Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society
|Focus||Research and Academic Exchange|
Director: Dr. Amos Morris-ReichFounder and Former Director: Prof. Yfaat Weiss
The Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa was established in 2001 by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius and its chairman, Professor Dres. h.c. Manfred Lahnstein. The Institute is committed to the research of social and historical issues of contemporary Germany. The founder and first director of the Institute was Prof. Yfaat Weiss. Since 2008, Dr. Amos Morris-Reich has been the director of the Bucerius Institute.
The Institute promotes research on the contemporary history and the social, cultural and political reality of Germany and works to foster greater familiarity and understanding of modern Germany among the academic community. It further facilitates academic exchange between Germany, Europe and Israel.
The thematic and methodological variety of topics that the Institute's program has encompassed over the past decade has included identity, migration, integration, multiculturalism, citizenship and liberalism, "race", visual history and the history of science in a German, Israeli and European context. The Bucerius Institute aims to involve different disciplinary backgrounds and methodologies, historical periods and immediate geographical contexts to bring to the fore aspects of modern German and Jewish history that can reveal complex aspects of the convoluted history of contemporary Germany.
The Institute has become an important source of information about specific developments in post-war Germany, and in Europe in general. This information is regularly used by students and scholars at the University of Haifa and the general public.
Academic and Public Activities
The Institute annually organizes conferences, workshops and guest lectures, such as "Queer experiences during the Third Reich and the Holocaust" and "Concepts of "Race" in the Humanities", dealing with a broad range of topics within the fields of interest, and contributing in initiating scholarly discussions. In addition, outstanding German public figures such as Rita Süssmuth, Josef Joffe and Wolf Biermann lectured during special events at the Institute.
Occasionally, the Institute arranges special events, such as film festivals and music shows, which attract a large audience from outside the University. In 2007, the Institute was part in the organization of a DEFA/GDR film festival relating to the topic "German Cinema from behind the Iron Curtain" and, in 2008, hosted a musical drama with the title "The Myth and the Real Life of Marlene Dietrich".
Scholarship and Academic Exchange
The Bucerius Institute has an active exchange program for M.A. and Ph.D. students with grants and scholarships. Numerous visiting research scholars have given lectures and seminars under the Institute’s auspices. The Institute contributes towards the research of contemporary Germany in Israel and towards collaborations with scholars from both Israel and abroad.
The Bucerius Institute has partnerships with several international research institutions, such as the Leo Baeck Institute, the German-Israeli Foundation (GIF) for Scientific Research and Development, the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, the Institute for the History of the German Jews, the Research Group "Didactics of Biology" of the University of Jena, the various German party foundations in Israel, and other academic institutes in Germany and Israel.
In March 2005, the Bucerius Institute published "Memory and Amnesia: The Holocaust in Germany", edited by Gilad Margalit and Yfaat Weiss (in Hebrew). This volume represents the final product of a weekly workshop organized by the Bucerius Institute in 2001/2002 by leading researchers of the Holocaust in Israel, Germany, Europe and the United States. The workshop used historiography, literary genres and cinematography to analyze the master narratives of the victim, perpetrator and bystander in works dealing with the Holocaust. Furthermore, some essays from the conference "Europe and Israel: What Next?", regarding "Remigration," have been included in the "Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 2004". In addition, the Institute published the results of its conference "Deadly Neighbors" in one issue of the journal "Mittelweg 36. The Journal of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research."
There are numerous publications of associate members of the Institute dealing with the current history of Germany and the relationship between Jews and Non-Jews in Germany, Europe and Israel.
- Newsletter der Universität Haifa, 03/2001, p. 3, in German
- Newsletter der Universität Haifa, 01/2007, p. 11, in German
- Margalit, Gilad and Yfaat Weiss, (eds), Memory and Amnesia: The Holocaust in Germany (In Hebrew), Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House Ltd., 2005.
- Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook. 49, 2004.
- Mittelweg 36, 13 Jg. Oktober/November 2004.