Part of the Lecture Series "The Imagined Orient" (Part 5, in German)
The fifth lecture in our series "The Imagined Orient" features a discussion by Sebastian Schirrmeister of the literary works of writer Eugen Höflich, who changed his name to Ya‘akov Ben-Gavriêl after moving to Jerusalem in 1927.
After the Second World War, he gained recognition among German-speaking readers as an author of light literature.
His humorous stories about Citizen Mahaschavi, the Great Osman and Detective Thamar Dor paint a quirky and loving picture of an Orient, where almost anything seems possible – as long as the West stays out of things.
Of Jewish-Austrian heritage, Eugen Höflich was born in Vienna in 1891 and served as an officer in the Middle East during the First World War. While in Jerusalem, he saw cruelty and corruption at first-hand and witnessed the misery of the local population. Upon his return to Europe, he began writing and dreaming of a new Orient – the place that was the last “chance for humanity” after the horrors of large-scale war: Jews, Arabs, and all the peoples of Asia would be united in the fight against exploitation and oppression.
Dr. Sebastian Schirrmeister is a literary scholar and a research fellow at the University of Hamburg. He gained an M.A. in Jewish Studies and German Literature in Potsdam before completing his PhD in Hamburg. He has held fellowships in Haifa, Jerusalem, Göttingen and elsewhere. Schirrmeister is the author of "Begegnung auf fremder Erde. Verschränkungen deutsch- und hebräischsprachiger Literatur in Palästina/Israel nach 1933" (2019, Encounter in a Strange Land. German-Hebrew Literary Entanglements in Palestine/Israel After 1933).
Meeting point: W.M. Blumenthal Academy, Klaus Mangold Auditorium, Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (opposite the museum)
Price info: Reserve Online Ticket
Reduced price: €3.00