by candidates during the application procedure will be processed by the DI and the DI will use this data for the purposes of the application procedure. Data will not be shared with third parties. Expenses arising from the application procedure will not be covered by the DI.


Please submit your application including

  • a cover letter and CV,
  • degree transcripts including grades as well as doctoral degree (if applicable),
  • copies of relevant certificates and references
  • an outline of a concept for the postdoc project (1-2 pages)


by 21.02.2020


by mail to: 
Leibniz-Institut für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur – Simon Dubnow 
Direktorin Prof. Dr. Yfaat Weiss 
Goldschmidtstraße 28 
04103 Leipzig


electronically to: 
Mandy Fitzpatrick (personnel representative): bewerbung(at)


Applications should be sent in the form of a single PDF file and should not exceed 8 MB.


Interviews are scheduled to take place on 12-13 March 2020.


For any questions relating to staffing, please turn to: Mandy Fitzpatrick, Tel. 0341- 21735-54, fitzpatrick(at)


For reasons of cost, application materials will not be returned. All materials will be destroyed after 2 months and/or after the completion of the selection process. If you wish your materials to be returned to you, please include a sufficiently large, postpaid envelope with you application.