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Community and Integration. Mediators between Cultures in Russian-Jewish Berlin, 1918-1940

The project is part of a German-Russian partnership

Project Lead
Prof. Dr. Gertrud Pickhan (Berlin)
extraord. Prof. Dr. Verena Dohrn (Berlin)

Russian acculturated Jews made up a substantial portion of Eastern European Jewish migrants in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s and had their own socio-cultural milieu. Most of them were intellectuals and refugees from the Revolution who lived in the western part of the city. In the migration center of Berlin, they assumed important roles as mediators between Russian, Jewish and German culture. Alongside organizations, individuals contributed significantly to the integration of migrants in the urban public sphere.

The project is interested in biographies with key functions and in their connections and networks. Particular attention will be paid to family constellations, since they provide information on the specific factors of socialization and identity formation. Our hypothesis is that the majority of refugees from the Russian Revolution integrated collectively into the public sphere of the big city, which they regarded and used as a metropolis in a transnational context. After 1933, the Nazi regime destroyed any possibility of individual or collective integration.

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