SICSA is proud to announce the recipients of the Robert Wistrich Awards in the Field of Antisemitism and Racism for 2020:
Mr. Eddie Ben Ze'ev
Mr. Nadan Feldman
Ms. Lital Henig
Ms. Shiran Krasnov
Eddie Ben Ze’ev works as a high school history teacher in Nesher. Nowadays, he is in the early stages of his PhD thesis in Haifa University, titled: "The Conservative Triumvirate" , dealing with the Question of Identity in the Russian Empire in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century.
His award-winning work is titled “Nikita Giliarov-Platonov (1824-1887): One of The First Ideologues of Modern Russian Anti-Semitism”. One of the foremost thinkers who dealt with the Jewish question in the second half of the nineteenth century is Nikita Petrovich Giliarov-Platonov, a philosopher and publicist who has lately garnered the attention of modern Russian researchers.
Giliarov-Platonov was seen as an important expert and thinker among a small circle of Slavophiles, especially among the later generation of representatives of this movement, some of whom even managed to incorporate into their writing the world of concepts he adopted, refined and promoted. Giliarov-Platonov was part of the Slavophilic "Triumvirate" which included Mikhail Katkov (1818-1887) and Ivan Aksakov (1823-1886). In the opinion of his contemporaries and the scholars who researched the Slavophilic movement, Giliarov-Platonov stood in the shadow of Katkov and Aksakov, and he was not appreciated. Giliarov-Platonov was considered an exception in his views and promoted an anti-establishment agenda, but at the same time, he backed the Tsarist rule and supported the strengthening of the Russian Orthodox Church, which he saw as the source of power and inspiration. In addition, Giliarov-Platonov came out against capitalism and communism by defining them as a Jewish phenomenon designed to eradicate Russia's traditional structure. His perceptions contradicted Aksakov and Katkov and even other Slavophiles, who fully supported the establishment, deprioritized the church to a marginal status and considered capitalism a worthwhile option for Russia's future. In addressing the common audience, Giliarov-Platonov tried to advance his agenda, while his colleagues and his adversaries in the Slavophile camp preferred to address the educated audience or go directly to the establishment.
Eddie’s work sheds light on Giliarov-Platonov's place in the development of anti-Jewish discourse in the Russian Empire and places him as a key figure in the transition from traditional ecclesiastical discourse to modern anti-Semitic discourse. His study examines the biography and composition of Giliarov-Platonov's social circle and researches various issues related to the development of his thought in general and his views about Jews and Judaism in particular. Giliarov-Platonov and his newspaper had a significant impact on the Slavophil circle and especially on Ivan Aksakov, who has so far been regarded in academic research as the prominent representative of the anti-Semitism that developed among the Slavophiles. In fact, this study gives Giliaryov-Platonov the role of pioneer in promoting modern anti-Jewish discourse in Russia. It shows how Giliarov-Platonov was among the first in Russia to utter ideas of identifying Jews as a distinct biological group with innate physical and mental characteristics, usually negative.
Nadan Feldman lives and work in Jerusalem. He is a Journalist covering global economy at H’aaretz daily, and in addition works as a Researcher in Israel Democracy Institute. His PhD, supervised by Professor Ronny Regev and Professor Ofer Ashkenzi, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, deals with the ties between American Corporations and Nazi Germany, through the phenomenal case of DuPont - family and corporation - starting by supporting Hitler from the 1920s on, going on to an abortive coup d'etat against Roosevelt in the 1930s, and ending up as chief contractor of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s.
In 2017 he has submitted an M.A. thesis in the subject, supervised by Professor Shlomo Aronson, following an extensive research in four archives in both Germany and the U.S.
As previous studies have shown, without the generous, massive, indispensable aid of America, Nazi Germany could not have gone to war. All in all, American corporate investments in Germany, DuPont included, had grown by almost 50% between 1929 and 1940, while declining in the rest of Continental Europe.
It is Nadan’s conviction that the present study will make a worthwhile contribution to the subject of the relations of DuPont and its circle of American Corporations with Hitler’s Germany, in the darkest hour for Democracy and Humanity.
Lital Henig lives in Tel-Aviv. She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her PhD dissertation is entitled “Virtual Spheres of Remembrance: Testimony and Performance in New Forms of Holocaust Commemoration” and is supervised by Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann and Prof. Amit Pinchevski. She is also working in the Horizon 2020 funded research and innovation action “Visual History of the Holocaust - Rethinking Curation in the Digital Age”.
Her and Dr. Ebbrecht-Hartmann’s article “Witnessing Eva: Media Witnessing and Self-Inscription in Social Media Memory” examines the relations between memory, social media experience, and testimony. They do so by analyzing the Eva Stories project, which was posted on Instagram during the 2019 Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Day. By conducting a combined visual and multimodal analysis of the stories, as well as a close analysis of the relations between social media experience and testimony, they claim that Eva Stories establishes a new responsive space for remembering the Holocaust. This space enables users to inscribe themselves into mediated Holocaust memory and to become media witnesses by participation. The self-inscription of the user is made possible by three interrelated modes of media witnessing, which continuously evoke the participation of the use. These new modes, they argue, indicate a new kind of agency in relation to media witnessing: the ability to testify on one’s own present social media engagement with mediated memory, and become a witness to it. These changes in Holocaust commemorative practices allow users to understand racism and antisemitism differently, and also to testify on these experiences in their personal profiles. Thus, interactive projects such as Eva Stories can contribute to the suppression of racism and antisemitism by identification, participation and empathy.
Shiran Krasov lives in Jerusalem. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Studies, and works as data analyst at ExLibris. Nowadays, she is a M.A. student of “Contemporary Germany: Politics, Society and Culture” at the DAAD Center for German Studies.
A few years ago Shiran was sent to Germany as an emissary by the World Bnei Akiva organization. During this time, she saw the “other” Germany - a progressive, democratic, enlightened country that embodies universal values of liberalism and progress, and a message of versatility, internationalism and the inclusion of people from different places and backgrounds. But one question always persisted in her mind: “How?”. How did the entire generation that grew up on Anti-Semitism expressed in the most brutal way in history, become an enlightened one?
Together with her studies at the DAAD Center for German Studies, she was exposed to the 1968’ student generation and decided to research whether and how the Nazi ideology influenced the very same generation that tried to denounce the actions of the previous generation.
In her research paper “The Anti-Semitic Stance of the Radical Left in Germany and Entebbe as a Turning” she focuses on the radical left movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s and on the anti-semitic ideology that it was based on. Unfortunately, she found that anti-Semitism in German did not disappear, but merely changed its face. Shiran learned a lot from this research. Firstly, it highlights the different nuances of anti-Semitism and reveals the appalling face of the new anti-Semitism. Secondly, it tells the story of the anti-Semitism of the post-war German generation, the traumatised generation, whos intentions were good, but turned out to be not far from those of its parents. Moreover, the research emphasizes that no party on the political map is immune to anti-Semitism, rather that anti-Semitism can come from the right and left, old and new, strong and weak.