Lecture series of the Evenarí Forum in winter semester 2018/19

Lecture series of the Evenarí Forum

The lecture series is aimed at students of all departments at TU Darmstadt as well as the interested public. Among the speakers are scientists from various disciplines from Germany and abroad. Students can obtain credit points for their study programme within the framework of interdisciplinary teaching. Prerequisites for this are regular attendance and an essay. Details of the programme can be found on public posters, flyers, and on the website.

The lectures are at the intersection of different academic disciplines. Among the lecturers are scientists from all the relevant disciplines from Germany and abroad. Thus, once again, an impressive foray is offered through all the fields that the Evenarí Forum seeks to integrate: technical, natural, historical and cultural sciences.

The lecture series takes place mondays from 18:05 – 19:45 (S1|02, 23) and starts on 30.10.2023. Further particulars are given in the Flyer. (opens in new tab)

Das Thema der Ringvorlesung will gleich zwei bedeutsamen aktuellen Anlässen mit gebotener historischer Tiefenschärfe wie interdisziplinärem Zuschnitt Rechung tragen: Zum einen wird 2021 das Jubiläum '1700 Jahre jüdisches Leben in Deutschland' gefeiert, zum andern wurden am 27. Juli 2021 durch die UNESCO die 'SchUM-Städte' Speyer, Worms und Mainz in unserer Nachbarschaft in die Welterbeliste aufgenommen – und wurde damit erstmals das jüdische Erbe in Deutschland weltweit gewürdigt.

Den Bezugsgrundlagen dieses vielgestaltigen, nachhaltigen Erbes will die Ringvorlesung ihre Aufmerksamkeit widmen, von der Spätantike bis zur Shoah, dabei aber auch den Blick auf die Perspektiven jüdischen Lebens in Deutschland über eine Bestandsaufnahme zur Gegenwart ermöglichen.

Die Vorlesungseinheiten bewegen sich im Schnittfeld verschiedener wissenschaftlicher Fächer.

Das Programm der 19. Ringvorlesung finden Sie hier (opens in new tab) .

Die allen bekannten Gesundheitsrisiken haben die Technische Universität Darmstadt bewogen, auch im Wintersemester 2021/22 aus Sicherheitsgründen die Lehre weitestgehend digital zu gestalten.

Unter den damit verbundenen Einschränkungen war eine Ringvorlesung unseres Forums im gewohnten Format aber nicht aussichtsreich zu organisieren, d. h. unter Gewinnung von 12-14 auswärtigen, zum Teil aus dem Ausland einzuladenden Referenten (zuletzt im Wintersemester 2019/20 noch mit Gästen aus Großbritannien, den USA, der Schweiz und Israel). Eine Umstellung auf reine Video-Übertragung von zuhause aufgenommenen Vorträgen hätte die anzusprechenden Gäste wenig überzeugt, und sie würde uns auch der Möglichkeit des gerade bei dieser Ringvorlesung so wichtigen direkten Austausches zwischen Vortragenden und Auditorium berauben. Vor allem aber hätte sie unter diesen Umständen den Ausschluß der universitätsexternen Hörerinnen und Hörer bedeutet, die unserem Forum z. T. seit Beginn des Veranstaltungsformats die Treue halten und den Einbezug des Forumsprogramms und seiner Anliegen in Stadt und Region garantieren.

Wir bedauern die Absage sehr, hoffen aber auf Ihr aller Verständnis und setzen darauf, im Sommersemester 2022 dann wieder eine Ringvorlesung des Forums im gewohnten Zuschnitt anbieten zu können.

With the exile theme, a fundamental experience of Jewish religion and tradition is taken up, which in the 20th century experienced a new, tremendous and global realization. It has left deep traces in German and European history and in its own way has helped to determine the emergence and self-perception of the new state of Israel, but also, from the perspective of the countries of origin, has caused a lasting exodus. The conditions and consequences of this exodus for intellectual life, especially for scientific culture, will be investigated, as well as the general experience of exile in various historical and cultural contexts, and in particular the significance of the Galut for Judaism, from Babylonian exile to the present day. The conclusion and outlook of the lecture series will therefore be formed by a lecture by an Israeli historian on 10 February 2020 entitled “Exile as a permanent condition in Judaism”.

The lectures will otherwise be held in German, will move in the intersection of different academic disciplines and will lead historically from antiquity to the present. Among the lecturers are scholars from all relevant disciplines from Germany and abroad. Thus, once again, an impressive foray is offered through all the areas that the Evenarí Forum seeks to integrate: technical, natural, historical and cultural sciences.

Students can obtain credit points for their course of study within the framework of interdisciplinary teaching. Prerequisites for this are regular attendance and the writing of a short essay, which summarizes at least ten lectures on approximately 10 pages and questions them on their context.

The lecture series will take place on Mondays from 18:05-19:45 in room S 1|03 123. You can view the program here (opens in new tab) .

The series of lectures refers to the 200th birthday of Karl Marx in the calendar year 2018, in order to address the emergence, characteristics and effects of Marxist historical thinking and Marxist concepts of society. On the other hand, it wants to refer to old messianic thought patterns and their vitality, preferably in Judaism, but also in other religions and different cultural zones, in Europe as well as in Asia. The lecture series explores the utopian discourse as well as the relationship between messianism and criticism of religion, not least the question of Marxist-style anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories.

The lecture units are located at the intersection of different academic disciplines and lead historically from antiquity to the present.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S 1|03 123

Start: 15.10.2018

You can find the flyer for the event with the presentations here (opens in new tab) .

In keeping with the interdisciplinary concerns of the Evenari Forum for German-Jewish Studies, the series of lectures is deliberately broad in scope: under the title “Jewish Heritage”, it explores the deep and diverse traces that Jewish religion and representatives of Jewish culture have left in European history to the present day. The focus of the exhibition is on the German-speaking world in particular, but it will also take a look at the history of Israel up to the present day and offer surprising insights. Thus, we can expect an impressive foray through all areas that the Forum seeks to integrate: technical, natural, historical and cultural sciences.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S 1|03 123

Start: 23.10.2017

Here (opens in new tab) you can download the flyer with the data of the event as PDF file!

With the year 2017, the calendar of historical commemoration days offers the opportunity to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther's theses. Traditionally, it stands for an epoch called the “Reformation”, which in Europe's self-image is often characterized as the turn of an era: In the long term, it has, among other things, promoted a surge of individualisation, rationalisation and secularisation (Max Weber).

If one refrains from an affirming historiography, this “turn of an era” in the European long-term memory can also be interpreted with good reasons as a kind of ambivalent modernisation crisis. It presents itself as a long phase marked by fundamentalism and the confrontation with religious deviance, which, among other things, profoundly changed the relationship to the most important religiously different group up to that time, the Jews. This phase, tied up with events, extends at least from the burning of the Czech reformers Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague (1416) at the Council of Constance to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, at the end of which there was a European peace of exhaustion (“Peace of Westphalia” 1648), which contributed substantially to the foundation of modern international law, a new understanding of the state and a changed relationship between nation, religion and politics. The long phase from 1416 through 1517 to 1618 was marked by an explosive combination of religion, politics and social dynamics. As a transformation phase, it deserves a thorough analysis with regard to its social, religious and political conditions. The “heretic Luther” (Volker Reinhardt) and the epochal year 1517 therefore stand not only for the aforementioned impulse for modernization, but also for the ambivalence of this phase of religious, social and national differentiation with serious consequences for the entire world – also beyond Luther's reach.

Thus, the Reformation can be understood as an element of a profound religious, political and social crisis, to which not only Luther, the Reformers and the Protestant authorities responded by disciplining, excluding and criminalizing those of different faith, people with other ideas and dissenters, but also large sections of society. In most cases, these phenomena were subsumed by research under the concept of “confessionalization”. The combination of religious reform, denominationalization, social discipline and state modernization, as understood by this concept, strengthened in the long term some tendencies that had already existed before the Reformation. In this respect, the Reformation also intensified and generated conflicts and crisis-like phenomena, which were reflected in the persecution of deviant behaviour by authorities/state and population. In addition to Jews, examples of this are religious minorities and marginalised social groups who were labelled, marginalised and persecuted as “sects”, “witches”, “vagrants”, “beggars” and “gypsies”. A closer look at the world beyond the great personalities of the history of the Reformation, which is less often told, but which has increasingly come into focus in recent years, is worthwhile. The lecture series therefore focuses on this alternative narrative of the Reformation as a complex and crisis-ridden period of transformation in European society. On the one hand, it focuses on the long development before the event of 1517, which did not necessarily lead to the Reformation: Conciliarism, humanism and the Renaissance as movements which, by drawing on a past imagined as exemplary, laid the foundations not only for reforms and educational movements, but also for religious fundamentalism, persecution of marginalised groups, heterodox movements and obscurantism. For example, the interreligious dimension of eschatological concepts deserves special attention in its catalytic links with social revolutionary impulses from the Dolcinites to the Anabaptists. Likewise, mysticism comes into view as an amalgam of diffuse social, religious and political concerns and, last but not least, as a precondition of Luther. The ambivalence of dealing, for example, with the Jewish heritage of the Christian religion, from the irenian efforts of an Erasmus of Rotterdam to the anti-Jewish inflammatory writings of Martin Luther, is just as much a part of this as the instrumental separation of politics and religion. The focus, however, should not be on the great and well-known personalities, but rather on less or even largely unknown figures who nevertheless belong to the character of the transformation phase: Political and religious thinkers, whose position as the voice of reason remained silent in the din of power struggles. Actors in the local context who failed with their concerns, but who are nevertheless worthy of attention. Or the women who have only come to the fore in recent decades, who – whether as propagators of the Reformation or as nuns from dissolved monasteries – faced extraordinary challenges and made an almost invisible contribution to transformation. Finally also movements that on the one hand led to escapism, mysticism and esotericism, but on the other hand developed a dynamic that in its long-term significance only becomes clear in distancing retrospect.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S 1|03 123

Start: 24.10.2016

To the program (opens in new tab) of the lecture series

The lecture series looks at important artists, collectors and patrons as well as art critics of Jewish origin who played an important role in contemporary art from the 19th to the beginning of the 21st century: whether in Germany or France, in England, the USA or Israel. However, the aim is not only to focus on prominent representatives and patrons of the visual arts, but also to pick up traces of artists whose work is now little or no longer known, stolen or lost. In this way, we also want to address a debate that has again acutely penetrated the consciousness of the broader public in recent years: the fate of artists persecuted under National Socialist rule and the still pressing problems of identifying and restoring looted Jewish art property. Last but not least, it aims to highlight social controversies about art and artists in the mirror of art criticism. The lecture series will conclude with a lecture devoted to the contemporary art scene and visual culture in Israel.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S 1|03 123

Start: 19.10.2015

The flyer is available here (opens in new tab) .


Ulli Seegers (Düsseldorf)

The long shadow of Nazi looted art. Concept, structure, aftermath


Dorothee Hoppe (Freiburg i. Br.)

The Frankfurt artist John Elsas (1851-1935)


Sven Kuhrau (Berlin)

Liebermann's pictures


Marianne Kroeger (Frankfurt am Main)

Carl Einstein (1885-1940) – Revolution, art and criticism


Erik Riedel (Frankfurt am Main)

Ludwig Meidner: The hottest crater of a volcanic epoch


Olaf Matthes (Hamburg)

James Simon. The art of meaningful giving


Katharina Prager (Vienna)

Karl Kraus Online – Possibilities and limits of an "anti-biography


N. N.

The Heinz Berggruen Collection


N. N.

NS looted art in Switzerland


Julius Schoeps (Potsdam)

Pioneer of the modern age. The Mendelssohns as patrons and art collectors


Lea Welk (Berlin)

Literature on Jewish art. A Collection Focus of the Jewish Museum Berlin Library


Sabine Koller (Regensburg)

Russia 1917-1922: Marc Chagall's (non-)Jewish art revolution


Oded Heilbronner (Jerusalem/Tel Aviv)

Identity and Place in Israeli Art

The lecture series is dedicated to a fundamental topic on the history of the common good: the foundation system, which has been a part of pre-modern cultures and religions – not only in Europe! – and which is becoming increasingly important again in our society. On the basis of the most recent research, we want to take a look at the conditions and dimensions of the foundation system from the Middle Ages to the present day and, in accordance with the concerns of our forum, also throw new light on Jewish foundations and the significance that the idea of foundations has had in the Jewish bourgeoisie, as well as in the history of the German bourgeoisie in general, since the second half of the 19th century. The aim is to provide a comparative perspective by investigating the idea of the foundation in Christianity and Islam, but also to work out what challenges and tasks of an economic, social-charitable, scientific and generally cultural nature foundations have faced and may have to face in the future.

Time: Thursday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S1 01/A03 (basement)

Start: 23.10.2014

First lecture on October 23, 2014: Prof. Dr. Johannes Heil, Rector of the University of Jewish Studies (Heidelberg), will speak on the subject of “Zedakah and Philanthropy – Remaining Jewish and acting as citizens”.

The schedule of the 13th lecture series is available here (opens in new tab) .

The lecture series aims to unfold as broad and colourful a spectrum as possible on the area of tension between science and Judaism. The focus is on researcher biographies and scientific institutions that have generated significant innovations and discussions in their field, in which Jewish origin and influence have played and continue to play an important role. The period under consideration spans from the 19th century to the present, and the inter- and transdisciplinary nature of the forum gives weight to all subject areas in which the scientific diversity of the TU Darmstadt is reflected: in the technical, natural, historical and cultural sciences.

Each evening of lectures will focus on a researcher or discourse that addresses the relationship between science and Judaism after the emancipation of the Jews in Germany or in the individual German states, but historical and scientific developments of the 20th century will of course also look beyond Germany's “horizon” to the countries of emigration and ask about the role of Jewish remigrants in the German scientific community after 1945. The lecture units will not only examine in detail the confrontations of scholars from a wide range of disciplines with their Jewish identity, but also the respective academic milieus in which they moved. Among the lecturers are scholars from all the disciplines concerned.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S3/13 (Residence Palace), lecture hall 36

Start: 21.10.2013

First lecture: 21 October 2013 The following spoke: Dr Mirjam Thulin (Mainz): “Without science there is no Judaism. The History of the Science of Judaism 1818-1938/44”.

Program (opens in new tab) 12th lecture series

Disasters are understood here in a broad and interdisciplinary approach. Specialists from research, administration and business from the biosciences and geosciences as well as history, computer science, art history, sociology and insurance industry analyse natural disasters, the political disasters of the 20th century and possibilities of disaster management.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S3/13 (Residence Palace), lecture hall 36

Start: 29.10.2012

Program (opens in new tab) of the 11th lecture series of the Evenarí Forum for German-Jewish Studies at the TU Darmstadt

  • 29.10.2012 – Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoppe (Geo-Resources and Geo-Risks, Technische Universität Darmstadt), Of Saurians and Humans – Geology and Disasters
  • 05.11.2012 – Prof. Dr. Gerrit Jasper Schenk (Medieval History, Technische Universität Darmstadt), Disasters – A Conceptual History
  • 12.11.2012 – Prof. Dr. Josef Reichholf (Altötting), Forest Dieback and Floods and why the False Prophets do so easily
  • 19.11.2012 – Prof. Dr. Gerhard Berz (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, formerly Munich Re Geo Risks Research), Catastrophes as a business model: Risk and opportunities from an insurance perspective
  • 26.11.2012 – Prof. Dr. Tanaka Atsushi (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo), The Rescue of Cultural Assets after the Great Tohoku Earthquake in March 2011: An Experience Report (the lecture will be translated from Japanese)
  • 03.12.2012 – Dr. Ghaleb Natour (Verein zur Förderung des Friedens in Israel und Palestine e.V., Aachen), The Nakba – Flight and Expulsion of the Palestinians 1948
  • 10.12.2012 – Prof. Dr. Jens Ivo Engels (Modern and Contemporary History, Technical University Darmstadt), The Flood Catastrophe in Hamburg 1962
  • 17.12.2012 – Dr. Carsten Felgentreff (Institute for Geography at the University of Osnabrück), Climate catastrophe? Adaptation in times of change
  • 14.01.2013 – Prof. Dr. Max Mühlhäuser (Computer Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt), Networked Computers: Weak point or backbone of disaster management
  • 21.01.2013 – Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner (History Department, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich), After the Shoah – Jews in Germany in the face of the catastrophe
  • 28.01.2013 – Prof. Dr. Jörg Baberowski (Institute for Historical Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin), Stalinist terror as a disaster event
  • 04.02.2013 – Prof. Dr. Wolf Rüdiger Dombrowsky – (Steinbeis University Berlin), Disasters – The human factor


  • Baberowski, Jörg (2007): Der Rote Terror. Die Geschichte des Stalinismus. – 3. Aufl., Fischer-Taschenbuch (Frankfurt am Main).
  • Brenner, Michael (1995): Nach dem Holocaust: Juden in Deutschland, 1945-1950. – C.H.Beck (München).
  • Dombrowsky, Wolf Rüdiger (2001): Die globale Dimension von Katastrophen. – In: Plate E. / Merz, B., Hg.: Naturkatastrophen, Ursachen – Auswirkungen – Vorsorge, S. 229-246, Schweizerbart (Stuttgart).
  • Felgentreff, Carsten / Glade, Thomas (2007): Naturrisiken und Sozialkatastrophen. – Spektrum Akademischer Verlag (Heidelberg).
  • Hoppe, A. (2002): Georessourcen und Georisiken. – Schriftenreihe der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geowissenschaften 15: 157-172, Hannover.
  • Reichholf, Josef H. (2003): Die falschen Propheten: unsere Lust an Katastrophen. – Wagenbach (Berlin).
  • Rumpf, Ingrid (2007): Die Nakba – Flucht und Vertreibung der Palästineser 1948. – Ausstellungskatalog, www.lib-hilfe.de/mat/ausstellung/Broschuere_Nakba.pdf [12.8.2012].
  • Schenk, G. J., J. I. Engels, eds. (2007): Historical disaster research. Concepts, methods and case studies. – Historical social research. Vol. 32,3, Special issue. Köln 2007.

In the winter semester 2011/12, the Evenari-Forum offers the 10th lecture series under the title: “Jewish Life in Germany after Auschwitz” (see below for program (opens in new tab) ).


The Shoah formed the absolute low point of Jewish life in Germany since the pogroms of the Middle Ages and erased it.

Today, 66 years after the end of Nazi rule, Jewish life in Germany is brisk again: reason enough to take stock. The historical aspects (e.g. Displaced Persons on the Bergstrasse and in southern Germany) of this development and those of social life, science and art are examined in the 10th lecture series of the Evenarí Forum. It reflects Jewish life in Germany in its own and in the non-Jewish perception.

In addition, topics such as the re-foundation of Jewish communities in the Federal Republic of Germany, the role of the rabbinate, aspects of the culture of remembrance and the history of mentality in Israel will be addressed. A new anti-Semitism in German society will be highlighted as a danger in the lecture series, as will the question of what constitutes “German-Jewish normality” and whether it can exist at all.

The lectures will be held by speakers from the TU Darmstadt as well as by foreign scientists.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S3/13 (Residence Palace), lecture hall 36

Start: 31.10.2011


  • 1.) 31.10.: Dr. Elvira Grözinger (Berlin), “The Jewish Community in Berlin – 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.
  • 2.) November 7th: Dr. des. Holger Köhn (TU Darmstadt), “Jewish Life in Camps after 1945. Displaced Persons in Southern Germany”.
  • 3.) 14.11.: Dr. Thomas Lutz (Berlin), “66 years after liberation – the current socio-political significance of Holocaust remembrance in Germany”.
  • 4.) 21.11.: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lorch (TU Darmstadt), “Mnemonics”.
  • 5.) 28.11.: Dr. Uri Kaufmann (Director of the Cultural Institute Old Synagogue Essen), “Jewish Displaced Persons on the Bergstrasse”.
  • 6.) 05.12.: Rabbi Elisa Klapheck (Frankfurt), “Rabbinate in Transition. New challenges for rabbis in Germany”.
  • 7.) 12.12.: PD Dr. Samuel Salzborn (University of Gießen), “New Anti-Semitism in Germany”.
  • 8.) 19.12.: Moritz Neumann (Darmstadt), “The Jewish Communities in Germany 1945 until today”.
  • 9.) 09.01.: Prof. Dr. Johannes Heil (University for Jewish Studies – Heidelberg), “Jewish History and German Historical Studies – Approaches after 1945”.
  • 10.) 16.01.: Dr. Sylke Tempel (Berlin), ¡“History of Mentalities in Israel”
  • 11.) 23.01.: Prof. Dr. Hannah Liss (University of Jewish Studies – Heidelberg), “Scientific Operation Jewish Studies in Post-War Germany
  • 12.) 30.01.: Fritz Backhaus (Jewish Museum Frankfurt), ”German-Jewish History in the Museum
  • 13.) 06.02.: Prof. Dr. Salomon Korn (Frankfurt), “What is ”German-Jewish normality"?

Here (opens in new tab) you can find the program of the 8th Evenari Ring Lecture.

Time: Monday, 18:05-19:45

Location: S1/03 (Old Main Building), lecture hall 221

Start: 02.11.2009