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NATURE AND GERMAN HISTORY. Faith – Biology – Power. International symposium in the series “Historical Judgement” | German Historical Museum | 12.07.2024

Editors’ Choice

The German Historical Museum is hosting the 6th International Symposium in the “Historische Urteilskraft” series on Friday, 12 July 2024. Under the title “NATURE AND GERMAN HISTORY. Faith – Biology – Power”, renowned experts will examine the concept and meaning of “nature” in German history. These will be illuminated in the field of tension between faith, biology and power.

Image above: Structural traces of the planned Reich motorway near Gräfendorf between Fulda and Würzburg. The works were demolished in 1939. In March 2024, artist Laura J. Padgett photographed the remains, which are disappearing under mosses and grasses. Copyrights: Laura J. Padgett

The period covered spans nine centuries: In three keynotes, Annette Kehnel, Jutta Nowosadtko and Frank Uekötter will provide an overview of the changing relationship to nature in the Middle Ages, in modern times and in the 19th and 20th centuries. Margot E. Fassler talks about Hildegard von Bingen’s concept of “viriditas” (green power) in the 12th century, Hiram Kümper about nature as a resource of the Hanseatic League and Viktoria Urmersbach about the image of the forest in the 18th century. Nils Franke deals with nature and ideology under National Socialism. Tilo Wesche presents the dialectic of natural relations in Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. Stephen Milder examines the beginnings of the anti-nuclear movement and Astrid M. Eckert explains the national park programme of the late GDR. The panels will be moderated by Birgit Aschmann, Ulinka Rublack and Julia Voss.

Raphael Gross, President of the German Historical Museum Foundation: “At this year’s symposium, we want to explore the multi-layered meaning and changing concept of ‘nature’ from different perspectives and analyse it as a political factor in German history. Who shapes or appropriates what is considered nature? How does what is understood as nature change? And what happens when unforeseen events or developments occur that require a political response? We hope that this exchange will not only provide stimulating insights for our exhibition next year. It is also linked to the idea of adding a historical perspective to debates that are still taking place today.”

This will be accompanied on 12 July 2024 by the sixth issue of the magazine “Historische Urteilskraft” with the cover story “Nature and German History. Faith – Biology – Power”.

From November 2025, the German Historical Museum will be showing the exhibition curated by Julia Voss entitled “Nature and German History. Faith, Biology, Power (AT)” curated by Julia Voss.

WHEN?

Friday, 12 July 2024, 9 am – 7 pm

WHERE?

Pei Building of the German Historical Museum
Behind the Gießhaus 3
10117 Berlin

LANGUAGE?

German and English, with simultaneous translation

COST?

free admission

The symposium will be recorded and later made available on the DHM YouTube channel.

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Thomas Hoepker 1936-2024