brenner

Michael Brenner is Professor of Jewish History and Culture at the University of Munich. He taught previously at Indiana University and Brandeis University and was visiting professor at the universities of Stanford, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Budapest, Haifa, Paris, and Lucerne. In 2007/08 he served as the Ina Levine Invitational Scholar of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. He is the International Vice-President of the Leo Baeck Institute and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Among his book publications are A Short History of The Jews (Princeton UP 2010, German 2008, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish translations), Prophets of the Past: Interpreters of Jewish History (Princeton UP 2010, German 2006), Zionism: A Brief History (2003, German 2002, Italian and Korean translations), The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in Weimar Germany (1996, German and Hebrew translations), and After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany (1997, German 1995). He is co-author of the four-volume German-Jewish History in Modern Times (1996-98).

While at AICGS in February-March 2011, Prof. Dr. Brenner will be working on a project titled “German Foreign Policy and the Role of the Jewish Community.”

Recent Essays

In a new Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Prof. Dr. Michael Brenner analyzes the role the Jewish past and the small contemporary Jewish community played in the foreign policy of the two German states before 1989, and to a smaller extent of unified Germany. The symbolic role the Jewish community played in the recognition of West Germany as a major player on the international stage was one of importance, Prof. Dr. Brenner argues, but in contrast, only during its last years of existence did the GDR use its official Jewish community to improve its foreign relations.

In the sixty years since Israel’s founding, German-Israeli relations have been nothing if not complex. On the occasion of Israel’s sixtieth anniversary, the essays in German-American Issues 8 examine the issues of remembrance, the fading of the survivor generation, the new challenges faced by both countries in the twenty-first century, and the idea of a “normal” relationship between Germany and Israel. This volume features essays written by Michael Brenner, Lily Gardner Feldman, Harald Kindermann, Shimon Stein, and Frank Stern.