The Jewish Experience of the First World War

University of SussexThe Jewish Experience of the First World War

London Jewish Museum and the Wiener Library
London, 11–13 June 2014

In conjunction with the London Jewish Museum and the Wiener Library, both of whom are hosting First World War exhibitions, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden in Hamburg, the Centre for German-Jewish Studies is organising an international conference on the Jewish Experience of the First World War.

The conference seeks to explore the variety of social and political phenomena that the make the First World War a turning point in the Jewish experience of the 20th century. Delegates will consider in a broad interdisciplinary and transnational context the degree to which individual Jews and Jewish communities in Europe, the US and elsewhere engaged with total war between 1914 and 1918. By bringing together leading scholars in the field from the USA, Australia, Israel, France, Poland and Germany, the conference aims to provide the setting for an in-depth discussion of the multifaceted meanings of the First World War for our understanding of the Jewish experience of the modern era.

The Conference will be held at the London Jewish Museum and in the Wiener Library. In addition, Professor Derek Penslar (Oxford) will deliver the conference keynote address entitled ‘The Great War and Modern Jewry’ on Wednesday 11 June at 7 pm, at the new Jewish Community Centre London (JW3). In this address, Professor Penslar will discuss the half million Jews who served in the armed forces of both the Allied and Central Powers during the First World War. Many fought because they had no choice, but others served willingly, eager to demonstrate their loyalty, courage, and worthiness for acceptance. His lecture will focus on the conflict Jewish soldiers felt between duty to their country and solidarity towards fellow Jews across the battle line.

All the proceedings of the conference are open to the public. A detailed program of the conference will be available through the Centre website and from our partner organizations.

For further information please contact Gideon Reuveni E:


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