The German Archive of the Hebrew Habima: Bureaucracy and Identity

Shelly Zer-Zion and Jan Kühne


The administrative archive of Habima, nowadays Israel’s national theater, resides at the Israeli center for the documentation of the performing arts at Tel Aviv University. The majority of the documents, which date from the 1920s and early 1930s, were written in German, and involve prominent German Jewish businessmen and intellectuals. This archival corpus is surprising, because the profile of Habima is generally associated with the Eastern European- Soviet theatrical heritage and with the revival of Hebrew. This article seeks to present the nature of this collection and to reevaluate its contribution to the study of German Jewry as well as to the history of Hebrew theatre.

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Naharaim is a peer-reviewed journal of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is devoted to current research in philosophical, literary, and historical aspects of German-Jewish culture. The contributions are mainly in German or English.