Bad Memory: The German Nation After Genocide

April 17, 2024

Image excerpted from Cacti, a 2023 photographic series by Rasha Al Jundi, with illustrations by Michael Jabareen. The series of images were taken in significant locations around Berlin—including at memorials to the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall—with figures in keffiyehs inserting themselves into the frame, to protest the way Palestinian voices have been silenced in contemporary Germany.

In the Spring 2023 issue of Jewish Currents, we published a Responsa—a collective editorial column—which looked at how German commemorations of the Holocaust are weaponized in the present. The state’s commitment to “fight antisemitism” and support “Jewish life” has been widely commended as a model for addressing its brutal past. Yet these practices end up perpetuating Germany’s history of disavowing colonial genocide, binding Jews to state power, repressing free speech on Palestine and criticism of Israel, and policing immigrant communities.

Since October 7th, Germany’s misdirected atonement project has turbocharged these trends, as basic expressions of Palestinian solidarity and identity have become mutually exclusive with being German.

Join German scholars Hannah Tzuberi and Patricia Piberger in conversation with Jewish Currents director of community engagement Solomon Brager on the paradoxes of German anti-antisemitism, memory culture, nation-building, and the horizons of Jewish and Palestinian life in Germany.

Please note: While this event was originally scheduled as an in-person event, based on extenuating circumstances, we will be holding the event on Zoom.

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This live event will have automated closed captioning. For accommodation requests or questions about accessibility, please reach out to

Patricia Piberger is the co-author of the 2022 paper “Desiring Victimhood: German Self-Formation and the Moralization of Political Conflict” in the journal GHIL Bulletin. Her current research explores the connection between racialized political subjectivity, (West) German memory culture, and activism.

Hannah Tzuberi is the co-editor of the 2020 special issue “Jewish Friends: Contemporary Figures of the Jew” for the journal Jewish Studies Quarterly and is working on a book entitled Reviving Judaism, Reviving the Nation: Post-Holocaust Imaginaries of the (German) Nation-State.

Solomon Brager is the director of community engagement at Jewish Currents and the author of the graphic memoir Heavyweight (William Morrow, 2024).