Dear readers and friends of Medaon,
As the editors of a magazine for Jewish life in research and education, we cannot publish this editorial without expressing our horror and sadness at the antisemitic massacres carried out by Hamas in Israel – and our deep concern about the massive increase in the threat to Jews in Germany since then. But even if October 7, 2023 marks the beginning of a darker time in which the destructive rage of the Islamist perpetrators meets sympathy, justification or imitation worldwide, this concern will not lead to resignation in the face of antisemitism. We mourn the victims, sympathize with their families and continue to stand in solidarity with Jews when they are attacked as such. In the Sources section, we document the declaration of the National Library of Israel on the establishment of an archive of the massacre of October 7 and the war, which is intended to collect and make available all media created in this context as comprehensively as possible.
Several articles in this issue deal with antisemitism, the Shoah and the reactions to them. Thomas Kestler examines Jewish reactions to the Jew hatred of the Protestant theologian Friedrich Wilhelm Ghillany in the pre-March period. Małgorzata Popiołek- Roßkamp looks at the situation of Polish-Jewish architects in the 1930s at the Warsaw University of Technology, in professional associations and on the Polish labor market. Norman Böttcher writes about the support of international Jewish organizations and, above all, the young state of Israel in the re-professionalization of Jewish social work in Germany after the Shoah. And Harry Friebel deals with the question of why the liberation of the Nazi “Volksgemeinschaft” by the Allies in 1945 was not followed by a community of responsibility in the Federal Republic. Tanja Kinzel’s presentation of an interview project on continuities and ruptures in Jewish perspectives on antisemitism also deals with learning from the past.
In this issue, Maja Hultmann and Susanne Korbel look at other aspects of Jewish life when they present the project of a digital thick map of Jewish cultures in Europe. And while Kristina Milz presents the life and work of the orientalist Karl Süßheim at the beginning of the 20th century, Lutz Fiedler takes an updated look at Hannah Arendt in our series on biographies of Jewish women. And of course, relevant new publications are also discussed in this issue.
It is with deep gratitude, but also regret, that we bid farewell to our long-standing editorial team member Melanie Eulitz with this issue. For many years, she has helped to shape the reviews department in a professional, friendly and committed manner. We would like to thank her very much for the long and good cooperation and wish her all the best.
Our sincere thanks also go to all the reviewers for their support in completing this issue. Steffen Schröter from text plus form, Cathleen Bürgelt, Casey Sutcliffe and Margaret Schellenberg undertook the corrections and translations with their usual thoroughness and reliability – we are also very grateful to them.
Medaon Team in November 2023.