© Peter Garten

Miriam Rürup

Director of the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg

Miriam Rürup is director of the Institute for the History of the German Jews in Hamburg. From 2010 to 2012 she was Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D. C., previously she served as Assistant Professor at the Department of Medieval and Modern History at Göttingen University and has also held positions at the Foundation Topography of Terror in Berlin, The Franz Rosenzweig Center in Jerusalem, and the Simon Dubnow Institute in Leipzig. She studied history, sociology and cultural anthropology at the universities of Göttingen, Tel Aviv and Berlin and received her PhD from TU Berlin in 2006. Her research interests concern German-Jewish history, the history and post-history of National Socialism, gender history as well as the history of migration, citizenship and statelessness. Publications: Alltag und Gesellschaft. Jüdische Perspektiven auf die moderne Geschichte, Paderborn 2017; Von der Offenheit der Geschichte. Der Umgang mit Staatenlosigkeit und die weltbürgerliche Idee, in: Bernhard Gißibl/Isabella Löhr (eds.), Bessere Welten. Kosmopolitismus in den Geschichtswissenschaften, Frankfurt a. M. 2017, 71–102; Das Geschlecht der Staatenlosen. Staatenlosigkeit in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland nach 1945, in: Journal of Modern European History 14 (2016), no. 3, 411–436; In der Hauptrolle: Der Pass. Staatenlosigkeit auf und hinter der Bühne im ersten Nachkriegsjahrzehnt, in: Gisela Dachs (ed.), Grenzen, Berlin 2015, 37–49; The Citizen and its Other. Zionist and Israeli Responses to Statelessness, in: Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 59 (2014), no. 1, 37–52; Ehrensache. Jüdische Studentenverbindungen an deutschen Universitäten 1886–1937, Göttingen 2008.


How Germans Became Jews: National Socialist Expatriations of German Jews, Stateless Migrants and their Impact on the Human Rights Discourse

Soon after its rise to power the national socialist regime engaged in turning back the wheel of the emancipation of the German Jews. One of the major steps being refined further and further in an ever more totalitarian legislation was the annihilation of recent naturalizations of German Jews, the individual and ultimately also collective expatriation of native German Jews, rendering them stateless and thus unprotected. They thus were denieds all rights as citizens that they had only recently fully gained. After the war, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared in Article 15 the right to a nationality as an inalienable part of the bundle of human rights. This paved the way to United Nations Conventions such as the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 1954. Major protagonists who helped bring about this and other such human rights instruments were Jewish lawyers and their non-governmental organizations. As Jews they had experienced statelessness and the loss of a homeland through migration themselves, as Lawyers they had been experts in minority rights discussions of the interwar period and brought with them their expertise as lawyers to their new homelands. This presentation will thus begin with the total loss of rights and end with the production of a new body of rights that was meant to henceforth protect people from the evils of statelessness.

Programme: Panel 4, Thursday, 6 September 2018, 13:00-14:30