Germany and Israel: Changing Dynamics of a Complex Relationship


Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


CMES, Rm 102, 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The CMES Middle East Forum presents

Alexandra SenfftAlexandra Senfft
Award-winning German journalist and author specializing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the aftermath of the Holocaust in Germany

Alexandra Senfft was born in 1961 in Hamburg; she has an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, English and German literature from the University of Hamburg. She studied in Great Britain and Germany, and worked as research fellow on the Middle East for the Green Party in the German parliament. In 1990/1991, she was a human rights observer, during the first intifada in the West Bank, for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees  (UNRWA) and then as the Agency’s “Public Information Officer” in the Gaza Strip. Alexandra worked regularly in Israel as a reviewer for German-funded socio-political projects. She published numerous essays and articles in the German press on issues relating to Israel and Palestine. In Europe generally, she has served as a TV reporter and editor, and published in internationals newspapers, journals, magazines and online publications.

From 2006 to 2008 Alexandra worked closely with the Israeli psychologist Dan Bar-On and assisted him in the dialogue training course “Storytelling in Conflict”. Since then she  specializes in encouraging dialogues between conflicting parties — not only between Palestinians and Israelis, but between the descendants of Holocaust survivors and of Nazi perpetrators.

Her book, Silence Hurts: A German Family History (Schweigen tut weh. Eine deutsche Familiengeschichte), Ullstein Buchverlage, Berlin 2007) won the German ‘Best Biography Award’ (2008). In 2016 she published The Long Shadow of the Perpetrators. Descendants face their Nazi family history (Der Lange Schatten der Täter. Nachkommen stellen sich ihrer NS-Familiengeschichte). Both books remain a focus of public discussion unto today. Her books and publications about the conflict in the Middle East and about Palestinian-Israeli dialogue have proved to contribute to the discourse about the conflict in the Middle East.

Photo: Frank Dabba Smith

Contact: Liz Flanagan