In the 1930s, the view of Europe as a home for Jewish life was shattered. Historian Dan Diner has famously defined the holocaust as a “Zivilisationsbruch”— rupture in civilisation. Reorientation and adjustment to a new reality permeated the works of Jewish intellectuals in the 1930s and 40s, as these individuals were beginning to come to terms with the loss of Europe as a cultural centre for Jews.
In recent times, civilisation has witnessed accelerated global migration, following such calamities as the war in Syria. The impending climate catastrophe is likely to lead to massive migration waves in the near future. What can we learn from German-speaking refugees about diasporic life in the shadow of catastrophes?
Dr Yael Almog is Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.
New Ideas for the New Normal is a series of newly commissioned video essays from leading researchers and academics at Durham University. Each ten–minute piece considers how we might live now in a post-pandemic world, offering hope and fresh new ideas across a range of disciplines.