Editorial edition 10

We are happy to present the tenth edition of the online journal MEDAON – Journal of Jewish Life in Science and Education. After the HATiKVA association in Dresden initiated this project, the first issue went online in the autumn of 2007. Since then, MEDAON has gained recognition as a platform for publishing studies and debates about Jewish history and contemporary Judaism. In the coming years the editors will be working to inspire readers and confirm the reputation of this journal as a reputed forum for authors from both within and beyond the world of academia.

The editors of MEDAON will continue to strive to foster research about Jewish life in Saxony. The tenth edition focuses on three research reports and three bibliography of works published since 1945 about Judaism and Jewish culture in Saxony referring to successive periods. The documentation in this field has been designed by the editors of MEDAON as a basis for further analysis. For the first time, the following authors trace the state, topics and research required after the end of the Second World War: Rotraud Ries (Würzburg) for the period prior to 1780; Daniel Ristau (Göttingen) for the years 1781 to 1932; and Judith Kessler (Berlin) for the period after 1945.

The research reports about pursuits of the 1990s do not only show how topics emerged and how local research groups from outside the university were promoted. They also locate the research in the general context of German regional and national historical research. At this point we would like to express our gratitude to our project partners, the department of history at the SLUB Dresden and the Anne Frank Shoah Library at the German National Library, who assisted us in compiling the bibliography. The fourth section of the report, focusing on the period 1933 – 1945, will be published together with a comprehensive bibliography of post-1945 works in one of the next issues of MEDAON.

In accordance with our aspirations to draw attention to Jewish life in contemporary Saxony, the current issue contains a contribution by Melanie Eulitz (Leipzig). The author traces the context in which conditions a person converts from a formerly secular personal world view to a state of religious individuality by means of a biographical narrative. The article examines the connection between the individual and an institution, in this case between a young migrant from the former Soviet Union and the ToraZentrum in Leipzig.

In the “miscellaneous” section Jana Mikota (Siegen) presents the biography and works of Ilse Weber (1903–1944). This contribution appears in the series “Jewish female writers rediscovered”, a series which has continuously been fashioned by Jana Mikota since the first issue of MEDAON. In the next issue the series will be open to other authors as well. In the future we will be looking at Jewish female writers, but also at historical figures from other artistic areas such as theatre and film.

Sebastian Voigt (Leipzig) traces the experiences of two forgotten Polish-Jewish communists, Adam Rayski and Mosche Zalcman, and thereby points towards potential future research.

Anne-Christin Saß (Berlin), one of the curators of the exhibition “Berlin Transit. Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s”, currently on display in the Jewish Museum in Berlin, reflects on the presentation of historical visual material of former Jewish life in Berlin’s Scheunenviertel.

The documents about Moses Junger Susanne Urban (Bad Arolsen) show the potential of the holdings of the International Tracing Service and supporting organisations for historical research about child survivors of the Shoah. The article will be accompanied by several documents.

Gudrun Schroeter (Berlin) dedicates her contribution to the online portal Chronik des Gettos Łódź Litzmannstadt. Das letzte Jahr.

Berndt Strobach (Wolfenbüttel) draws attention to the Megillah of the Hanover court Jew Isaak Behrens (approx. 1690–1765) which, according to the author, has not been sufficiently recognised by the Compact Memory project despite its accessibility.

Since 2008 the Abteilung für deutschsprachige Länder of the Yad Vashem memorial site in Israel offers an online course called Die Shoah im Unterricht: Lernen über Entscheidungen und Handlungsoptionen. Anna Stocker (Jerusalem) shows what the institution has to offer for teachers in and outside of school, its approach, methods and goals from the institution’s perspective. The former participants Michaela Baetz and Heike Herzog (Nürnberg) as well as Heinz Sigmund (Mannheim) contrast this perspective with their motivations and the experience gained during the course.

As usual this issue contains a number of reviews about scholarly publications. Our editor Tobias Ebbrecht (Berlin) dedicates an extensive review to the documentary theatre project Die Wannsee-Konferenz, which was performed at the historic setting on the occasion of its seventieth anniversary. The piece by Liliane Weissberg (Philadelphia) puts into context the undertaking Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. This project is being carried out at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Leipzig. Finally, Hermann Simon (Berlin) assesses the amended new edition of his work about local history called ‘Zehn Brüder waren wir gewesen…’ Spuren jüdischen Lebens in Neukölln – while also placing it in relation to his own biography.

The current edition of MEDAON would not have been possible without the help of Wendy Anne Kopisch, Peter Carrier, Phillip Roth, Irina Suttner and reviewers. Cathleen Bürgelt, Marcus Schaub, Gunther Gebhard and Steffen Schröter of text plus form corrected this issue. The editors would like to express their profound gratitude to all those who provided voluntary assistance.

Erratum: Please note Malte Gebert’s correction to his contribution in volume 9, October 2011.

Thomas Fache
for MEDAON editorial staff
April 2012.


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Account-No.: 31 20 12 39 77

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