Emotions and Experiences

Photography and Visual German-Jewish History, 1910-1950

Please register until November 6 if you are planing to attend to the workshop.

The workshop intends to analyse the roles of private German-Jewish photography between 1933 and 1945. By doing so, it will take a completely new perspective on Jewish reactions to the Nazi Regime. It will firstly use visual sources, and secondly focus on the subjective emotional responses of German Jews on political developments during this period. Especially private photographs, frequently collected and arranged in family albums, are a prime medium for documenting a domestic perspective of how individuals situate themselves and their emotions in larger political frameworks and family dynamics. On the pages of such photographic albums, family history and emotions are folded into narratives of dramatically changing German-Jewish life. While a special focus lies on reactions to National Socialism, the workshop also asks for continuities and ruptures in German Jewish private photography, spanning from 1910 to 1950. A particular emphasis will lie on the intermedial interplay that characterizes such albums: they are often composed as scrapbooks containing diary entries, poetry, newspaper clippings and other textual elements alongside the visual material, embedding family history directly in political and cultural currents of the time. In order to reflect on the specificity of photographic sources for this time period, we will discuss also classical German-Jewish egodocuments such as diaries and letters.
The workshop is co-organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London, the Lichtenberg Kolleg, University of Goettingen, and the AHRC project ‘Photography as Political Practice in National Socialism’ (University of Nottingham).