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Simon Wiesenthal Lecture
Gideon Reuveni: The Phantom Giant And The No-Key Gate. The German-Jewish Settlement And The Holocaust

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2022, 18:30 - 20:00

Wien Museum MUSA 1010 Wien, Felderstraße 6–8


When on September 10, 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Israel and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany signed a reparation agreement in Luxembourg, this settlement was considered historical. Official publications from both sides portrayed it as a historic enterprise of a tremendous scope, unprecedented in the history of international relations just as the extermination of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany was unprecedented in human history. The agreement was to play a crucial role for the education of the German people and as a historic precedent for the whole world. It set an example and contained a warning: crimes of genocide cannot go unpunished and the moral debt arising therefrom must be paid.

However, what for a brief period of time was regarded as a momentous event in post-war history was promptly pushed to the margins of the historical stage. This talk will explore why that happened. The discussion will raise another, even more challenging question, namely how remembering the German-Jewish settlement might affect, if at all, the study and memory of the Holocaust?

Gideon Reuveni is Director of the Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex. His main research and teaching interest is the cultural and social history of modern European and Jewish history. He is the author of the prize-winning book Consumer Culture and the Making of Jewish Identity’ (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is currently working on a book-length publication on the history of German compensation payments to victims of National Socialism.

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SWL Reuveni



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Das Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI) wird gefördert von:


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