On October 20th, 1971, Tel Aviv University inaugurated the Institute for German History, the first of this kind in Israel.
Although in the field of natural sciences initial contacts between German and Israeli scholars had already begun in the mid-1950s, leading to close and successful cooperation, scholars in the Humanities approached one another considerably later. Indeed, apart from individual encounters between single scholars, the teaching and research in the fields of German History and Literature were introduced into the academic curricula of Israeli universities only in the late 1960s. The Hebrew University established the chairs for German History and for German Literature and Language only six years after the foundation of the institute for German History in Tel Aviv.
These initiatives had been realized primarily with the support of German funds. These pioneering institutions laid the foundation for establishing future cooperation between German and Israeli scholars in the Humanities: participants on both sides became familiar with the other country as visiting scholars, taking part together to organized events, carrying out common research projects and working on joined publications.
The bilateral research project focuses on the beginnings of German-Israeli research cooperation in the Humanities, especially in German Literature and History, up to the year 2000. The very process of establishing those fields of teaching and research among the involved German and Israeli protagonists and institutions will be examined. Besides a comparative outlook, the unique characteristics of each of the relevant institutions will be highlighted. At the same time, as leading figures in the field are concerned, their biographies and involvement will be recorded in oral history interviews.
Visit the project's website for more information, in Hebrew and in German as well.
In Cooperation With
Research Assistants: Yonatan Shilo-Dayan, Laura S. Tittel
Colloquium: The Humanities between Germany and Israel: Historical Perspectives, 1-2 November 2015 (videotaped)
First session of the lecture series: Trends in the Research of German History in Israel, 13 June 2016