Die erste Monografie, die sich ausdrücklich und titelgebend mit der »begriffsgeschichtlichen Methode« befasste, stammt von dem jüdischen Religionswissenschaftler Lazar Gulkowitsch (1898–1941). Vier Jahre vor seiner Ermordung durch die Nationalsozialisten veröffentlichte er 1937 Zur Grundlegung einer begriffsgeschichtlichen Methode in der Sprachwissenschaft in einer deutschsprachigen, der Wissenschaft des Judentums gewidmeten Reihe, die an der Universität Tartu (Dorpat), dem Ort seines estnischen Exils, erschien.[1] Obwohl sich in den letzten Jahren verschiedene Publikationen Gulkowitsch und seinem Werk widmeten,[2] ist seine Schrift zur Begriffsgeschichte selbst dem Fachpublikum dieser geisteswissenschaftlichen Methode unbekannt geblieben, ebenso wie die zahlreichen Untersuchungen, in denen er die Begriffsgeschichte auf den Begriff ›Chassid‹ (Frommer) sowie den Chassidismus[3] anwandte. Gulkowitsch entwickelte dort an Konzepten der jüdischen Geistesgeschichte eine speziell auf die Geschichte des Judentums bezogene Theorie der Begriffsgeschichte, die aber zugleich mit dem Anspruch einer universalistischen Metatheorie der Geistesgeschichte für verschiedene Kulturen antrat. „Ernst Müller: LAZAR GULKOWITSCHS FRÜHE GRUNDLEGUNG DER BEGRIFFSGESCHICHTE“ weiterlesen

Brett Winestock: MUSEUMS OF SHAME: Dovid Hofshteyn’s Vision of Holocaust Remembrance

In early 1944, shortly after the liberation of Kyiv, the Yiddish poet Dovid Hofshteyn (1889–1952) returned home from evacuation and was confronted firsthand with the horrors of the Holocaust. This encounter moved him to pen the passionate essay Muzeyen fun shand (Museums of Shame).[1] As a writer who had lived through pogroms and civil war, Hofshteyn was no stranger to expressing his reaction to violence and destruction through literature. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, he became a member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC), a group largely made up of Soviet Jewish cultural figures whose work was meant to reach a Jewish audience both within and outside the Soviet Union. In an attempt to rally political, financial, and military support for the Soviet war effort, their work was regularly sent to Yiddish presses in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain but also as far as Argentina and South Africa. It was this position as a member of the JAC which made it possible for Hofshteyn to receive information from the front while he was evacuated, to write, and eventually, along with a group of other writers, return home and survey the devastation. „Brett Winestock: MUSEUMS OF SHAME: Dovid Hofshteyn’s Vision of Holocaust Remembrance“ weiterlesen


First as a student of comparative literature with a focus on German and then as a professor of German Studies, I’ve been traveling back and forth to Germany for three decades, almost exactly the age of the reunified German state. I have stayed for weeks, for months, or for more than a year at a time. I have lived in Leipzig, in Cologne, and in Munich, but I have spent by far the most time in Berlin, a place that I have come to consider a second home. Throughout that time, Germany has changed enormously, both demographically and attitudinally. In relation to diversity in general and in its relationship to Jews. „Stefani Engelstein: HOW TO WRITE AS AN OUTSIDER ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GERMAN“ weiterlesen