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HGS 632 - Jews and Germany: Rise, Fall and Rebirth


This online graduate seminar offers a survey of 2000 years of German and German-Jewish history and their remarkable interactions. Beginning with Jewish settlement in Germany during the Roman Period, we will examine the rise of Ashkenazic Jewish culture in Germany during the Middle Ages and its global impact on world Jewry. Similarly, Germany played a major role in the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the modern era along political, religious, economic and cultural lines. The rise of modern Jewish culture and Modern Judaism in Germany was also transformative in the Jewish experience. As is well known, modern antisemitism found fertile soil in Germany, ultimately leading to the creation of the Nazi State and the Holocaust. After World War II, German Jewish life was slowly rebuilt, and, in recent years, a surprising vigorous Jewish community has reemerged in a united Germany.