William Lee Frost Professor of Jewish History, Harvard University; Resident Faculty & Seminar Chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University; Director, The Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History, Harvard University
September 19, 2023
12:30pm - 1:45pm
**Note: This event will be held via Zoom and requires registration. Please RSVP here.**
At the turn of the millennium, Middle Eastern and Muslim Germans had rather unexpectedly become central to the country's Holocaust memory culture—not as welcome participants, but as targets for re-education and reform. Since then, Turkish- and Arab-Germans have been considered the prime obstacles to German national reconciliation with its Nazi past, a status shared to a lesser degree by Germans from the formerly socialist East Germany. It is for this reason that the German government, German NGOs, and Muslim minority groups have begun to design Holocaust education and anti-Semitism prevention programs specifically tailored for Muslim immigrants and refugees, so that they, too, can learn the lessons of the Holocaust and embrace Germany's most important postwar democratic political values.
Based on ethnographic research conducted over a decade, Esra Özyürek book Subcontractors of Guilt (Stanford University Press, 2023) explores when, how, and why Muslim Germans have moved to the center of Holocaust memory discussions. Özyürek argues that German society "subcontracts" guilt of the Holocaust to new minority immigrant arrivals, with the false promise of this process leading to inclusion into the German social contract and equality with other members of postwar German society. By focusing on the recently formed but already sizable sector of Muslim-only anti-Semitism and Holocaust education programs, this book explores the paradoxes of postwar German national identity.