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PhD scholarship commemorates life of “a great humanitarian”

Clemens N. Nathan was a committed supporter of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies and one of the founding members of its London-based support group.

A new PhD scholarship at the University of Sussex commemorates the life and works of “a great humanitarian” who was widely known in the Jewish community.

Pride in his German-Jewish heritage prompted Clemens N. Nathan to become involved in the work of the University’s Centre for German Jewish Studies.

A committed supporter of the Centre and one of the founding members of its London-based support group, he died in June 2015.

Dr Gideon Reuveni, Director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, says: “A great humanitarian, Clemens strongly believed that there are important lessons to be learned from the German-Jewish past.

“For him the study of the German-Jewish experience - its achievements, its tragedy and its new resilience in post-war Germany - was part of the effort to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in an increasingly fractured world.

“Working closely with colleagues at Sussex, he guided us through challenging periods and helped us obtain backing for innovative projects. He was keen to see the Centre grow and progress mainly by investing in cutting-edge research, and by providing the highest standard of teaching alongside a stimulating outreach programme.”

Given Mr Nathan’s diverse interests, staff in the Centre hope that the Clemens N. Nathan PhD Scholarship will encourage doctoral research in the following areas:

  • The complex spectrum of German-Jewish experience
  • History and memory, with special emphasis on second and third generation
  • Jewish identity and the question of assimilation
  • Human rights and the refugees’ question
  • Israel studies
  • Holocaust education

Lord (Rowan) Williams, formerly Archbishop of Canterbury and now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, says that Mr Nathan illustrated “so much that was best, so much that was most inspiring about the British Jewish community” and describes him as “a cosmopolitan person, a civilised and companionable person, a visionary person and a passionate person altogether”. He adds: “It’s a combination which has a particularly transforming effect when all those qualities are found together.”

The PhD scholarship has been partially funded by the Association of Jewish Refugees and the Anglo-Jewish Association.

For further information, email Dr Gideon Reuveni.

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Posted on behalf of: Centre for German-Jewish Studies
Last updated: Monday, 6 June 2016

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