Tietz Lecture on Addressing Antisemitism 2020

One Year after the Attack in Halle: Antisemitism in Germany today

Oscar Tietz, founder of the successful department store chain “Hermann Tietz,” later “Hertie.” The Nazis forced his family out of the company through massive antisemitic repressions in the 1930s.
Picture: Privatsammlung Schütte-Münchow

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Recording of Live Discussion with Igor Levit and Lena Gorelik from Friday, 9 Oct. 2020
Currently in German with English Translation in Progress

🇩🇪(Für die deutsche Version hier klicken!)🇩🇪

Antisemitism never went away in Germany. Now, it is resurging – both covertly and increasingly in public. The intensifying antisemitic hate speech is followed by acts of violence; in Germany violent antisemitic attacks have doubled between 2017 and 2019. It is essential to take action against old and new forms of antisemitism in order to protect and strengthen an open and democratic German society. Against this background, and one year after the attack on a synagogue in Halle, the pianist Igor Levit and the author Lena Gorelik will discuss about antisemitism in Germany today – and the actions that need to be taken now.


Igor Levit
Picture: © Felix Broede_Sony Classical

Igor Levit “is like no other pianist” (The New Yorker). With an alert and critical mind, he places his art in the context of social events and understands it as inseparably linked to them. The New York Times describes Igor Levit as one of the “most important artists of his generation”, the Süddeutsche Zeitung described him as a “stroke of luck” for today’s concert scene. Born in Nizhni Novgorod in 1987, Igor Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He completed his piano studies in Hannover with the highest score in the history of the institute. Igor Levit was the youngest participant in the 2005 International Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, where he won silver, and several special prizes. In spring 2019 he was appointed professor for piano at his alma mater, the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hanover.

Lena Gorelik
Picture: © Charlotte Troll

Lena Gorelik was born 1981 in St. Petersburg and came to Germany in 1992 with her family. 2004 her debut novel “Meine weißen Nächte” was published, her second novel “Hochzeit in Jerusalem” (2007) was nominated for the German Book Prize. She published seven novels, several of which were awarded prizes such as the book prize of the Ravensburger Verlage for “Die Listensammlerin” (2013). She is also a writer of theatre plays and of essays for different German newspapers such as DIE ZEIT and Süddeutsche Zeitung. The author and essayist lives in Munich.

Introductory Statements

Cem Özdemir
Foto: © Sedat Mehder

Cem Özdemir is a member of the German Bundestag for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. There he chairs the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure and is a deputy member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The trained educator and studied social education received the AJC Ramer Award 2018 for his work against anti-Semitism and for human rights. He is also the recipient of the Theodor Heuss Medal and the Civis Media Prize for his work in promoting a prejudice-free coexistence of Germans and migrants, as well as the Ignatz Bubis Prize for Understanding and the Raoul Wallenberg Medal.

Dalia Grinfeld
Picture: © Privat

Dalia Grinfeld is the Assistant Director of European Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Based in Berlin, she manages ADL’s programs in Europe and supports European Jewish communities in their advocacy efforts. Her academic background is in Political Science and Jewish Studies, which she studied at the University of Heidelberg, Buenos Aires and Herzliya. Furthermore, Dalia Grinfeld served two years as the first elected President of the Jewish Student Union Germany (JSUD) of which she is a founding member. In addition, she is a permanent member of the expert circle on antisemitism of the Berlin Senate.


Alexander Busold
Picture: © Privat

Alexander Busold is the founder and leader of the Her.Tietz Initiative. Alexander works as a Program Manager for a civil society organization committed to strengthening democratic spaces and minority rights. He is a senior fellow of Humanity in Action (HIA) and an alumnus of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. Alexander studied public policy, economics and management at the Hertie School and at Zeppelin Universität in Germany, India and Argentina.

Laura Franken
Picture: © Privat

Laura Franken is a leader of the Her.Tietz Initiative. She works as a Project Manager for a private sector sustainability network. Her work focuses on issues in the fields of Business & Human Rights as well as Sustainable Finance. She studied Public Policy at the Hertie School and Political Science at the Freie Universiät Berlin and at SciencesPo Paris. She is an alumna of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

About the Tietz Lecture on Addressing Antisemitism

The annual lecture series is named after the Jewish merchant Oscar Tietz, founder of the department store chain “Hermann Tietz” (the name of which was later changed to “Hertie”). In the 1930s, the Nazis forced the Tietz family out of their company through a series of antisemitic repressions. The Her.Tietz Initiative wants to keep the family’s memory alive.

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