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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | bologna.lab | Projects | Berlin Perspectives | Courses | Summer Semester 2015 | Between Rejection and Recognition: Jewish Migration to Germany in the Past and Present

Between Rejection and Recognition: Jewish Migration to Germany in the Past and Present

Taught by Dr. Agnieszka Pufelska/Donna Swarthout

Monday, 14:00 - 16:00, Hausvogteiplatz 5-7, Room 0323-26

Course taught in English and German

Language requirements: English B2


Course Description

After Israel and the USA, Germany is the most important country of migration for Jewish
immigrants worldwide. Jewish migration is not just a phenomenon of recent decades, but is
also anchored in history. There was a strong Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to
Germany as early as the late 19th century. In particular, after the Holocaust there were East
European Displaced Persons who founded new Jewish communities in Germany. With the
collapse of the Eastern Bloc, Jewish migration from the Soviet Union fundamentally changed
Jewish life in Germany. Since the fall of the wall, a total of 220,000 people have come to
Germany within the context of “Jewish immigration.” In recent years there has also been an
increase in migration of Jews from Israel, France and the U.S. The goal of the seminar is to
address Jewish migration as a part of Germany's past and present and to explore how the
non-Jewish majority approaches the integration of Jewish immigrants. We are generally
concerned with the prospects for integration of a minority into a multi-ethnic society.


  • Points of passage: Jewish transmigrants from Eastern Europe in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain 1880 - 1914 / ed. by Tobias Brinkmann, New York 2013.
  • Anne-Christin Saß, Berliner Luftmenschen: Osteuropäisch-jüdische Migranten in der Weimarer Republik, Göttingen 2008.
  • Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian Conference of 1938, ed. by John Mendelsohn, Donald S. Detwiler, New York 2010.
  • Yvonne Schütze, “Warum Deutschland und nicht Israel“ ; Begründungen russischer Juden für die Migration nach Deutschland, München 1997.
  • Peter Laufer, Exodus to Berlin : the return of the Jews to Germany, Chicago 2013.
  • The challenges of diaspora migration; interdisciplinary perspectives on Israel and Germany, ed. by Rainer K. Silbereisen, Peter F. Titzmann, Yossi Shavit, Farnham 2014.
  • Being Jewish in the New Germany, Jeffrey M. Peck, Rutgers University Press, 2006
  • The Pity of it All: A Portrait of the German Jewish Epoch, Amos Elon, Picador, 2002