Cultural Heritage

Kulturerbe

„Tradition is the preservation of the flame not the adoration of the ashes“

Gustav Mahler

Among German Jewish Cultural Heritage, we comprehend all life remarks in which German-Jewish identity manifests itself in the broadest sense. All genuine phenomena, which are characterized by a form of a one-sided or mutual influencing of the German and the Jewish culture are subsumed under this concept, independent of an assessment of a potential degree of assimilation. They represent in the individual, as well as in the collective context, aspects of the cultural memory, which has emerged in the various historical phases and from the different forms of German-Jewish coexistence. The material heritage (such as art objects or sacred objects which show an ideational meaning which goes beyond its material component) is just as relevant as the immaterial legacy, that manifests itself in cultural techniques, practices, knowledge und performative acts.

The project is based on a non static concept of cultural heritage, which does not only try to systemize artifacts of a historically completed phase. The processes of transformation, caused by assimilation, which the German-Jewish cultural heritage has passed in the different countries of exile, shall be taken into consideration as well. Geographically, the project is not limited to the territorial borders of Germany. It is interested in all places where contacts between German and Jewish culture took place. The project doesn’t seek to find a final answer to the question of Jewish identity (Mihu Yehudi). It captures all the phenomena which according to cultural or religious aspects have received the self- or external attribution Jewish. Different concepts of the Jewish and the German-Jewish can coexist in the cumulative working project and the heterogeneity of the different definitions can therefore be represented in the database.

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