Jewish Music and Germany after the Holocaust

Jewish Music and Germany after the Holocaust

Colloquium at Dickinson College, 25–27 February 2011

Sponsored by Dickinson College

Keynote address by Philip V. Bohlman (to be confirmed)


The postwar period in East and West Germany has been neglected by most research pertaining to Jewish music history or ethnography, perhaps with the exception of klezmer. The inattention to this specific era may be due to the common misperception that Jewish life, and subsequently its culture and music, had been extinguished. And yet with the end of World War II, Germany witnessed a reemergence of Jewish culture, actuated by a Jewish population that had returned from underground hiding, survived through mixed marriage, re-emigrated (the returnees), or survived the camps and returned,  as well as by institutions and individuals who supported the performance of works by Jewish composers.


We are inviting papers based on new research that address the multi-faceted topics suggested by the colloquium’s theme while drawing upon the methodologies of ethnomusicology and/or historical musicology. We favor approaches that consider the plurality of musical responses to the post-Holocaust era and thus avoid clichés that give way to one-dimensional readings of a complex era. We encourage presentations on topics ranging from music in the postwar Displaced Persons camps to the klezmer revival beginning in the 1970s, but also compositions in response to the Holocaust and the Jewish presence in postwar German musicology, with broader reflections on the following themes:

Perceptions of the Holocaust and Jewish music



Utopia vs. Dystopia


The official language of the colloquium is English. Papers should not be longer than 25 minutes and will be discussed in roundtable following the respective panels.


Please submit proposals together with a short abstract of 300 words max. (if attachment please the following formats only: doc, rtf , or pdf) by May 1, 2010 to the following address:

In addition to the proposed title and summary, the following information should be included:

(1) name of the lecturer, address, phone, e-mail (primary)

(2) a short biography (200 words max.)

Notification will be sent at the latest by July 15, 2010.


The colloquium is organized by Tina Frühauf (CUNY), Lily Hirsch (Cleveland State University), and Amy Wlodarski (Dickinson College), and is co-sponsored and hosted by Dickinson College. There is no registration fee.  All meals during the conference and transport from Harrisburg will be provided.  While accommodations must be booked by participants, special conference rates and low-cost housing options will be made available.


Dickinson College is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles southwest of Harrisburg, which is easily accessed by plane (airport code: MDT) and Amtrak. Situated at the junction of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) and Interstate 81, Carlisle is within convenient driving distance from many east coast cities.