2nd Simon Dubnow Lecture
5 December 2002,
Old Trade Bourse in Leipzig
Professor Walter Laqueur (Washington, D.C.)
“Geboren in Deutschland: Portrait einer Generation“ (Born in Germany: Portrait of a Generation)
In December 2002, the historian and political scientist Professor Walter Laqueur (Washington, D.C.) gave the 3rd Simon Dubnow Lecture entitled “Geboren in Deutschland: Portrait einer Generation“ (Born in Germany: Portrait of a Generation).
Walter Laqueur is the long-standing director of the London-based Institute of Contemporary History and the Wiener Library. He lives in Washington D.C., where he holds the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in National Security Policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Important thematic foci in his numerous publications are international politics in the 19th and 20th century, the conflict in the Middle East, international terrorism and the Holocaust.
The title of his lecture in December 2002 in Leipzig was based on a recent publication, Generation Exodus, published in German translation as Geboren in Deutschland. It is a description (also autobiographical) of the young Jewish generation that was forced to leave Germany after 1933.
Laqueur, born and raised in Breslau, emigrated himself at the age of 17 to Palestine. Laqueur described impressively the generation-specific experience of young German Jews after 1933. The emigrants were not a homogeneous group. They stemmed from quite diverse backgrounds and milieus. Some left Germany already in 1933, others only after 1938. They emigrated to many different countries, often themselves to more than one. Laqueur emphasized that the Great World Depression made it hard particularly for young migrants to build up a new life in their chosen land of migration.