Holocaust Memory and Muslim Belonging in Postwar Germany

Cover “Subcontractors of Guilt”, © Stanford University Press

Discussion with Talya Feldman, Derviş Hızarcı, Prof. Dr. Esra Özyürek

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One of the foundational narratives in post-war Germany revolves around the commitment to remembering the Holocaust. However, there exists a prevailing assumption that Muslims or Muslim immigrants may either be unable or unwilling to engage with Germany's historical past. Is a new concept of remembrance culture necessary? If yes, how could that reality look like and what other narratives are meant to be heard?

Our guests approach the topic “remembrance culture in Germany” from different angles—research, activism, and art. All three are committed through various means to change remembrance culture in Germany for a more inclusive approach.

Prof. Dr. Esra Özyürek Professor in Abrahamic Faiths and Shared Values at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge. She is the author of “Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey”; “Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion, and Conversion in the New Europe”; and “Subcontractors of Guilt: Holocaust Memory and Muslim Belonging in Post- War Germany.”

Derviş Hızarcı a native of Neukölln and a teacher of politics and history, has been known throughout Berlin for many years as the chairman of the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism (KIgA). There, he has played a key role in building up the Jewish- Muslim. From 2019 until 2020 he was the anti-discrimination commissioner of the Berlin Senate for Education and a member of the advisory board for the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life and Against Anti-Semitism.

Media artist Talya Feldman, born in Denver/Colorado, is a doctoral student at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. Her sound installation “The Violence We Have Witnessed Carries a Weight on Our Hearts” was awarded the 2021 DAGESH Art Prize. A main focus of her art is to illuminate the continuities of right-wing terror in Germany from 1979 to the present day through different media.

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