2014-15 Events

“Citizenship Rights for Immigrants in France and Germany” with Dr. Ines Michalowski

April 16, 2015

Dr. Ines Michalowski discussed the similarities of France's and Germany's citizenship regulations, as well as their differences, especially with regard to naturalization rates and dual citizenship regulations. Particular attention was paid to important remaining differences in terms of religious governance and accommodation of Islam in France and Germany.

“Ukraine: The War for History”

April 15, 2015

A Lecture by Timothy Snyder

Timothy Snyder is the Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University where he teaches modern East European political history. He is the author of five books, including “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” (Basic Books, 2010), his prize-winning account of Eastern Europe’s fate in World War II. “Bloodlands” has been translated into 26 languages. “Even those who pride themselves on knowing their history,” The Economist wrote, “will find themselves repeatedly brought up short by Snyder’s insights, contrasts and comparisons.”

In 2013 and 2014, Snyder was a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and traveled frequently to Kiev to report directly from the protests in Kiev’s Maidan. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Snyder has since testified to the U.S. Congress and spoken widely on the crisis in Europe and the U.S.

Co-sponsored by International and Global Studies, the Center for German and European Studies, and the Department of History.

Event poster with an illustration of a green clenched fist. Text reads: "The Ethics of Ecosocialism: From Marx to the Present." Michael Lowy.
“The Ethics of Ecosocialism: From Marx to the Present” with Michael Löwy

March 25, 2015

Michael Löwy discussed ecosocialism, the idea which merges marxism and socialism with green politics and ecology. He also addressed ecological sensitivity which has emerged in trade unions and leftist parties in the Nordic countries, Spain and Germany. Löwy is the emeritus research director in social sciences at the French National Center of Scientific Research. He has authored books on Karl Marx, Che Guevara, liberation theology and more.

A small section of the event poster with a picture of Yascha Mounk and a quote of his, which reads: "Growing up in Germany, I came to feel less and less German -- and more and more Jewish. But now that I live in New York City, a city of one and a half million Jewis, I no longer feel Jewish; instead I've come to identify as a New Yorker."
“Jewish Life in Germany Today” Exhibit Opening

March 24, 2015

The exhibit began with an introduction by Rolf Schütte, German Consul General for the New England States. Yascha Mounk discussed his experience growing up in Germany in a speech entitled, “Stranger in my Own Country: A Jewish Childhood in Modern Germany.”

Yascha Mounk was born in Munich to Polish-Jewish parents and lived in Germany until leaving for college in England at age 18. He is a lecturer in government at Harvard University, a Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow at New America and the founding editor of The Utopian. He regularly writes for papers and magazines including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs and Die Zeit.

“Islamist Extremism and the Integration of Muslim Minorities in Europe Today”

March 16, 2015

A luncheon and panel discussion with Jytte Klausen and Jonathan Laurence

Less than two months after the attack on the satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, Danish police are investigating the attack on a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen that left two people dead and five police officers wounded. While citizens mourn and politicians urge solidarity with victims and muslim minorities, antisemitism and xenophobia continue to grow in all European countries, as does the popularity of anti-immigrant right-wing parties, like Marine Le Pen’s Front National and the Danish People’s Party.

Experts Jytte Klausen and Jonathan Laurence provided some background and analysis of these recent developments.

Jytte Klausen is the Lawrence A.Wien Professor of International Cooperation in the Department of Politics at Brandeis University and an affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. Her most recent books are “The Cartoons That Shook the World ”(Yale University Press 2009) about the Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and the worldwide protests that followed their publication, and “The Islamic Challenge: Politics and Religion in Western Europe” (Oxford University Press 2005, pb. 2007), which was translated into German and Turkish. Klausen is the founder of the Western Jihadism Project, a data collection and archive focused on Islamist Islamist extremist groups in the West. She leads a team at Brandeis University who are studying Islamist terrorist networks, funded initially by the UK Home Office, and now by an award from the National Institute of Justice at the U.S. Department of Justice. Klausen was a British Academy Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University (2003), and a Bosch Public Policy Fellow at The American Academy in Berlin (2004). She has a doctorate from the New School for Social Research (1992) and a BA and MA from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. In 2007, Klausen received the Carnegie Scholars’ Award for research on the integration of Muslim faith communities in Europe.

Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of political science at Boston College and nonresident senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution (Washington, DC). He is also an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in 2006. Laurence is author of the award-winning “The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims” (Princeton, 2012) and of the highly praised “Integrating Islam” (with Justin Vaïsse, Brookings, 2006).

Dr. Gazmend Kapplani
“Greek Tragedy Act II: Is Greece Starting to Look Like Weimar, Germany?” with Dr. Gazmend Kapplani

March 5, 2015

Dr. Gazmend Kapplani discussed the Euro crisis, Greece’s shrinking economy and the rise of populism and political extremism in Europe.

Event poster.  Small photo of Tom Friedman over a scene of a crumbling house amongst debris on the seashore.  A large hand in the foreground holds a photo of a mother holding her young child, standing in front of this house when it was intact with a lawn. Text reads: "Years of Living Dangerousely: The Urgency of Climate Action.  A Conversation with Tom Friedman '75, 3-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Journalist, Columnist and Author. Winner of the 2014 Emmy for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series.

March 2, 2015

Tom Friedman, ’75, is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist, columnist and author.

Professor Schoenle
“Greek Tragedy Act I: Germany, Greece and the Euro Crisis”

February 24, 2015

Professor Schoenle discussed the nature of currency unions and his current research “Financial Heterogeneity and Monetary Union.”

Should Greece exit the Eurozone? Are there other policy options, such as fiscal devaluations?

“A Case Named Freud”

The Goethe-Institut Boston, in association with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Israeli Stage, proudly presented the American Premiere of “A Case Named Freud” by award-winning playwright Savyon Liebrecht.

“A Case Named Freud” portrays the story of Sigmund Freud and the young Nazi Dr. Sauerwald, who originally plans to extradite the Freud family but then, against his boss’s orders, facilitates their rescuing departure to London. The play recounts in rapid and breathtaking dialogues how Freud psychologically sees through his counterpart, pulls him onto his side and ultimately saves his family.

This presentation followed the “Savyon Liebrecht: In Residence at Israeli Stage” program which included the World Premieres of “Dear Sigmund and Carl and Freud’s Women” at Babson, Brandeis, Boston University and Emerson College, where she lectured and led writing seminars.

Two photos of Edgar Krasa:  as a young man and as an old man.
“Surviving the Holocaust: A first hand account by survivor Edgar Krasa”

December 4, 2014

Edgar Krasa shared his amazing story of survival of Terezin and Auschwitz concentration camps. Krasa volunteered to go to Terezin as a chef on the first transports to the camp. He watched as the originally 5,000 person town was forced to hold over 55,000 prisoners, with diseases like typhoid and dysentery spreading rapidly, killing many. In Terezin, Krasa found solace through music, led by his roommate and friend Rafael Schächter. For Edgar, the music gave him a voice to sing to the Nazis what he could not directly say to them. Krasa was later deported to Auschwitz for the last six months of the war, working in the Gleiwitz sub-camp. He escaped during the death march just before liberation.

Cropped section of the poster for Judith Wechsler's talk. Background image is of the Paris Arcades. Text reads: "The Passages of Walter Benjamin. A Film by Judith Wechsler. Please join us for a screening of this new documentary followed by Q&A with the director.
“The Passages of Walter Benjamin”

December 2, 2014

The Paris Arcades, known as Passages in French, were a principal focus of renowned literary and cultural critic Walter Benjamin. From 1927-1940 he worked on his study: “My book, Paris Arcades, is the theater of all my struggles and all my ideas.” Benjamin's “Arcades Project” is the focus of this one-hour documentary, set in the context of his life and times. The film includes documents, manuscripts and letters from the Benjamin archives, albums of prints and photographs at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, interviews with leading Benjamin scholars and archival film of Paris and Berlin in the 1920s and 30s.

Co-sponsored by the History of Ideas Program, Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections, and The National Center for Jewish Film.

Section of the event poster for Holocaust education discussion. Boldly designed text reads:  What do you really know about the Holocaust? A Discussion on Effective Holocaust education in Jewish and German Schools.
What Do You Know About the Holocaust? A Discussion About Effective Holocaust Education in Jewish and German Schools

November 17, 2014

with Facing History and Ourselves

Doc Miller, from the organization Facing History and Ourselves, presented on the issues of current holocaust education and how future holocaust education will be affected by the decline of living survivors. Then students from various Jewish education backgrounds and also students from German schools compared and contrasted their experiences with holocaust education in a facilitated, open discussion led by Miller. The discussion included a range of topics, including whether the holocaust can be over-taught, what effective holocaust education looks like, how holocaust education has changed since the mid 20th century and how holocaust education should change in the future.

Roger Cohen
“Germany 25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall with Roger Cohen”

November 13, 2014

Roger Cohen joined The New York Times in 1990. He was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on Sept. 11, 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Since 2004, he has written a column for the International New York Times, until 2014 known as the International Herald Tribune, first for the news pages and then, from 2007, for the op-ed page. In 2009, he was named a columnist of The New York Times. Mr. Cohen has written “Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo” (Random House, 1998), an account of the wars of Yugoslavia’s destruction, and “Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis’ Final Gamble” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). He has also co-written a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, “In the Eye of the Storm” (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1991). His family memoir, “The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family,” (Alfred A. Knopf) will be published in January, 2015.

“The Good News on Climate Change: Brandeis and a World of Solutions”

November 10, 2014

An interdisciplinary conversation between faculty experts from all three schools at Brandeis University illuminated the climate crisis and discussed practical solutions. Climate change can and must be addressed NOW with determination and optimism at all levels, from our campus to our local communities, to state, national and global policies to prevent catastrophic global warming within this century.

This panel was timely — The 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the synthesis of its latest report on November 1, 2014. The report calls for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. At the People's Climate March in New York on September 21st, 400,000 people demanded an end to the pseudo-debate about climate change.

The solutions exist today. Germany is one of the European countries leading the way on renewable technology and climate protection policies. From changing our consumption habits, to sourcing renewable energy, to divesting endowments from fossil fuels, faculty will weigh in on a variety of solutions and students are encouraged to join the discussion.

For those unfamiliar with the topic we highly recommend watching the free 45-minute documentary “Disruption” online.


  • John Ballantine Jr., Brandeis International Business School
  • Daniel Bergstresser, Brandeis International Business School
  • Charles Chester, Environmental Studies
  • Judy Herzfeld, Biophysical Chemistry
  • Frank Lowenstein, Environmental Studies
  • Eric Olson, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Sabine von Mering, German and Women’s and Gender Studies; Center for German and European Studies


  • Philip Wight, Doctoral Student, Department of History

Co-sponsored by the International Education Week at Brandeis University

“The Ukraine Crisis: Implications for German Foreign Policy, the EU and Transatlantic Relations” with Karl Kaiser

October 28, 2019

The Ukraine crisis profoundly changes European politics, and has wider implications for the West and global politics. The talk analyzed the nature of the crisis and possible consequences for Germany, the EU and the US-European relationship.

Karl Kaiser is adjunct professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School and director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He was educated at the Universities of Cologne, Grenoble and Oxford and taught at the Universities of Bonn, Johns Hopkins (Bologna), Saarbruecken, Cologne, the Hebrew University, and the Departments of Government and Social Studies of Harvard. He was a director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, Bonn/Berlin and an advisor to Chancellors Brandt and Schmidt. He was a member of the German Council of Environmental Advisors. He serves on the Board of Foreign Policy, Internationale Politik, the Advisory Board of the American-Jewish Committee, Berlin, and the Board of the Federal Academy of Security Policy, Berlin. He is a recipient of the Atlantic Award of NATO. Professor Kaiser is the author or editor of several hundred articles and about 50 books in the fields of world affairs, German, French, British and U.S. foreign policy, transatlantic and East-West relations, nuclear proliferation, strategic theory and international environmental policy. He holds a doctorate from Cologne University and an Honorary Doctorate of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Co-sponsored by the International and Global Studies Program and the Brandeis International Journal.

Civile Religion Event Flyer
“Is There a Civil Religion of the European Union?” with Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski

October 21, 2014

The European Union's collective rituals and symbols, its foundational myth-making, its self-images of superiority and its missionary activities towards non-members all serve the function of a “civil religion,” Dr. Karolewski suggests. He will raise questions about the coherence of this phenomenon. By exploring these five aspects of the nascent civil religion of the EU, the presentation attempts to tentatively answer four main questions:

  1. Is there a coherent civil religion of the EU regarding its symbolic, ritual and myth-orientated practices,

  2. Does the EU have any specific resources at its disposal that would go beyond the typical repertoire of the nation-states,

  3. In how far does the EU mimic the techniques of the national civil religions and

  4. What are the expectations concerning the “effectiveness” of the civil religion vis-à-vis the citizens in the EU”?

Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski holds the Chair of Political Science at the Willy Brandt Centre for German and European Studies, University of Wroclaw, Poland. He also is adjunct professor of political science at the University of Potsdam, Germany. He obtained his bachelor's, master's and doctorate in political science from the University of Potsdam.
 He has been visiting professor and visiting scholar at Harvard University's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Université de Montréal, New York University, Pondicherry University (India), University of California in Santa Barbara and the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Lille (France).

His main areas of research are European integration and democratic governance including citizenship, identity politics, civil society and nationalism in Europe. His recent publications include “Religion and Politics” (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), “Citizenship and Identity in the Welfare State” (Nomos, 2013), “Civic Resources and the Future of the European Union” (Routledge, 2012), “The Nation and Nationalism in Europe” (Edinburgh University Press, 2011), “Citizenship and Collective Identity in Europe” (Routledge, 2010) and “Multiplicity of Nationalism in Europe” (Lexington, 2009).

Werner Tress
“Jacobi-Meyer-Boas: Biography of a Scholarly German Jewish American Family” with Werner Tress

October 20, 2014

In 1853 after two years in prison, the German-Jewish physician and 1848-revolutionary, Abraham Jacobi, emigrated to the U.S. In New York, he became the founder of Pediatrics and Social Medicine. He was followed in the 1880s by his nephews Willi Meyer and Franz Boas. Meyer became professor at the New York Medical College and a famous surgeon. Boas was the founder of modern American Ethnology and professor at Columbia University. In 1897-1902, he led the “Jesup North Pacific Expedition.” The lives and themes of these researchers will be discussed in reference to their German and Jewish identity and to the American history of science.

Werner Tress is historian, postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Jewish Studies, Berlin-Brandenburg, and research associate at the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in Potsdam (Germany). In 2011, he completed his PhD with a doctoral thesis about the Nazi Book Burning and the Cultural Policy in Germany after 1933. He is currently working on his postdoctoral project about the process of integration and exclusion of Jewish scientists in Germany since the early 19th century. His interests include the emigration of Jewish scientists to the U.S. after 1933, but also during the long 19th century.

Co-sponsored with NEJS and Hillel

“1914-1918: The War Within the War” with Adam Hochschild

October 13, 2014

Award-winning journalist Adam Hochschild lectured about the debate in Great Britain over the outbreak of World War I.

Historic photo of an aristocratic German Jewish family wedding, from the event poster for Jutta Ditfurt's talk.
“Noble Antisemitism: The Baron, the Jews and the Nazis: Journey into a Family History”

October 6, 2014

German writer, sociologist and political activist, Jutta Ditfurth, lectured on her new book uncovering the deep-rooted history of antisemitism in the society of aristocrats in Germany.

CGES Welcome Reception

October 2, 2014

CGES hosted a Welcome Reception for the new academic year at the conclusion of the Marcuse Conference in Rapaporte Treasure Hall.

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi
“Europe After the Crisis” with Lorenzo Bini Smaghi 

September 9, 2014

Renowned speaker Lorenzo Bini Smaghi  is chairman of the the board SNAM, vice chairman of the board of Societe Generale and a visiting scholar at the Harvard Weatherhead Institute.

CGES co-sponsored this event with the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance and Brandeis International Journal.