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Jewish Studies Program, Human Rights Project, German Studies Program, and Center for Civic Engagement present

Racist Killings, Mourning Songs,
and a 13-Year Old Girl

Reading and Discussion (in English)
With Eminent German-Jewish Writer Esther Dischereit

Thursday, September 19, 2013

[Racist Killings, Mourning Songs, and a 13-Year Old Girl]
The German Studies Program is pleased to welcome 
Esther Dischereit


Esther Dischereit is one of the most exciting writers and thought-provoking public intellectuals in Germany today. Her poems, novels, essays, plays, including radio plays, her opera libretti and sound installations offer unique insights into the Jewish life of contemporary Europe. She collaborates with composers and musicians and founded the avant-garde project “WordMusicSpace/Sound-Concepts.” Coming from a survivors’ family, commemoration (of the Holocaust) has been a constant reference point in her work. Dischereit’s writings also reflect on what it means to be a woman and an intellectual. The Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia on Jewish Women calls her an “outstanding writer” among Jewish artists in the twenty-first century. For more information, including bibliography, see: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/dischereit-esther 

Recently, a series of racist killings, committed by the so-called "National Socialist Underground" (NSU) organization, has shocked the German public. Dischereit can be regarded as the most important independent voice covering the legal and political investigations of this unprecedented crime in post-war Germany. While the media focused pre-dominantly on the killers, Dischereit writes on for the victims, their families and friends, and started initiatives on their behalf. She addresses society’s responsibility that is, our common task not to look away. She challenges widespread racism and xenophobia wherever it arises, including the high ranks of the police and secret service. Dischereit has commented on the topic on television, radio, and in prominent newspapers. As an artist she responded with an amazing collection of “Mourning Songs,” which eventually will evolve into an opera – songs of lament, and songs of accusation.  

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 204