Emil Julius Gumbel Research Department
The research areas of the Emil Julius Gumbel Research Department (EJGF) include antisemitism and right-wing extremism in history and the present, as well as the struggle of democratic and civil society to counter these tendencies. Its namesake is the mathematician and statistician, Emil Julius Gumbel (1891-1966) who devoted the methods of his science to the anti-Republic forces of the extreme right.
Based on an interdisciplinary cultural and social science approach, the EJGF is dedicated to researching the phenomena of antisemitism, right-wing extremism and right-wing radicalism, racism and xenophobia, as well as other related tendencies.
Special attention is paid to the actors - individuals, parties and associations, small groups and networks, publishers, magazines and media, etc. - and their actions - from everyday discrimination to the production of ideology and propaganda, from marches and graffiti to desecration of cemeteries and memorials, from acts of violence to targeted terrorist murder.
Antisemitism and right-wing extremism are not only evaluated as attitudes and ideologies or as behavioral patterns, but as historically developed political movements oriented towards the development of political or cultural influence. Therefore, at the EJGF not only the present of antisemitism and right-wing extremism is being researched, but also their historical developments.
One focus lies on right-wing extremist phenomena and actors in the state of Brandenburg and the eastern German states. This regional dimension of right-wing extremism is continuously recorded, documented and analyzed.
Special documentation of right-wing extremism in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany is currently being compiled at the EJGF. The collection focuses on the extreme right's own publications - especially with reference to antisemitism, the "Jewish question," Israel and the phenomenon of "Holocaust denial" -, periodicals, training and propaganda materials. Primary sources related to the state of Brandenburg and the eastern German states, including pamphlets, flyers, musical products, and ephemera, will be documented as extensively as possible. Furthermore, the MMZ library's collection of secondary literature on right-wing extremism and antisemitism will be maintained and expanded.
Dialog between Researchers and Practitioners
The EJGF conducts science in an understanding of social responsibility and feels obliged to pursue its role as a facilitator of civil society. In addition to documentation and analysis, the research department intends to promote the dialogue between scientific research and democratic society as one of its core tasks. In doing so, it can draw on many years of cooperation with civil society initiatives and with the ministries and authorities of the state of Brandenburg.
Scientific findings are processed in such a way that they support the actors in their confrontation with anti-democratic and discriminatory tendencies. At the same time, research benefits from the expertise of the actors and can incorporate it into scientific questions.
Apl. Prof. Dr. Gideon Botsch
Head of Department
E-Mail to botsch[at]uni-potsdam.de
For questions concerning the library collection:
Librarian at the Deparment
Dr. Christoph Schulze
Research Associate at the Department