Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor
The Gerda Henkel Visiting Professorship is a co-operation between the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the German Historical Institute London (GHIL), and the Gerda Henkel Professor’s home university. Its purpose is to promote awareness in Britain of German research on the history of the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic, and to stimulate comparative work on German history in a European context. The first professorship was awarded in 2009.
Stefanie Schüler-Springorum studied history, ethnology, and political science in Göttingen and Barcelona. After completing her Ph.D. on the Jewish community of Königsberg (Göttingen, 1996), she co-curated an exhibition on Berlin Jewish history and conducted a research project on a radical leftist Jewish youth movement.
Between 2001 and 2011 she served as the Director of the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg; since 2011 she has been Director of the Centre for Research on Antisemitism, since 2012 Co-Director of the Selma-Stern-Centre for Jewish Studies (both in Berlin), and since 2020 Director of the Berlin branch of the Centre for Research on Social Cohesion.
Her fields of research encompass Jewish, German, and Spanish history in the modern era, and a gendered perspective permeates all her work.
Recent publications: with K. Bergbauer and S. Fröhlich, Hans Litten: Anwalt gegen Hitler (Göttingen, 2022); ed. with P. Brunssen, Football and Discrimination: Antisemitism and Beyond (London, 2021); ed. with J. Süselbeck, Emotionen und Antisemitismus: Geschichte—Literatur—Theorie (Göttingen, 2021); ed. with N. and M. Zadoff and H. Paul,Four Years After: Ethnonationalism, Antisemitism, and Racism in Trump’s America (Munich, 2020); ‘Gender and the Politics of Anti-Semitism’, American Historical Review, 123/4 (2018), 1210–22; La guerra como aventura: La Legión Cóndor en la Guerra Civil española 1936–1939 (Madrid, 2014).
German Zeitgeschichte from the Margins: The Post-War Experience of Nazi Victims
The Annual Gerda Henkel Foundation Visiting Professorship Lecture
Germany’s “coming to terms with the past” has been described and debated in historical writing and novels, in panel discussions and movies. With amazing uniformity, it has centred on the memories, fears, and wishes of those who had—voluntarily or not—belonged to the former German Volksgemeinschaft (People’s Community), while neglecting those groups who had been its victims. In my talk, I explore the post-war experiences and perspectives of these groups and ask what their stories might mean for the overall narrative of democratization and liberalization in the history of the Federal Republic.
This public event is free and open to all but registration is required. In order to attend this lecture either in person or via Zoom, please follow this link to the LSE sign-up page.
The Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the German Historical Institute London (GHIL) and the International History Department of The London School of Economics and Political Science and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.
Image: MARCHIVUM, Bildsammlung, ABBN1035-07096-08, Foto: Bohnert & Neusch
MAR.2.08, Marshall Building, LSE
German Zeitgeschichte from the Margins: The Post-War Experience of Nazi Victims
The narrative of the ‘long road to the West’, at the end of which stood ‘successful democracy’, is part of our unchallenged standard knowledge about the Federal Republic. From theatre to sports, from school to cinema, the history of the politics and treatment of the past in all areas of society has become integrated into our understanding of West Germany. However, if we look at these diverse and differently accentuated endeavours, it is striking that in the end they all revolve more or less around themselves: around the state of mind of the German population, that is, of that large majority who were more or less enthusiastic about and happy with National Socialism, along with some who were more distanced or even distrustful, but were at least not among its victims. By contrast, victims barely feature in the long process of coming to terms with the murderous past, at least not as voices and perspectives in their own right. Those who continued to live in Germany also continued to be exposed to various forms of discrimination, in some cases even persecution. This should hardly come as a surprise, since they encountered vestiges of the defunct regime everywhere: in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, town halls, clubs, and apartment blocks. Yet the complete absence of their stories in the grand narrative of the Federal Republic seems astonishing. In my project I would like to shift the focus and enquire instead into the concrete experiences and perspectives of those groups that had been persecuted during National Socialism.
My aim is not to replace the ‘democratization/liberalization narrative’ but rather to contemplate its shortcomings and ask what this might mean for the meaning, or at least for the stability, of democratization and liberalization.
with K. Bergbauer und S. Fröhlich, Hans Litten - Anwalt gegen Hitler. Eine Biographie (Göttingen, 2022) (new and extended edition of 2008 monograph)
Perspektiven deutsch-jüdischer Geschichte: Geschlecht und Differenz (Paderborn, 2014)
Krieg und Fliegen. Die Legion Condor im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg 1936-1939 (Paderborn, 2010) (Spanisch translation Madrid, 2014)
Die jüdische Minderheit in Königsberg/Pr. 1871-1945, Schriftenreihe der Historischen Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Bd 56 (Göttingen, 1996)
with P. Brunssen, Football and Discrimination. Antisemitism and beyond (London, 2021)
with J. Süselbeck, Emotionen und Antisemitismus. Geschichte – Literatur – Theorie (Göttingen, 2021)
with N. Zadoff et al, Four Years after. Ethnonationalism, Antisemitism, and Racism in Trump`s America (Heidelberg, 2020)
with A. Rohde and C. von Braun, National Politics and Sexuality in transregional Perspective. The Homophobic Argument (London and New York, 2018)
with M. Baumeister, “If you tolerate this…”. The Spanish Civil War in the Age of Total War (Frankfurt a.M./New York, 2008)
with K. Hagemann, Home/Front. The Military, War and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany (Oxford/New York, 2002)
Gerda Henkel Foundation:
Dr Sybille Wüstemann
Tel.: +49 0211 936524 0
German Historical Institute London:
Dr Michael Schaich
Tel.: +44 020 7309 2014
Previous Gerda Henkel Visiting Professors
|2022/2023||Prof Dr Constantin Goschler (Bochum): Cultures of Compromise in Germany and Britain 1945–2000|
Prof Dr Alexander Nützenadel (Berlin): Economic Populism and the Rise of Fascism in Interwar Europe
|2020/2021||Prof Dr Martina Kessel (Bielefeld): The imagined individual:|
Narratives of self, history, and politics in modern Germany
Prof Dr Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg): Migration Policy in Germany and Europe, 1980–2019
Prof Dr Johanna Gehmacher (Vienna): Records and Notes from Trans/National Networks: Politics and Women’s Movements around 1900 in the Personal Papers of Käthe Schirmacher (1865–1930)
Prof Dr Arnd Bauerkämper (Berlin): Security and Humanity in the First World War: The Treatment of Civilian 'Enemy Aliens' in the Belligerent States
Prof Dr Dominik Geppert (Bonn): A History of Divided Germany, 1945–1990
Prof Dr Lutz Raphael (Trier): Transformations of Industrial Labour in Western Europe between 1970 and 2000
Prof Dr Kiran Klaus Patel (Maastricht): Welfare in the Warfare State: Nazi Social Policy on the International Stage
Prof Dr Dorothee Wierling (Hamburg): Coffee Worlds. Trade in Green Coffee and its Agents: The Hamburg Coffee Merchants in the 20th century
Prof Dr Andreas Rödder (Mainz): The History of the Present
Prof Dr Ute Daniel (Braunschweig): Media and Politics: An entangled History (c. 1900–1980)
Prof Dr Christoph Cornelißen (Frankfurt am Main): The British and German Welfare States After 'the Great Boom': Public Debates on Social Inequality and Social Justice since the 1970s
Prof Dr Johannes Paulmann (Mainz): International Aid and Solidarity: Humanitarian Commitment and the Media in Germany, c. 1950–1985