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The Global Refugee Crisis and the Challenge to Liberal Democracies

Lecture by Seyla Benhabib as Part of the W. Michael Blumenthal Lectures (with Video Recording)

Our era is shaped by the global exchange of capital, information, and goods. At the same time, there is increasing criminalization of migration by people escaping violence or seeking better living conditions.

recording available

Where

Old Building, ground level, Glass Courtyard
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Video recording of the lecture The Global Refugee Crisis and the Challenge to Liberal Democracies by Seyla Benhabib; Jewish Museum Berlin 2018

In her talk, Seyla Benhabib, professor of political theory at Yale University, showed how this development is a challenge to liberal democracies. While these countries have an obligation to respect the rights of refugees and migrants as universal human rights, they must also cope with exclusionary attitudes domestically, where nationalistic movements and anti-immigration political groups have been mobilizing.

Seyla Benhabib

Seyla Benhabib was born in Istanbul and raised in a Sephardic Jewish family. She teaches political theory and political philosophy at Yale University and researches topics such as migration, minorities, and feminist theory. Her magnum opus The Rights of Others investigates the implications of globalization and migration for nation-states.

Seyla Benhabib

You can get more information about Seyla Benhabib as well as a bibliography of her work on the Yale University website.

Visit the website

W. Michael Blumenthal Lectures

In the W. Michael Blumenthal Lectures, named for the founding director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, internationally prominent scholars discuss current social issues.

With support from the Hubert Burda Foundation.

Portrait photo of Seyla Benhabib

Seyla Benhabib; photo: Bettina Strauss

Where, when, what?

  • When Tuesday 26 June 2018, 7 pm
  • Where Old Building, ground level, Glass Courtyard

    Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

    See location on map
  • LanguageThe event was held in English, with simultaneous interpretation into German.

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Video Recordings: Watch Past Museum Events (55)

Watch Past Museum Events

We film select events, such as conferences, panel discussions, book presentations, and our Jewish-Islamic Forum lecture series.

People touch a large touchscreen wall that displays documents and objects

The Family Album

Peter Schaul recounts the life of his mother, Dora Schaul, whose estate is part of the interactive installation The Family Album
Language: German, no subtitles

Livestream
9 Nov 2020

The Last Veit Simons from Berlin

One of Berlin’s oldest Jewish families in a transnational story of class, gender, and sexuality
With: Anna Hájková and Maria von der Heydt
Language: German, no subtitles

Reading/Discussion
11 Dec 2019

About a Tea Bowl

Discussion with brief presentations about interwoven experiences of post-Soviet Jewish migration, in German

Lecture/Discussion
27 Nov 2019

Conversation with the Artist Thomas Struth

With Thomas Struth (photographer) and Theresia Ziehe (curator of photography), related to the exhibition This Place, in German

Artist Talk
5 Dec 2019

Ruth Wodak:
Swing to the right?!

Ruth Wodak traces how a new “normality to the right” is establishing itself in many European countries (in German)

Lecture/Discussion
17 October 2019

Zvi Aviram: Brushes with Death

16 September 2019
Zvi Aviram was born in January 1927 in Berlin as Heinz Abrahamsohn. From age 14, he had to perform forced labor in the arms industry. During the so-called factory operation on 27 February 1943, his parents were arrested and deported and he himself went into illegality.

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Karl M. von der Heyden: From Berlin to New York

29 August 2019
In his book From Berlin to New York, Karl M. von der Heyden describes his experiences as a child and youth in war-torn Germany and his journey to the USA, where he began studying at Duke University in 1957 and rose to the boardrooms of Pepsi and Dreamworks.

Photography: Portrait of an elderly man

Sally Perel:
Hitlerjunge Salomon

12 June 2019
Sally Perel was born in Peine in April 1925. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union he pretended to be a Volksdeutscher and called himself Josef Perjell.
In 1990, his memoirs were published and were filmed in the same year under the title Hitlerjunge Salomon.

“To Know One Religion Is to Know None”

28 August 2019
W. Michael Blumenthal Fellow Walid Abdelgawad talks about reflections on Islam and Judaism in the writings of German-speaking Jewish orientalists between 1833 and 1955 (in German)
Video: in German; no subtitles

Photography of a totem pole in a foggy landscape with lake

Museums, Religion, and the Work of Reconciliation and Remembrance

9 May 2019
Museums are called on to deal critically and transparently with the often invisible colonial history of their collections. The curators Jisgang Nika Collision (Haida Gwaii Museum, Haida Nation & Canada) and Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Saxonian State Ethnographic Collections) discussed this topic.

Access Barriers. Critical Perspectives on Racism in Schools and Curatorial Practices

Keynote by Bonita Bennett (District Six Museum, Cape Town) at the conference Access Barriers on museums as places of social change.

Lecture/Discussion
20 Mar 2019

The Laskers from Breslau (Wrocław) – A Family Reunion in Music and Words

27 January 2019
Cellist and contemporary witness Anita Lasker Wallfisch shares the stage with three generations of her family for the first time.
Marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp on 27 January 1945, they read letters from the family written between 1942 and 1952 and play works by Beethoven, Schubert, Bloch, and others.


27 Jan 2019

Happy Birthday, Academy Programs!

2 December 2018
Welcoming Remarks and Introducing the Academy Programs | Discussion with Performance: Archive of Life. Memory in a Society Shaped by Migration | Panel Discussion: Jewish Fathers – Jewish Children? | Panel Discussion: A Pre-fascist Era? | Reception: 5 Years – 5 Friends – 5 Gifts

Peter Neuhof

Peter Neuhof: A Youth in the Shadow of the Persecution

3 December 2018
Peter Neuhof speaks about his memories and experiences in an interview with Aubrey Pomerance, head of the archive. His parents were active members of the German Communist Party (KPD) and were arrested in 1943. Peter was able to remain in the parental home.

Polish Perspectives on '68: March Protests

22 November 2018
This event for the “'68 Now” series discusses (in German and Polish) the events of 1968 from the Polish perspective. In Poland, the student protests were co-opted by an antisemitic rampage that resulted in 13,000 Jews being forced to leave the country.

Living with Islamophobia

11 and 12 October 2018
The international conference “Living with Islamophobia” considered how cultural and religious affiliations are constructed and invited experts to enter into discussion.

Michael Sfard:
The Jerusalem Dispute. The Fight for Human Rights in Israeli Courts

6 September 2018
Lecture by Michael Sfard, one of Israel’s leading human rights lawyers

Imported Antisemitism?

30 August 2018
Is Antisemitism increasing with the number of refugees from Arab countries? We discuss with political, academic, and practical experts which manifestations of antisemitism among Arab migrants and Muslims in Germany exist (in German).

Portrait photo of Seyla Benhabib

Seyla Benhabib: The Global Refugee Crisis and the Challenge to Liberal Democracies

26 June 2018
Seyla Benhabib (Yale University) discusses the challenges migration poses to liberal democracies.

Portrait of Hanni Levy

Hanni Levy: Surviving in Berlin

Born in 1924, survived the Nazi era in hiding in Berlin with the help of friends, in German

Eyewitness Talks
25 Jun 2018

Stolen Judaica
Provenance Research in Israel and Germany

In this symposium, research that explores the origins of Jewish ceremonial objects exclusively in Israel and Germany, took center stage for the first time.

Conference
18/19 Jun 2018

Ongoing Struggles. Anti-Discrimination Work during the Rise of the Far Right

7 June 2018
Opening Session of the academic conference
Including Imani Perry's keynote »What Lies Underneath: Difficult Histories and the Resurgence of The Far Right«

Anita Lasker Wallfisch: Auschwitz Never Left Me

28 May 2018
Born in Breslau in 1925, Anita Lasker Wallfisch studied cello in Berlin from 1938. In 1942, Anita’s parents were deported to Izbica and murdered, and in 1943 Anita and her sister Renate were deported to Ausschwitz.

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Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem

8 May 2018
Author Menachem Klein in Conversation with Cilly Kugelmann

Portrait of Margot Friedländer

Margot Friedländer: Try to Make Your Life

9 April 2018
Margot Friedländer was born in 1921 in Berlin and has had close ties with the museum for many years. She reads from her memoir, which takes its title from her mother’s last message to her: Try to Make Your Life.

What is the Relationship Between Antisemitism and Islamophobia?

20 March 2018
Lectures by David Feldman and Stefanie Schüler-Springorum

Porträt Joshua Cohen

The Book of Numbers

12 February 2018
Reading and Talk with the Author Joshua Cohen and Literary Scholar Jan Wilm

Walter Frankenstein: Not with Us

31 January 2018
Born in 1924 in West Prussia, Walter Frankenstein lived in Berlin from 1936. When deportation threatened, he went into hiding with his wife and their five-week-old son. The family managed to survive with the help of friends.

“And the day will come ...”

11 January 2018
Eyewitness Horst Selbiger in Conversation with Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

Kurt Roberg

Kurt Roberg: A Visa Or Your Life

Born 1924 in Celle, emigration at the end of 1938 via the Netherlands, return to Berlin in March 1941 and re-emigration in May 1941 via Lisbon to the USA, in German

Eyewitness Talks
4 Dec 2017

Kunstwerk von Moran Sanderovich

New Judaism – Alliances in Postmigrant Society

16 November 2017
Discussion on concepts of being Jewish within the third generation of Jews in Germany (in German and English)

Jews in Muslim Majority Countries

24 to 27 October 2017
International conference for scholars from different continents and academic disciplines, who discuss questions of culture, identity and memory of Jewish life in Arab and Muslim majority countries.

Henry Wuga

Henry Wuga: A Nuremberger from Glasgow

23 October 2017
Henry Wuga was born to a Jewish mother and a Catholic father in Nuremberg in 1924. In 1938, his parents were able to send him to Scotland with a children’s transport and later in 1947, he could bring his mother, who had survived in hiding, to his home in Glasgow.
Language: German

Future Memories

26 September 2017
Discussion on the Importance of Minority Perspectives for European Societies’ Commemorative Cultures (in German and English)

Cranach-Gemälde Luther und Foto von Franz Rosenzweig als Collage

Luther, Rosenzweig, and the Script

18 September 2017
Book Presentation and Discussion (in German)

Between the Lines

9 September 2017
An Evening with Israeli and German Poets (in Hebrew and German)

Religion. Fashion. Empowerment.

29 June 2017
Discussion with Reina Lewis and Meriem Lebdiri (in German and English)

Jews in North Africa During the Second World War

26 Januar 2017
Theme day with lectures by Michel Abitbol, Eric Salerno, Patrick Bernhard, Haim Saadoun, and panel discussion
Language: German, English, and French

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"Nothing can Hurt Those who Already Died Once" - Discussion with Contemporary Witness Marko Feingold

Event on 10 November 2016
With: Marko Feingold, Peter Schäfer, Uwe Neumärker
Language: German, no subtitles

Sites of Memory: Lost and Entangled Narratives

With: Dr. Rosa Fava, Juliane Jurewicz, Prof. Dr. Iman Attia, Olga Gerstenberger, Ozan Keskinkiliç, Anita Awosusi, Ilona Lagrene, Prof. Dr. Michael Rothberg, and Serpil Polat
Language: German and English, no subtitles

Conference
16 Sep 2016

TIME OF CRISIS

Panel discussion on 7 September 2016
With: Dan Diner, Adam Michnik, Dietmar Herz, Étienne François, and Hans Kundnani
Language: German, no subtitles

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Antisemitism in the Arabic World – Facts and Myths

Panel discussion on 26 April 2016
With: Michael Kiefer and Omar Kamil
Language: German, no subtitles

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"Mich hat Auschwitz nie verlassen" (Auschwitz has never left me)

With: Renate Lasker-Harpprecht and Anita Lasker Wallfisch
Language: German, no subtitles

Eyewitness Talks
1 Mar 2016

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Post-migrant Society?!

International conference from 12 to 14 November 2015
Recording of the opening event
Language: German and English, no subtitles

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On Life – Working with People Traumatized by the Shoah

Panel discussion on 1 October 2015
With: Giselle Cycowicz, Martin Auerbach and David Becker and Volker Beck
Language: German, no subtitles

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Kill Me a Son!

Symposium from 3 September 2015 to 4 September 2015
Recording of the opening event
With: Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Neuwirth
Language: German, no subtitles

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A Shared View of Europe – Jewish and Muslim Experiences as Reflected in Public Controversies

Panel discussion on 19 January 2015
With: Prof. Nilüfer Göle, Shai Lavi and Gökçe Yurdakul
Language: German, no subtitles

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Contemporary Jewish life in a global modernity

International conference from 11 December 2014 to 12 December 2014
Recording of the presentation "Future of European Jewry"
With: Dr. Karen Körber and Dr. Diana Pinto
Language: English, no subtitles

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Snip it?!

Presentation of a study followed by a discussion on 4 December 2014
With: Professor Kerem Öktem, Mounir Azzaoui, Dr. des. Alexander Hasgall, and Dr. des. Hannah C. Tzuberi.

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Concepts of Citizenship and Participation in European Comparison

Symposium from 7 April 2014 to 8 April 2014
Recording of the keynote by Prof. Dr. Rainer Bauböck and the followed panel discussion
With: Prof. Dr. Rainer Bauböck, Dr. Manuela Bojadžijev, Josip Juratovic and Dr. Monika Lüke
Language: German, no subtitles

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Art and Culture in the Terezín Ghetto

Symposium on 2 March 2014
In four lectures, the symposium explores the history of Theresienstadt, the “ghetto of exceptions,” from four different angles.
With: Wolfgang Benz, Anna Hájková and Hanno Loewy
Language: German, no subtitles

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The Connected Audience

Conference from 27 February 2014 to 28 February 2014
With: John H. Falk
Language: English, no subtitles

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Is Higher Education a Safeguard Against Racism and Antisemitism?

Presentation of a study followed by panel discussion on 20 February 2014
With: Wassilis Kassis, Charlotte Schallié, Iman Attia, Stefanie Schüler-Springorum and Andreas Zick
Language: German, no subtitles

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“What do we mean when we say 'antisemitism'?”

Keynote lecture, opening the conference Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts
With: Brian Klug
Language: English

Lecture/Discussion
8 Nov 2013

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Circumcision: Identity Politics and / or Health Issue?

With: Sander L. Gilman, in Englisch

Lecture/Discussion
8 May 2013