Dear readers and dear friends of Medaon,
The fall issue once again offers many exciting articles to discover. The ever growing diversity in our society is also increasingly reflected in the topics of our articles. Highlighting these different perspectives is very important to us at Medaon, as Jewish life has always been quite diverse.
Jan Wilkens introduces the new field of research Queer Jewish Studies in his article. Starting from its beginnings in the 1980s, when queer Jews tried to make their voices heard, the article presents an overview of the achievements already accomplished in this field, offering extremely exciting insights.
Norbert Schmeiser’s article in the education section shows just how relevant a diversity-oriented portrayal of Jews in relation to historical representations is. It is devoted to the prejudice-laden portrayal of Jews in German school textbooks. The article focuses on how the topic of money lending by Jews is taught by analyzing a large number of textbooks.
The article by Ronny Noak tackles a completely different topic; the Gesellschaft des Deutschen Staats (the Society of the German State). Based on an examination of the organization’s publication series and educational work, it shows that it can be classified as a conservative and volkish-nationalistic movement, and looks into the organization’s racially based anti-Semitism.
In addition, there is a contribution by Axel Doßmann and Lisa Schank about the extraordinary survivors’ interview project by the psychologist David P. Boder. In 1946, Boder interviewed more than 100 Displaced Persons in France, Italy, Switzerland and the American occupation zone in Germany. In a future digital workshop, a selection of Boder’s DP interviews will not only be newly transcribed, translated, and contextualized with supplementary documents, but also commented on and interpreted in an interdisciplinary way in relation to the biographical (self-)interpretations of the Shoah from 1946. In the future, this will create a concrete offer and an impulse for further research and educational projects.
Another topic is covered by the interview with Vivien Laumann, co-author of the book “Gojnormativität. Warum wir anders über Antisemitismus sprechen müssen” (Goynormativity. Why we need to talk differently about anti-Semitism). The interview explains what is meant by ‘goynormativity’, and discusses the challenges in the examination of anti-Semitism and racism referring to the debates in left-wing circles.
Nadine Kulbe gives us an insight into provenance research and its contribution to the study of life stories based on the biography of Benno Kaufmann. Karin Berkemann introduces urbanistic methods of picture analysis to show how it’s possible to deal with discrepancies between written and photographic sources in the representation and description of urban life. The author makes this clear based on using the text and photographic sources of the Palestine scholar Gustaf Dalman (1855–1941).
In her article, Marina Sassenberg takes us to Lecce in southern Italy and introduces us to a small museum of the Jewish History of Apulia. In our series on important Jewish women, Hannah Lotte Lund writes about Hedwig Dohm. The review section takes a look at current publications that also address the diverse perspectives on Jewish life in the past and present.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of the reviewers for their support in making this issue. We also wish to sincerely thank Steffen Schröter of text plus form, Cathleen Bürgelt, Patricia Casey Sutcliffe and Margaret-Ann Schellenberg who corrected and translated the texts with their usual diligence and care.
The editors of Medaon, November 2022.