Germany's acceptance of its direct responsibility for the Holocaust has strengthened its relationship with Israel and has led to a deep commitment to combat antisemitism and rebuild Jewish life in Germany. As we draw close to a time when there will be no more firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust, there is great concern about what will happen when German responsibility turns into history. Will the present taboo against open antisemitism be lifted as collective memory fades? There are alarming signs of the rise of the far right, which includes blatantly antisemitic elements, already visible in public discourse. The evidence is unmistakable-overt antisemitism is dramatically increasing once more.
The Future of the German-Jewish Past deals with the formidable challenges created by these developments. It is conceptualized to offer a variety of perspectives and views on the question of the future of the German-Jewish past. The volume addresses topics such as antisemitism, Holocaust memory, historiography, and political issues relating to the future relationship between Jews, Israel, and Germany. While the central focus of this volume is Germany, the implications go beyond the German-Jewish experience and relate to some of the broader challenges facing modern societies today.
Gideon Reuveni is the acting director of the Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies and the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex. His central research and teaching interests are the cultural and social history of modern European, Jewish history and the Holocaust. Reuveni has published widely on diverse topics such as historiography, sports, reading culture, and Jewish economic history. His most recent book is Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity, which won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience.
Diana Franklin is manager of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex. She has worked at the centre since it was founded in 1995 by Edward Timms. Franklin's background as a second-generation German-Jewish immigrant to the United Kingdom informs her ideas about the place of relationships of refugees to their host societies.