Events | Am I a German or a Jewish writer?

Frankfurt am Main | June 12, 2024 | 7:00 PM (GMT+2)

Lion Feuchtwanger in Pacific Palisades. Courtesy of Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, USC (Montage, VATMH)

Panel discussion: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 7 p.m. (CET)
Venue: Bildungsstätte Anne Frank, Hansaallee 150, 60320 Frankfurt am Main
The conversation will be held in English
More information

With Nele Holdack, Marje Schuetze-Coburn, and Michaela Ullmann (editors of "Lion Feuchtwanger: 'Am I a German or a Jewish Writer?'")

Followed by a panel discussion with the authors Lana Lux & Yevgeniy Breyger.

Moderated by: Shelly Kupferberg

"Am I a German or a Jewish writer?" asked Lion Feuchtwanger in an essay in 1933, during the early phase of his exile and the Nazi dictatorship in Germany. At a time when the Nazis were beginning to consolidate their power and actively implement their anti-Semitic ideology, Feuchtwanger, a prominent writer of the Weimar Republic, became a target. His works were burned, and he was stripped of his house and property. He himself never returned to Germany.

Feuchtwanger's reflection on his identity and affiliation as a German writer of Jewish origin sheds light on the social conditions of the time, under which Jewishness was seen as incompatible with German identity. Despite persecution and exile, he asserted himself as a German cosmopolitan whose heart was Jewish and whose ideas had global resonance.

In a panel discussion with Lana Lux and Yevgeniy Breyger, both of whom deal intensively with topics relating to identity and origin, war and peace, anti-Semitism, and Jewish life in the present, Feuchtwanger's reflections will be examined for their continuing relevance.

The discussion will address deeper questions: How does identity influence creative work and to what extent do social crises—specifically manifest anti-Semitism—shape individual and collective self-understanding? By exploring the intersections between Jewish and German identity, the discussion opens up space to reimagine the dynamic relationship between identity, belonging, and creative expression.

An event collaboration by Anne Frank Educational Center and Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House in the context of Anne Frank Day in the city of Frankfurt am Main (June 10 to 16, 2024); "Why can't people live together peacefully?"

More information: Bildungsstätte Anne Frank: Anne Frank Tag in Frankfurt am Main (bs-anne-frank.de)

Go back