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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Dr. Sonia Goldblum

Dr. Sonia Goldblum

Université de Haute-Alsace
German Studies/History of Ideas
Junior Fellow
January - July 2019


Sonia Goldblum is senior lecturer (maître de conferences) for history of ideas at the German studies department of the Université de Haute-Alsace (Mulhouse). She is also member of the research center ILLE. After finishing her master degree at the Ecole normale supérieure Lyon, France, she defended her Ph. D. in 2011 in Strasbourg under the supervision of Prof. Christine Maillard and Prof. Gérard Bensussan. It dealt with Franz Rosenzweig's correspondence and his concept of dialogue.
Her main field of research is the German-Jewish culture and thinking in Weimar Germany and after World War II.
Her recent researches have been directed towards the following topics: Franz Rosenzweig's thinking, especially within his correspondence; the Jewish new thinking of education in the 1920's; epistolary discourses between the two World Wars and especially by Walter Benjamin. Currently, her main project is devoted to the controversial discussions around the heritage of the German Jews after exile and Shoah.

A full list of publications and CV can be found on ILLE's webpage:

Selected Publications

  • 2018 [im Druck. Hrsg. mit Sabina Becker], Deutschsprachige Briefdiskurse zwischen den Weltkriegen. Texte – Kontexte – Netzwerke, München, Edition text+ kritik.
  • 2016, « Les correspondances à l’épreuve du temps. Walter Benjamin collectionneur de lettres », in : Cahiers d’études germaniques. L’art épistolaire entre civilité et civisme : de Jean-Paul à Günter Grass II. Hrsg. v. Françoise Knopper et Wolfgang Fink, p. 195-207.
  • 2016, Kaiserbilder: Blicke aus der jüdischen Presse auf Wilhelm II., Herrschaftserzählungen. Wilhelm II. in der Kulturgeschichte (1888–1933). Hrsg. v. N. Detering, J. Franzen, C. Meid, Würzburg, Ergon Verlag, S. 167-181.
  • 2014, Von Jerusalem nach Weimar. Rückblick auf die deutsch-jüdischen Beziehungen in der Zwischenkriegszeit, in : K. Schubert, L.. Guillon (Hg.), Deutschland und Israel/ Palästina von 1945 bis heute, Würzburg, Königshausen & Neumann, S. 37-52.
  • 2014, Dialogue amoureux et dialogue religieux. Rosenzweig au prisme de sa correspondance, Paris : Hermann, 401 p.

FRIAS Research Project

German-Jewish relationships in the Weimar Republic and the controversial discussion around its heritage after exile and Shoah

The central question of the investigation to be pursued during this research stay is: How did German Jews after 1945 reflect on German-Jewish relations before 1933, how did they evaluate this relationship and how did they face the possibility of reconciliation? What role did the idea of a "German-Jewish symbiosis" play in the debates? In order to investigate this complex of questions, I will use testimonies by authors who were already adults before the Shoah and devoted themselves to the question of German-Jewish relations in articles, essays, letters and diaries or other autobiographical texts. The decisive factor for this reflection is the debate that began in the early 1960s about the concept of "German-Jewish symbiosis". Gershom Scholem plaid a polarizing role in this debate, since he was the first to firmly deny the legitimacy of such expression, especially in his programmatic and frequently quoted texts to German-Jewish dialogue. This controversy can be followed up in various other sources, such as Scholem's exchanges of letters with intellectuals, for instance T.W. Adorno, L. Strauss or P. Szondi – or in texts by other protagonists, who answer to his statements. The form of argumentation of the respective actors in this debate must be taken into consideration and compared with similar arguments before 1933. This investigation is at the interface between Jewish studies, cultural studies and the history of ideas. It is also a contribution to research about Jewish collective memory.