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“If this is a Man”

An Evening Against Forgetting (in German)

“If this is a man” was formulated by Primo Levi for the title of his autobiographical account, written in light of atrocities he experienced and survived. The sentiment is directed both at the perpetrators and at the generations that followed, who must confront what happened again and again. For while there is an official politics of memory and the admonitory “never again,” these are increasingly turning into a ritual without concrete knowledge, without the voices that are able to convey what the Shoah really meant.

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green

Where

W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)

Collage of three portraits of women: a woman with short brown hair in a jacket and hoodie in front of a blurred wall, a woman with shoulder-length curls and a wool sweater on a bridge, and a dark-haired woman with her chin propped up in her hand.

Carolin Emcke, photo: Andreas Labes; Lena Gorelik, photo: Charlotte Troll; and Maryam Zaree; photo: Dorothea Tuch

On the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism, this evening counters this trend with texts from survivors like Primo Levi, Jean Améry, Ruth Klüger, Charlotte Delbo, Imre Kertész, Jorge Semprún, and many others who survived and described the horrors of the camps. Their reports address those who were born later; they tell of violence and torture, but also of resistance, friendship and the ethics of remembering.

The texts will be read by Carolin Emcke, Lena Gorelik and Maryam Zaree. Following the reading, the three authors will discuss topics including what these texts mean for the present, and what continuities and fractures can be discerned today.

Where, when, what?

  • When Thu 26 Jan 2023, 7 pm
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium

    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)

    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    Free of charge

  • Language The event will be conducted in German.

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