Lectures, Tours and Walks on Jewish Topics  
    Lectures (using transparencies or slides)  
The History of the Jews in Germany
This talk deals with the arrival of the Jews in Italy during the Roman Empire and the subsequent birth and growth of Jewish settlements along the Rhine Valley. It defines the beginning of persecution of German Jews during and after the Crusades and reflects on the development of Reform Judaism after the arrival of Moses Mendelsohn in Berlin. The 19th century was decisive for the emancipation of German Jews. The talk describes both the achievements and problems of this movement. With Hitler's acceding to power in 1933 the Jews were first excluded, then deported and finally systematically murdered. The talk deals with the structure and character of this genocide. Auschwitz was not the end of Jewish life in Germany. Today, the Berlin Jewish Community has over 11.000 members and is the most vibrant community in Germany. Why do Jews choose to live in Germany and what are the problems incurred?
The Roots and History of Anti-Semitism
The beginning of Anti-Semitism goes back to Paul, the Apostle, who accused 'the Jews' of being responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. The founder of the Catholic Church, Augustine repeated and developed further this accusation. Anti-Judaism became a cornerstone of the Christian faith. It became lethal with the Crusades in the 11th century, when Jewish communities on the Rhine where decimated or annihilated and the migration of Jews to the East of Europe began. The talk describes subsequent steps taken by Christian society to exclude or expel Jews. Anti-Judaism became Anti-Semitism in the 19th century when attacks on Jews were not derived from their 'disbelief' in Jesus as the Saviour but on their 'racial inferiority' and 'alien otherness'. The talk will show how Anti-Semitism became a major aspect of Adolph Hitler's National Socialist ideology with its murderous results.
The Berlin Jewish Community Today
This talk first explains the reasons for the rebirth of Jewish life in Berlin after 1945. It then goes on to describe the explicit difference between the pre- and post-war Berlin Jewish communities. Jews living in Germany are continually under pressure to justify their choice of Germany as a home. The talk describes the reasons and conflicts attached to this decision. Finally, the talk shows how Jewish life in Berlin has changed as a result of the influx of former Soviet Jews to Berlin. Positive and negative aspects of this development will be addressed.
Art and Memory in the Context of Holocaust Memorials in Berlin
Since 1987 the discussion for and against a National Holocaust Memorial has played a central role in political debate in Germany. After the decision of the German Parliament to build Peter Eisenman's contribution, the debate has not ceased. Very few people, however, realise that there are already numerous Holocaust Memorials throughout Berlin. The talk presents the different memorials and analyse the role of art and memory in the context of the Holocaust.
The Debate on a National Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
This talk presents outstanding contributions to the Holocaust Memorial competition and describes the lines of conflict and argument during the twelve-year debate.
    Coach Tours  
Jewish Sites in Berlin in the Past, Present and Future
The tour takes you to synagogues, community buildings and includes a visit to Europe's largest Jewish cemetery in Berlin-Weissensee. On route, important Holocaust memorials will be shown. American architect, Daniel Libeskind designed the already famous Jewish Museum building. A visit to the building will also be part of the tour.
Art and Memory of the Holocaust in Berlin
The tour visits Holocaust memorials throughout Berlin and gives the participants the chance to leave the coach at each site and debate the artistic qualities and implications of each memorial. The tour includes a visit to the Wannsee Villa Memorial Centre and, if requested, can visit the former Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, North of Berlin.
Note: Limousine tours are also available
    Topical Walks  
The Jewish Quarter in Old and Present Day Berlin
(including a visit to the Centrum Judaicum Museum)
The walk takes you through the back streets of the old Jewish quarter Scheunenviertel near Alexander Platz in Berlin. It presents past and present sites of Berlin Jewish life. Holocaust memorials are also visited. The tour ends with a visit to the Centrum Judaicum Museum which gives a comprehensive insight into the history of the Berlin Jews.
For further offers please check out my web-site: www.alib.de