Touro University Berlin
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Project Radiate: cRitical sociAl meDia lIteracy AgainsT hatE is funded by the US State Department and administered through the US Embassy in Berlin. The leads for this project on Touro site are Prof. Larisa Buhin-Krenek and Prof. Özen Odag with assistance of our students Bilge Isakov and Noa Shwartz. 

This one-year project is researching how familiar young adults are with different forms of hate speech on social media. Specifically, we are interested in their ability to recognize racist, Islamophobic, anti-Romani, and antisemitic hate speech as well as their emotional reactions and behavioral responses to it. Finally, we will use this knowledge to create a peer-to-peer guide and a pilot training project for other young adults encountering hate speech. 

RESPOND! is a four-year research project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research, seeking to address and combat antisemitism online. Our main goal is to develop, implement, and evaluate a RESPOND! Media Competence Training to teach young media users how to recognize and counteract different forms of antisemitic hate speech on social media. In collaboration with Hochschule Bielefeld, and Universität Potsdam, and our community partner, the Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin, we are looking forward to sharing our behind the scene processes and insights, introducing our team members, and interacting with our participants! Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Özen Odağ and Prof. Larisa Buhin-Krenek, PhD. For more detail:

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Stephan Lehnstaedt (Touro University, Berlin), Prof. Dr. Paweł Machcewicz (Instytut Spraw Politycznych PAN, Warszawa).

Partner institutions: Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Polenforschung der Universität Viadrina Frankfurt/Oder; Centrum Badań Historycznych PAN, Berlin.

Project funded by Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung

Runs 2023-2026

The research on the German occupation of Poland during World War II is hardly manageable even for specialists. Nevertheless, gaps in knowledge persist and interpretations are disputed. Often these debates run along national borders, and far too often language skills limit the perception of each other’s scholarly findings.
Against this background, we will prepare a handbook that (1) identifies and critically evaluates the scholarly literature for all occupation areas; (2) compiles the established data and facts; (3) classifies knowledge gaps and current debates. It is intended to be used in academia, memorials and museums, but is also explicitly aimed at an interested public. A German-Polish team of authors will develop five main chapters and two appendices:
1. The invasion and occupation of Poland: Structures, borders, personnel.
2. The German occupation and its consequences: Exploitation, forced labor, terror
3. The Holocaust and the ethnic reorganization of Poland: German policies against Jews, Roma, Poles, Ukrainians and others
4. Polish society under occupation: everyday life, culture, religion, resistance, collaboration
5. Balance sheet
6. Outlook: War and occupation in the eyes of Poles and Germans. Social memory, disputes and Polish-German reconciliation
7. Appendix 1: literature review
8. Appendix 2: iconography
The handbook will be about 600-700 pages in the printed version. It will be published in Polish and in German.

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Stephan Lehnstaedt (Touro University, Berlin), Dr. Daniel
Brewing (RWTH Aachen)
Project funded by Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur
Runs 2022/2023

Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) was born in Bezwodne in Russian Poland (today Belarus) to Jewish
parents. He studied law, literature and philosophy in Lviv from 1920 and briefly in Heidelberg,
earning his doctorate in 1926. In addition to his work as a public prosecutor in Warsaw from
1929, he became involved with ethnic violence. Because he was familiar with pogroms and
discrimination against Polish Jews from his own experience, he called for an international
convention for the protection of minorities in 1933.
At the beginning of the war in 1939, Lemkin fled from German territory via Lviv and Vilnius. At
first he finds asylum in Sweden and teaches at Stockholm University. At the same time, he
collects documents on the persecution of Jews in German-occupied Europe. From 1941 he
teaches in the USA. There, in 1944, he publishes the groundbreaking book “Axis Rule in
Occupied Europe,” which is the first systematic analysis of the Holocaust. In it, he develops for
the first time the term genocide: “…a coordinated plan of diverse actions directed toward the
destruction of essential foundations of the life of a population group with the aim of annihilating
the group.”
After 1945, Lemkin initially works for Robert Jackson, the U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg
trial. In 1948, the United Nations adopts the Genocide Convention, long prepared by Lemkin, for
which “Axis Rule” is the basic rationale – the Genocide Convention is intended to make a second
Holocaust impossible. “Axis Rule” therefore systematically examines the various elements as
well as the course of the persecution of the Jews by Germany and its allies, and then presents the
historical events in the individual countries of occupied Europe. In this way, the causes and
conditions of genocides are revealed using the example of the Shoah. The book is thus of
outstanding importance for genocide prevention and has received much attention abroad.
Moreover, it is an impressively incisive analysis of the Nazi occupation of Europe that goes far
beyond the concept of genocide. In this respect, the book can be seen on a par with Franz
Neumann’s “Behemoth,” for example, even if the focus is different; nonetheless, it is one of the
pioneering projects of a state-science-inspired investigation of Nazi domination practices, which
is impressive not least because Lemkin quite actually only had official printed materials available
as sources in the process.
Despite this historical significance for historiography and international law – especially in
Germany – the work still exists only in English. The aim of this project is therefore to translate
the work into German and thus make it accessible to a wider readership in this country. The target
audience is not only academic research and teaching in the aforementioned fields, but also
practitioners of international law and, in particular, political education in the areas of National
Socialism/Holocaust, genocide, and international law/human rights. The publication should also

help to create attention for the person Raphael Lemkin as well as his concerns. We expect a broad
civil society and scholarly reception.
Lemkin’s book consists of 266 pages of analysis and another 370 pages of historical source
material in various European languages. While the first part is translated from English, the
sources have to be identified in the original languages and then translated into German; about two
thirds of this material is originally German. The work, which is now 75 years old, is still
impressive in the lucid clarity and systematic nature of its analysis, but it still requires
classification and contextualization, which will be provided by a comprehensive introduction
written by the two project leaders.

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