Prof. Ofer Ashkenazi

Director and permanent academic member

Ofer Ashkenazi is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After he received his PhD from the Hebrew University in 2006, he conducted post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include Central European cultural and intellectual history, modern visual culture, and Jewish experience in twentieth-century Europe. He is the author of three monographs: "A Walk into the Night: Reason and Subjectivity in Weimar Film (2010); "Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity" (2012) and "Anti-Heimat Cinema: The Jewish Invention of the German Landscape, 1918-1968" (scheduled for summer 2020). He published articles on various topics, including German-Jewish immigration to Palestine, exile photography, and the German peace movement. His current research project examines Jewish photography in modern Germany.


Selected Publications



Anti-Heimat Cinema: The Jewish Invention of the German Landscape (University of Michigan Press, 2020)

Weimar Film and Modern Jewish Identity (Palgrave-McMillan, 2012)

Reviews of the Book:

German Studies Review – download in PDF format

German History – download in PDF format

H-Net Discussion Network – download in PDF format

H-Soz-u-Kult – download in PDF format

Jewish Film and New Media – download in PDF format

A Walk into the Night: Reason and Subjectivity in the Films of the Weimar Republic (Am Oved, Hebrew, 2010).

Reviews of the Book:

Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte – download in PDF format

Haaretz – download in PDF format

Haaretz, “Before the Collapse” – download in PDF format


Edited Volumes

Ulrike Pilarczyk, Ofer Ashkenazi, Arne Homann (eds.), Hachschara und Jugend-Alija. Wege jüdischer Jugend nach Palästine, 1918-1940 (Gifhorn: Gemeinnützige Bildungs- und Kultur des Landkreises Gifhorn, 2020).

Ofer Ashkenazi, Udi Greenberg, Noah Strot (eds.), “From Weimar to the Cold War,” special issue of New German Critique (November 2015)

Ofer Ashkenazi, David Bargal, Eran Rolnik (eds.), Einstein, Freud and the Wars to Come: Why War? in Context (Carmel, 2018 [Hebrew])



Ofer Ashkenazi, “A Jewish Memory of a German Past: Jewish Amateur Photography in Nazi Germany,” Zion 82.2 (Dall 2020), 263-294

Ofer Ashkenazi, Guy Miron, “Jewish Vacations in Nazi Germany: Reflections on Time and Space amid an Unlikely Respite,” Jewish Quarterly Review 110.3 (Summer 2020): 523-552.

Ofer Ashkenazi, Jakob F. Dittmar, “Belonging in Auto/Biographical Comics: Narratives of Exile in the German Heimat,” A/B: Auto / Biography Studies ( 2020)

Ofer Ashkenazi, “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Nakba and the Heritage of the Israeli Historians’ Debate,” (review essay) Zeithistorische Forschungen 16.3 (2019), 549-563.

Ofer Ashkenazi, “Detoxification: Nazi Remakes of E.A. Dupont’s Films,” in Barbara Hales and Valerie Weinstein (eds.), Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Film (Berghahn, 2020).

“Exile at Home: Jewish Amateur Photography under Nazism, 1933-1939,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook (November 2019)

"Transnational Antiwar Activity in the Third Reich: The Nazi Branch of the New Commonwealth Society," German History 36.2 (June 2018): 207-228

“Strategies of Exile Photography: Hans Casparius and Helmar Lerski in Palestine,” in Marc Silberman (ed.), Back to the Future: Traditions and Innovations in German Studies (Bern: Peter Lang, 2018), 87-119.

"1932 as a Watershed in Einstein Political activity," Ofer Ashkenazi, David Bargal, Eran Rolnik (eds.), Einstein, Freud and the Wars to Come: Why War? in Context (Carmel, 2018 [Hebrew])

"Improbable Twins: The Bifurcating Heritage of Weimar Culture in Helmar Lerski and Walter Frentz’s Kulturfilms," German Studies Review 40.3 (2017): 527-548

“The Non-Heimat Heimat: Landscapes and Identity in German-Jewish Films, from Weimar to the Cold War,” New German Critique (November 2015), 115-144

“The Jewish Place of Weimar Cinema: A Reconsideration of Karl Grune’s The Street,” in Steven Aschheim and Vivial Liska (eds.), The German-Jewish Experience: Contested Interpretations and Conflicting Perceptions (De Gruyter, 2015), 135-154

“The Symphony of a Great Heimat: Helmar Lerski’s Propaganda Film Avodah,” A Three-Way Street: Transnational German-Jewish Culture, Leslie Morris and Jay Geller (ed.), (University of Michigan Press, 2015), 91-121

"Jewish Displacement and Simulation in the German Films of E. A. Dupont," Simone Lässing and Miriam Ruerupp (eds.), Space and Spatiality in German-Jewish History (Berghahn, 2017), 88-106

"Place and Displacement in the New Israeli Documentary Film," Jewish Culture and History 15:3 (Fall, 2014): 212-233

“The Future of History as Film,” Rethinking History (Fall 2013)

“Biramschule in Context: The “German” Influence on Jewish Body-Culture in Mandate Palestine,” Tel Aviver Jahrbuch für deutsche Geschichte (2013): 17-39

“Zionism and Violence in Albert Einstein’s Worldview,” Journal of Jewish Studies, 62.2: (Fall 2012): 331-355

“German-Jewish Athletes and the Formation of Zionist (Trans-)National Culture,” Jewish Social Studies 17.3: (Spring/Summer 2012): 124-155

“Home-Coming as a National Founding Myth: Jewish Identity and East German Landscapes in Konrad Wolf’s I was Nineteen,” Religions 3 (Spring 2012): 130-150

“Re-framing the Interwar Peace Movement: The Curious Case of Albert Einstein,” Journal of Contemporary History 46:4 (Spring 2012): 741-766

“Ridiculous Trauma: Comic Representations of the Nazi Past in Contemporary German Visual Culture,” Cultural Critique 78 (Fall 2011): 88-118

“‘A New Era of Peace and Understanding’: The Integration of Sound-Film into German Popular Cinema, 1929-1932,” in Christian Rogowski (ed.). The Many Faces of Weimar Cinema, (Camden House, 2010), 249-267

“Middle-Class Heroes: Anti-Nationalism in the Popular Adventure Films of the Weimar Republic” in John A. Williams (ed.), Weimar Culture Revisited (Palgrave, 2010), 73-98

The Incredible Transformation of Dr. Bessel: Alternative Memories of the Great War in German War Films of the late 1920s,” History and Memory, (Spring/Summer, 2008), 20(1): 121-153

Prisoners’ Fantasies: The Longing for Law and Order in Weimar Film,” Journal of European Studies, (Fall 2009), 39(3): 290-304.

“‘A Zionist, not a National Jew’: Albert Einstein and Brit-Shalom,” Brit-Shalom and Bi-National Zionism: The ‘Arab Problem’ as a Jewish Problem, Adi Gordon (ed.), (Tel Aviv: Carmel, 2008), 123-148

“Beyond Stereotypes and Assimilation: The ‘Jewish-Comedy’ of the Weimar Republic,” Zion 73:3 (2007): 301-323



Photo credit: Esther Lassman