Between Antisemitism and Memory Culture

Self-understanding and Experience of Jewish Filmmakers in the Federal Republic of Germany – Using the Example of Karl Fruchtmann, Imo Moszkowicz and Gyula Trebitsch

The research project “Between Mem­o­ry Cul­ture and Anti­semitism. Self-under­stand­ing and Expe­ri­ence of Jew­ish Film­mak­ers in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many” con­tributes to Ger­man-Jew­ish film his­to­ry by using the exem­plary work biogra­phies of film and tele­vi­sion cre­ators Karl Frucht­mann (1915–2003), Imo Moszkow­icz (1925–2011) and Gyu­la Trebitsch (1914–2005) and plays a role in estab­lish­ing the research field of Jew­ish film in Ger­many, facil­i­tat­ing a process of com­ing to terms with and analysing Jew­ish expe­ri­ences in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Germany.

The rela­tion­ship between Jew­ish self-under­stand­ing and under­stand­ing of one­self as a film­mak­er is a cen­tral aspect. Jew­ish expe­ri­ences in the Ger­man film and tele­vi­sion indus­try are described and defined with­in their his­tor­i­cal con­text. A per­son­alised mod­el of media his­to­ry is devel­oped to chal­lenge the con­ven­tion­al par­a­digms in pre­vi­ous descrip­tions of film his­to­ry, in par­tic­u­lar the nar­ra­tive that there was no Jew­ish film­mak­ing in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many after the Holo­caust (Shoah) and the estab­lished process of attribut­ing Jew­ish­ness to indi­vid­u­als. A film-his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive that focus­es on actors and com­bines bio­graph­i­cal and pro­duc­tion his­to­ry approach­es is con­struc­tive when analysing these inter­re­la­tion­ships. Select­ed biogra­phies are used to elab­o­rate the self-under­stand­ing of Jew­ish film­mak­ers and tele­vi­sion cre­ators via the con­texts of biog­ra­phy, work and film his­to­ry as well as the places from which they speak, in equal measure.

The project is fund­ed by the Bun­desmin­is­teri­um für Bil­dung und Forschung (BMBF) with­in the scope of the pro­gramme Kleine Fäch­er – große Potenziale

Dura­tion: 2017 to 2021

Head of Project: Dr. Lea Wohl von Haselberg

Project col­lab­o­ra­tion: Dr. Julia Schumacher

PODCASTZwis­chen Anti­semitismus und magis­ch­er Jüdis­chkeit: Arbeits­bi­ogra­phien jüdis­ch­er Film­schaf­fend­er in der BRD”, Julia Schu­mach­er, Lea Wohl von Hasel­berg, Kam­mer­flim­mern und Medi­ales Rauschen, Online (08. Jan­u­ar 2021).