Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University


In the Research Unit »Law«, examination focuses on the forms of Jewish discussion and debate regarding law and normativity, equality and participation, citizenship and the creation of systems of protection in the nineteenth and twentieth century, as well as the restitution of property and material and financial assets. This is a dynamic sphere that reaches down into the immediate present. The transformations of pre-modern Jewish conceptions of law and their repercussions within the modern principles of diplomacy and international law are focal points of inquiry, as well as various concepts and understandings of the concept of law and its traditions. With the aid of a range of different approaches and questions, inquiry in this department seeks to map anew the field of Jewish emancipation history, its shifts, upheavals and restructurings in modernity.


Members of the research unit »Law«


Head: Dr. Elisabeth Gallas

Deputy Head: Dr. Philipp Graf


Dr. Yechiel Weizman


Doctoral Candidates:

Martin Jost

Judith Siepmann


Academic and Student Assistants:

Philip Emanuel Bockelmann


Associate Researcher

Dr. Rotem Giladi

Current research projects


»We accuse« – The History of Jewish Indictment in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

(Dr. Elisabeth Gallas)


Jews, Sovereignty, and International Law: Ideology, Identity, and Ambivalence in Early Israeli Diplomacy

(Dr. Rotem Giladi)


From the Defender of Georgi Dimitroff to Counsel of the Jewish People. On the Political Conversions of the Jewish Lawyer Leo Zuckermann (1908–1985)

(Dr. Philipp Graf)


The Évian Conference of 1938. History and Memory

(Martin Jost)


»An Entry to the Soul of Silesia«: Max Pinkus' Library in Neustadt, Upper Silesia

(Judith Siepmann)


The Topography of Ambivalence: Polish-Jewish spaces in Olkusz, Poland, 1918–2018

(Dr. Yechiel Weizman)