The Freedom Project: Jeffrey Herf

From Soviet Bloc Support for Israel to the Undeclared Wars


Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 5:00pm
Margaret Clapp Library Lecture Room

Jeffrey Herf: From Soviet Bloc Support For Israel to the Undeclared Wars: East Germany and the West German Far Left from the Six-Day War to the Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989

During World War II and the Holocaust, the Nazi regime waged war against the Jews and opposed the Zionist movement. The Nazis sought and found allies among some Arab leaders as well as militant Islamists who collaborated with the Nazi regime.

Based on research in the now available archives of the East German, West German, U.S., and United Nations Files, it is now possible to document that in the last decades of the Cold War, the East German government and the West German far left were engaged in an "undeclared war" with Israel.

This lecture presents results of recent research on the changing political coordinates of anti-Zionism and antagonism to Israel in German history after the Holocaust.

Jeffrey Herf is Distinguised University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he specializes in the history of modern Europe and Germany.

Sponsored by The Freedom Project. The Freedom Project at Wellesley College is dedicated to the exploration of the idea of freedom in all of its manifestations, but especially in the tradition of Western classical liberalism. This tradition emphasizes the sanctity of individual rights, freedom of contract and economic rights, constitutional democracy, and the rule of law. The Freedom Project also promotes interdisciplinary understandings of the idea of freedom, and values expansive intellectual pluralism and debate, especially on contentious issues. 

Image Credit: Jeffrey Herf