Chair: Stefan Litt
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In the 1920s a group of German Jews settled in a garden city on the outskirts of Jerusalem. During World War II, their quiet community, nicknamed Grunewald on the Orient welcomed many notable residents including poet Else Lasker-Schüler and intellectual Gershom Scholem. It was an idyllic setting, if fraught with unique tensions on the fringes of the long-divided holy city. After the war, despite the weight of the Shoah, the neighbourhood miraculously repaired shattered bonds between German and Israeli residents. Thomas Sparr, editor-at-large at German publisher Suhrkamp, discusses his fascinating biography of those who lived and worked there with the National Library of Israel’s Humanities Collection Curator Dr Stefan Litt.
In Association with the National Library of Israel
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Thomas Sparr worked at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem’s Leo Baeck Institute from 1986 to 1989. Today he lives in Berlin where he works as an editor-at-large for Suhrkamp and as an independent writer and scholar.
Stefan Litt is an archival expert at the National Library of Israel, where he is in charge of European language holdings, featuring authors such as Martin Buber, Stefan Zweig, Franz Kafka, and others. He received his PhD in Pre-Modern Jewish History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2001), and a post-doctoral degree (habilitation) from Graz University Austria (2008). He did research and was visiting professor at the universities of Erfurt and Duesseldorf in Germany, Graz in Austria, as well as Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan in Israel. He has published on the history of early modern European Jewry and on Jewish archival collections.