Research Program - The Righteous Among the Nations as a Category of Remembrance 2018, Germany


May 02, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - Research Program - The Righteous Among the Nations as a Category of Remembrance 2018, Germany

The Righteous Among the Nations as a Category of Remembrance

2 Positions Research assistant - 0.5 working time - salary grade E13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen under the reserve that funds are granted Administratively and for human resources issues, the posts come under the Technische Universität, Berlin. Academically, they are based at the Center for Research on Antisemitism there (under Professor Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum), and they are physically located at the Selma Stern Centre for Jewish Studies, Berlin-Brandenburg.

Working field:

Participation in the field of Jewish studies within the research focus Bearing Witness – Memorial Culture of/after the Shoah on the following topic: The Righteous Among the Nations as a Category of Remembrance

In addition to working on their own research projects, successful candidates will be part of a junior research group led by a postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Manja Herrmann. They will be expected to play an active role in Selma Stern Center events and assist in their planning. 

The general field of enquiry

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, the rescue of Jews from persecution and annihilation began to play a role in Holocaust remembrance – a role often underestimated. The concept of the Righteous Among the Nations (in Hebrew, khasidei umót ha’olám) has a special function in this remembrance as it is firmly embedded in the Jewish tradition. In both the Rabbinic and the philosophical and mystical literature, it refers to non-Jews who have been accorded a special status because of their virtuous deeds. After the Holocaust, the concept became an integral part of the discourse on the memorialization of the Shoah and, in particular, was used to acknowledge those who had rescued Jews. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center chose the term to honor those who had helped Jews throughout the time of Nazi persecution, and it is probably the most celebrated distinction of its kind that can be given to an individual. It has been awarded by a special commission on behalf of the State of Israel since 1963, following criteria that include named rescuers having risked their lives and having acted with no thought of financial gain. To date, around 26,000 people from more than fifty countries have received the title – including 587 German citizens. These numbers alone illustrate the complexity of the issue. In Israel, Germany, Poland, France and other European countries, the distinction is very significant in Holocaust research and in the interpretation, representation, remembrance and politicization of the Holocaust as a whole. But in the wider transnational context, connections and comparative perspectives remain largely unexplored.

Aim of the research group

The aim of the research group is to capture the complexity of the Righteous Among the Nations concept by adopting a comparative approach, complementing and enriching specific studies by widening the range of topics treated and bringing out transnational features as well as those pertaining to particular countries. The task of the PhD researchers appointed will be to write their theses on the history and function of the Righteous Among the Nations as a category of remembrance in a specific national or European context, in transnational connections and from a remembrance theory or policy perspective. 

Possible topics might include:

  • The History and Functions of the Righteous Among the Nations Concept in Specific National Contexts
  • Transnational Connections in the History and Functions of the Righteous Among the Nations Concept
  • The History and Functions of the Righteous Among the Nations as a European Category of Remembrance
  • Gender History and the Righteous
  • Museum Presentations of the Righteous from a Comparative or Transnational Perspective 


Successfully completed university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in one of the following fields:

  • Jewish studies,
  • theology,
  • history,
  • literature
  • cultural studies.

Applicants must also have a very good command of German and English and, potentially, fluency in another language relevant to their project.

How to apply:

Please send your application with the reference number (I-96/18) both a hard and an electronic copy (in one file only) with a comprehensive CV and a German or English presentation on how you would develop your research project within the Junior Research Group. This should be contained within 5-8 pages (8 pages maximum).

It should detail:

  1. the research question and its objective;
  2. the current state of research around your chosen topic;
  3. any preparatory work you have undertaken;
  4. your proposed methodology;
  5. your work plan

to Technische Universität Berlin - Der Präsident - Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien BerlinBrandenburg, z. Hd. Frau Dr. Schärtl, Sophienstraße 22a, 10178 Berlin or by e-mail to To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired.

Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. Please send copies only. Original documents will not be returned.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
March 12, 2018
Link To Original