JEWISH CULTURAL PROPERTY IN POSTWAR EUROPE

19th of March 2014

 The Nazi genocide against the Jews of Europe, in which murder was accompanied by plunder and theft, gave rise to the complex phenomenon of restitution in general and cultural restitution in particular in the post-war era.

 Property rendered heirless by mass murder was dispersed throughout Europe. Its fate and future began to concern Jewish scholars from 1943 onward, together with growing awareness of the destruction of European Jewry. Its collection and redistribution after 1945 is a core issue of ongoing juridical and public debates as well as historical research. Basing itself on archival findings and recent scholarly publications, the International Conference currently under preparation will explore the various initiatives that were undertaken during the second half of the 1940s to rescue and repatriate these cultural artifacts to Jewish successor organizations in England, the United States and Palestine/ Israel. By doing so, the conference will seek to contextualize the current public debates about ownership and its legitimacy that form the backdrop to relevant historical, legal, and semantic discourses.

 The workshop will take place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the 19th of March 2014, and is being prepared jointly by the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History and the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry.

 Scientific committee: Prof. Dan Diner, Prof. Uzi Rebhun, Prof. Yfaat Weiss.