From: Eszter Gantner

We would like to draw your attention  to the new homepage of our project “Jewish Spaces – Historical and Symbolical Landscapes in Budapest and in Berlin” (supported by the DFG) at the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie at the Humboldt University Berlin:

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the socialist regimes, one can witness noticeable phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe in the forms of Jewish festivals, programs, restaurants, or sightseeing. Jewish culture, or at least the juxtaposition of certain well-known elements of Jewish culture in the emerging and flourishing Jewish cultural space, can be witnessed in the very act, principally in Berlin, Cracow and Prague, often located  in formal Jewish areas.

The main criterion of this cultural space is that, in many cases, it is not related to Jewish personalities, organizations, and institutions. Thus the state of the space organized from outside of Jewish culture and life is mainly defined by non-Jews and non-Jewish institutions. It is remarkable how the flourishing of this Jewish cultural space is noticeable mainly in countries like Poland and Germany, where there has been no considerable Jewish presence since the Holocaust.

Our DFG-financed  project aims to analyse and  describe this process, its actors, and its places.  The project intend also to compare the process of constructing Jewish culture in two  cities with living Jewish communities: Berlin and Budapest.

The levels of the analysis are the following:

– Historical spaces
– Contemporary urban and cultural spaces
– Constructed spaces

Eszter B.Gantner, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Institut für Europäische Ethnologie
Humboldt University

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