National Socialism and the Shoah in Terms of History and Impact, Contemporary History and Contemporary Studies

Literary imaginations of Jewish revenge in the aftermath of the Shoah constitute an understudied aspect of German-Jewish relations and of Jewish literatures in the 20th and 21st century. At the same time, the intense and continuous artistic engagement with the emotional, ethical, political, and poetical implications of vengeful feelings and fantasies following the “rupture in civilization” (D. Diner) becomes evident in numerous examples.

By comprehensively examining more than 150 works that were created since the 1940s in various languages (i. a. German, Hebrew, Jiddisch, English) and by making defiant counter narratives visible, the project seeks to close this particular gap in scholarship at the intersection of Jewish studies and literary studies and simultaneously advance the understanding of the intricate phenomenon of revenge in general. Relevant texts and movies will be registered and screened for their respective treatment of revenge, followed by selected text analyses and the examination of intertextual and discursive constellations. The project is based on a broad concept of narratology and draws on existing cross-disciplinary assumptions regarding post-Shoah Jewish revenge, revenge in Jewish Thought, revenge in literature as well as revenge as a universal human passion and social challenge. The results of the research project will be documented in an academic monograph, an interdisciplinary edited volume and an annotated anthology of primary sources.

Dr. Sebastian Schirrmeister (assoziiert) 
E-mail: sebastian.schirrmeister[at]