University of Sussex Media Release.
. Lord Attenborough to launch fund-raising campaign for Chair of German-Jewish Studies

16 February 2000
For immediate release

Lord Attenborough, film director and Chancellor of the University of Sussex, will host a fund-raising dinner at the House of Lords on Tuesday 22 February. At the dinner Lord Attenborough will launch a £1.5 million appeal to establish a Chair of German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex.

The dinner will be attended by His Excellency the German Ambassador, Dr Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz. Other guests will include Sir Claus Moser, Chairman of the British Museum Development Trust; Professor Peter Pulzer, Chairman of the Leo Baeck Institute in London; and Mr Michael Blumenthal, formerly Secretary to the Treasury in Washington DC and now Chief Executive of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

Mr Blumenthal, who was himself a refugee from Nazi Germany, will speak about his vision for the Berlin Jewish Museum and the ways in which it will reflect "the unrequited love affair of Germany’s Jews with their native country". Professor Edward Timms, Director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex, will emphasize the contribution that British-based institutions can make to teaching and research in this field.

The primary aim of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies is to reassess the creative identification with German culture that was so characteristic of Jews in Germany and many parts of central Europe (the so-called ‘German-Jewish symbiosis’). Further objectives are to analyse the counter-currents of anti-semitism that culminated in the Holocaust, and to document the experiences of German-Jewish refugees and their contributions to British public life.

Notes for editors

For further information, contact Diana Franklin, Centre for German-Jewish Studies, tel./fax: (0181) 381 4721, email or Alison Field, Information Office, tel. 01273 678888, fax 01273 877456, email

A staged fund-raising campaign aims to create a fund of £1,500,000 over a five-year period in order to establish an endowed chair of German-Jewish Studies. The person appointed to the Chair will be responsible, as Director of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, for co-ordinating teaching and research programmes as well as archival policy.

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