PAST EVENTS 2013 -2014
Germany in Europe in 2014: Shaping the Present – Germany as a Team Player?
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
6:30-8:30pm; Pearlman Lounge
Germany is a leading economic power and young people from around the world are interested in German culture, history, and politics. This student-led panel discussion highlighted chances and challenges young generations are facing in Germany and Europe today. How do German and other European students identify? What role does Germany have in Europe and in the minds of Europeans right now? How do nationality and European identity conflict or interact? How much does history impact views of Germany? What are students’ employment prospects in Germany and Europe?
Discussion and Performance of the Reading "Threesome without Simone"
Germany in Europe -- CampusWeeks, Part I: Germany in Europe 1913: The Portrayal of the Great War
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
9:45AM-12:15PM, the International Lounge, Usdan
With historians Thomas Weber, Philipp Stelzel, and Chad Williams, organized by Ian Hopper, Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Modern Britain and the World from 1750 in the History department at Brandeis University.
The way in which people understand war derives principally from the portrayal of war in their society. Portrayals can be found in personal narratives, historical writing, political rhetoric, and art. Over the last century, the cinema has become the primary transmitter of the imagery of war and it is from film that most derive their essential understanding of the nature of warfare and military history. This panel brought together historical and artistic perspectives to discuss important questions surrounding the portrayal of war. These included: What are the challenges to portraying war historically or artistically? In what ways do the concerns of historians and directors of films overlap or diverge? What political or cultural influences shape how war is portrayed? How can portrayals of war confront or confirm the biases of their audience?
Wednesday, November 13th - Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
The speakers and workshop participants explored the fate of intellectuals, writers, and thespians in exile in the US and in South America during the Second World War, and the ways in which they came to terms with National Socialism, the Shoah, and the challenges of building a new life through both their artistic and intellectual work and their career choices. Light refreshments were provided for all events. You can find the program with details here.
Do We need a Motherhood-Quota? Women and Mothers in the German Parliament
Featuring: Hilke Brockmann, Ph.D.
Are women and men, mothers and fathers represented equally in the German Bundestag? Or does politics remain a male-dominated affair because the life script of most women includes children who do not fit the demanding time schedule of a politician? This question is highly relevant, given the current debate about a women's quota for leadership positions in the German economy and in the European Union. We discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of a mother quota.
About the speaker:
Brockmann is a sociologist and demographer by trainiing and a professor of sociology at Jacobs University, Germany. Her research deals with the causes and consequences of population aging and of subjective well-being (SWB), often equated with happiness. During her stay at Minda De Gunzburg Center for European Studies CES at Harvard she is workign on four quantitative projects which all deal with issues of subjective well-being.
Commemorating Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938)
Monday, November 11th, 2013
6:30pm – 8:00 pm
Mandel Center for the Humanities 303
CGES held a Jewish-German dialogue meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 'Kristallnacht' pogrom of November 1938 on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 6:30pm in Mandel Humanities Center 303. Ruth Gutmann is the author of A Final Reckoning: A Hannover Family's Life and Death in the Shoah (originally pulished in German; forthcoming with Univeiversity of Alabama Press.) Gutmann's family was there to present excerpts of her new book.
New Findings from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos
Dr. Martin Dean of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies discussed recent findings of the Museum's massive "Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos" Project. Volume 2, covering Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe, published in 2012, documented more than 300 ghetto sites not previously described in English. Dr. Dean outlined some of the research methods and sources used and gave a survey of the wide variety of forced labor camps and police-run camps to be covered in the forthcoming Volumes 5 and 6, devoted mainly to more than 30,000 forced labor sites across Europe.
About the speaker
Martin Dean, born 1962 in London, is an Applied Research Scholar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in History from Queens’ College, Cambridge in 1989, for his thesis entitled “Austrian Policy during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1796-1799.” Subsequently he worked as a Historical Researcher for the British Home Office War Crimes Inquiry (1988-1989), for the Cambridge University History Faculty’s Project on Berlin during the First World War (1989-1991), and for the Australian Special Investigations Unit (War Crimes) (1989-1992). From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Dean worked as the Senior Historian for the Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit in London. His publications include: Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44, Robbing the Jews: the Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933-1945, and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933-1945, vol. 2 Ghettos in German-Occupied Eastern Europe. He has also written many book chapters and articles on the Holocaust focused mainly on the issues of Ghettos, Collaboration, War Crimes, and the Confiscation of Jewish Property.
Theater play Mameloschn
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Three women, three generations, three ways of life. What did it mean to live as a Jew in East Germany and what does it mean in modern-day Germany? Questions of identity and belonging are set against questions of personal freedoms and responsibility to the family in a staged reading of this hilarious new play, honored as best play of 2013 at Muelheimer Theatertage. Featuring Boston actors Bobby Steinbach, Maureen Keiller and Rebecca Schneebaum. Directed by Guy Ben Aharon. Sponsored by Goethe Institut Boston, the Center for German and European Studies CGES and the Brandeis Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry.
Luncheon and Reading with German-Jewish poet Esther Dischereit
Monday, September 16th, 2013
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Faculty Club Lounge
Esther Dischereit was born in Germany. The survival of her Jewish mother while hiding during the Holocaust has marked and influenced Dischereit’s life as well as her work. Today she stands out among the small number of Jewish writers in 21st century Germany with her work ranging from poetry to plays.
Germany Voted - Now What?
presentation by Carina Schmitt
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Faculty Club Lounge
Political scientist Carina Schmitt (CES Harvard) gave a presentation and held a discussion about the outcomes of the recent elections in Germany and their implications for the future.
Successful Reconciliation of a Divided Society: 25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Friday, September 28th - Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Various times and locations
Contemporary Germany is one of the rare examples of successful reconciliation. Despite the fact that in parts of East Germany unification continues to be a struggle, the generation of Germans born after 1990 fully embrace their (united) German identity. There are only a few other examples of such unification; the united nation of Vietnam is one. Just like war-torn Vietnam, the reunified Germany faced hitherto unknown challenges of economic, political, and social proportions. Young Germans all over the country have moved beyond the mindset of the cold war and are helping to shape a self-confident national image that first surprised their elders in its demonstration of patriotism during the 2006 soccer world cup. What is this new German identity about? How do young Germans today connect to their country’s past, and how do they view their future? How did/do educators, journalists, politicians and cultural institutions promote a new, forward moving set of values? How will Germany deal with its new role as a major guarantor of peace, prosperity, and security in Europe? Will the German economy be strong enough to pull its Southern European neighbors along? What happens if it won’t? How has Germany’s image abroad evolved as a consequence, and how do Germans see themselves? By bringing together German, American, and Israeli students, this project plans to explore what lessons can be shared from German successes in reconciliation and how the German experience can be compared to other countries or situations. Students and faculty from all three countries will participate in the workshop. Following the workshop, conversations will continue via the web over the course of the year in preparation for a 2-week intensive seminar held in Germany in May 2014.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report- Rethinking the Nuclear Renaissance Worldwide
featuring Mycle Schneider
Tuesday, October 16th, 2013
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The plummeting natural gas prices, sovereign debt crisis, proliferation concerns and improved economic conditions for renewable energy sources have created a challenging global environment for nuclear power. Contrary to what the nuclear industry would have us believe that we are seeing a global renaissance in nuclear power, nuclear power the world over is on the decline. This is especially true in the US, where operating reactors are being closed as uneconomic for the first time in 15 years. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides a vital reality check to the current situation of the global nuclear industry as well as identifying important nuclear trends.
About the speaker
Mycle Schneider is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in Paris. Mycle is a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) at Princeton University, USA. His consulting clients included the French and German Environmental Ministries, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Greenpeace, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the European Commission, the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety. Mycle has given evidence and held briefings at Parliaments in thirteen countries and given lectures at fourteen universities around the globe. He founded the Energy Information Agency WISE-Paris in 1983 and directed it until 2003. In 1997, along with Jinzabuto Takagi, he received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.