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8th Gerald Stourzh Lecture on the History of Human Rights and Democracy

Yfaat Weiss
Totenruhe im Niemandsland:
Menschenwürde und staatliche Souveränität am Britischen Militärfriedhof auf dem Skopusberg zu Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 18th 2016, 6:30 PM, lecture hall 41

Kindly supported by the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria

Yfaat Weiss is Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Director of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History. Her research has centred on German-Jewish history and culture, the history of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, and Israel/Palestine. Memory studies and minority rights are two of the key aspects of her work.  

Publications include: Staatsbürgerschaft und Ethnizität. Deutsche und polnische Juden am Vorabend des Holocaust (Oldenbourg 2000, in Hebrew The Magnes Press 2000); Ed. with Daniel Levy, Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration (Berghahn 2002); A Confiscated Memory: Wadi Salib and Haifa's Lost Heritage (Columbia University Press 2011, Hebrew original 2007, German 2012); Lea Goldberg, Lehrjahre in Deutschland 1930-1933 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2010, in Hebrew Zalman Shazar Center 2014); Ed. with Ulrich Bielefeld, Jean Améry. "... als Gelegenheitsgast, ohne jedes Engagement" (Wilhelm Fink 2014).

Homepage Yfaat Weiss


The rights of non-repatriated war victims are codified in humanitarian international law. The focus is on the human right to dignity. Nevertheless, these rights stand in tension with the principle of state sovereignty. Using a micro-historical approach this lecture attempts to study this tension on the basis of a both specific and paradigmatic case: the military cemetery of the British Commonwealth on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus. The graves of the fallen soldiers of the Empire from the First World War lie in an enclave that remained disputed after the Palestine war of 1948 between Israel and Jordan and was initially controlled by the UN. Close by are the first buildings of the Hebrew University - and the Arab village Issawiya. Israeli sovereignty, Arab presence, and international regulations are in conflict.

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