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. Monika Heinemann

Dr. Yechiel Weizman


Doctoral Candidates:

Philip Emanuel Bockelmann

Martin Jost

Judith Siepmann


Associate Researcher

Dr. Rotem Giladi

Dagi Knellessen

Current research projects


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

(Dr. Elisabeth Gallas)


Democratic Thinking in the Early Federal Republic. The Constitutional and Administrative Law Scholar Walter Jellinek

(Philip Emanuel Bockelmann)


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)


Paradoxes of Witnessing. Jewish Survivors in the Federal German Sobibor Trials 1949–1989

Dagi Knellessen


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)


Coexistence and Dissonance. The Evolution of the Polish-Jewish Townscape from the Late 19th Century to the Present

(Dr. Yechiel Weizman)