Survival. Biographies –Spaces –Narratives

Leo Baeck Summer University 2020 in Berlin on July 6–17, 2020

More than 90 years ago, the renowned historian Salo W. Baron critiqued that the "lachrymose conception of Jewish history" is a narrowing of Jewish history, as it limits the history of Jews between coexistence und exclusion to negative experiences alone. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that questions of survival concern not only individual fates, but also the existence of an entire collective. This history encompasses testimonies and memories of events, their presence in literature and religious practice, strategies of survival, and new beginnings.

The interdisciplinary Leo Baeck Summer University aims at doctoral students from all disciplines who deal with aspects of “survival” in their dissertations. The program will focus on applying theoretical approaches and research to the fields of Jewish history, literature, culture, and religion. This two-week workshop includes guest lectures, seminar-style discussions, as well as excursions in Berlin, and students are required to present and discuss their own research projects; guest lecturers with expertise in the field will provide feedback. The final program will be developed in accordance with the participants’ research topics. The summer school will be conducted in English.

The Leo Baeck Summer University aims to lay the foundation for an international network of doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers in the interdisciplinary field of Jewish studies.


Academic directors are Prof. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum and Prof. Rainer Kampling. They will be supported by an international team of experts in German-Jewish history, philosophy, literature, culture, and religion.

In cooperation with: Agentur für Bildung -Geschichte, Politik und Medien

Further Information