Fellow at the “Cultural Foundation of Social Integration” Center of Excellence, University of Konstanz (October 2012 – March 2013)
Nicolas Berg is an historian. Since 2001 he has been a Research Fellow (as of 2003 a Senior Research associate) at the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at the University of Leipzig. In 2012 he was a Fellow at the German Historical Institute, London (April-September). Currently, he is a Fellow at the Center of Excellence “Cultural Foundation of Integration,” Konstanz University (October 2012-March 2013). Areas of research include: German historiography in the 19th and 20th century, Jewish historians, Metaphors in History and Historical writings, History of memory. Recent publications: Luftmenschen. Zur Geschichte einer Metapher, Göttingen 2008; Kapitalismusdebatten um 1900. Über antisemitisierende Semantiken des Jüdischen, Leipzig 2011.
Articles of Nicolas Berg
Landschaftskunde und Wirtschaftsgeographie: Akademischer Antisemitismus im Werk Siegfried Passarges in den 1920er und 1930er Jahren
Historians have by and large neglected the work of the Hamburg-based academic Siegfried Passarge (1867–1958) on regional geography, a clear example of a volkish-national world-centered view on culturally homogenous Bodenständigkeit—“attachment to the soil”—and collective rootedness. Passarge’s “territorial” argument was not just articulated in the Nazi years but reflected a German geopolitical tradition of the 1920s dating back to the nineteenth century and whose well known representatives were Karl Haushofer, Otto Maull, Hugo Hassinger, and Friedrich Ratzel. The ideology of character-stamping “landscape” not only involved the glorification of ur-agrarian life and country people, but the corresponding demonization of the big cities. At the same time, as a scrutiny of Passarge’s texts reveals, this ideology was radically antisemitic. My discussion addresses this mentality that became hegemonic in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s; a mentality—ideological tenets, traditions, and consequences—against which Vilém Flusser engaged in a life-long struggle.