Jewish Youth in Transit
International conference of the DFG-research project: National Jewish youth culture and Zionist Education in the interwar period in Germany and Palestine (TU Braunschweig/ HU Jerusalem)
March 04 – 06, 2021; Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg (ZJS) in Berlin
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Pilarczyk (TU Braunschweig/DFG Research Project)
The new concept of youth that emerged in Central Europe at the turn of the century had a considerable impact on the development of youth culture, and of the youth movements, of German-speaking Jews. The resulting Jewish youth culture provided new places for the transition into adulthood, as well as new perceptions of Jewishness: its cultural and religious heritage, and its implications for national, generational, and gender-based identities. The vibrant atmosphere of this youth culture instigated various conflicting visions. Consequently, it led to the formation of a variety of transnational movements, which included several generations of members, and promoted particular ideologies through distinctive educational approaches. In the wake of the Great War, these youth movements operated under the so-called bündische Jugend, a roof organization that comprised a broad variety of ideologies and reflected on the political and social conditions of the interwar years. The early years’ vivacity did not subside during the aftermath of WWI, and the activists in these youth organizations restlessly split groups, founded new ones, switched their loyalty between groups, and returned to groups they left. Yet, under the political pressure of the National Socialist Regime, the Jewish youth movements eventually consolidated after 1933. They now played an essential role in the effort of young Jews to flee the rule of Nazism and emigrate, especially on route to Palestine.
This conference aims to initiate a thorough interdisciplinary exchange on the history and the vital impact of the Central European Jewish youth culture and its youth movements. The main focus will be on various aspects of transit and transition during the interwar period, e.g. the cultural, political, and social frameworks in which they took place; the search for meaning in the movements; the discussion of emancipation in them; the transnational developments, agents, organizations and networks that characterized their activities; and the endeavors to conceptualized approaches to individual and collective education within this context. We therefore welcome papers from a wide variety of perspectives: social science, cultural studies, history, political studies and education.
The conference is organized by a German-Israeli DFG project that, based on extensive archival researches, examines the complex structures that informed the transit and transfer of Jewish youth cultures in the interwar period, with focus on the discussions and practices of education in the National Jewish and Zionist youth culture.
The conference languages will be German and English. The speakers’ travel expenses and accommodation will be covered.
Please send a title and an abstract (max. 500 words), as well as a short CV in German or English by October 1, 2020, to Beate Lehmann: [email protected]