Von Berlin Nach Jerusalem Und Zurück

Noam Zadoff
Publication Date
December 31, 2014

Although Gershom Scholem presented his life in his autobiography as a one-way movement from Berlin to Jerusalem, a closer look at mainly unpublished documents reveals a different picture. From the moment of his arrival in Palestine in 1923 up to his death in 1982, he remained in close contact to the German-speaking cultural and intellectual worlds. In the 1920s and 1930s he contributed to the Hebrew and Jewish cultural circles in Berlin, and even after the shock of the Holocaust he gradually returned to shorter and longer visits in Germany. In the postwar Federal Republic Scholem played a central role as a moral authority, who offered an alternative for young intellectuals to their corrupted fathers generation. By doing so, the German-Israeli intellectual served as a generational link, bridging  the abyss created by the Holocaust. For Scholem himself this return was the outcome of a long process of disillusionment with his Zionist utopia.


Noam Zadoff, Von Berlin Nach Jerusalem Und Zurück: Gershom Scholem Zwischen Israel Und Deutschland (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014).