Aladdin Leaders Meet Senior German Editors and Publishers in Berlin

At the invitation of the Axel Springer Group, the largest digital publishing house in Europe, a delegation from the Paris-based Aladdin Project met in Berlin, on the 2nd of July 2018, with a group of German publishers, editors and intellectuals.

Aladdin Chair Dr. Leah Pisar, Vice-Chair Eric de Rothschild, Treasurer Yves Kugelmann and Executive Director Abe Radkin were present at the lunch event that took place at the Axel Springer headquarters in Berlin.

Welcoming the guests, Axel Springer board member Julian Deutz praised the work of the Aladdin Project both in the field of Holocaust education and rapprochement of cultures. He said that given the uniqueness of Aladdin’s work, his group thought it would be useful to have an exchange on the challenges and perspectives of the fight against anti-Semitism and racism in Europe. He thanked Scheherazade Semsar, Director General of POLITICO Europe, for facilitating the exchange.

Die Welt Editor-in-chief Ulf Poschardt, BILD political editor Christian Stenzel, Israeli ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff, ELNET Executive Director Daniele Nati, and Suhrkamp Publiser executive Thomas Sparr took part in a lively and informative discussion with the leaders of the Aladdin Project on the current state of affairs in France and Germany regarding anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and the most effective strategies to address these issues.

Felix Klein, the German government’s Federal Commissioner for Jewish life in Germany, and Dr. Michel Friedman, a leading intellectual, lawyer and media commentator, and Raphael Gross, President of the Museum of German History in Berlin, also participated in the discussions.

The German participants expressed their surprise to discover the work that Aladdin has been doing over the past decade, which remains largely unknown to the German public. Ulf Poschardt said that the motto of Aladdin - “mutual knowledge, mutual respect” – reflected the approach that his news organization takes to make people more aware of certain issues in order to fight stereotypes and prejudice. Michel Friedmann underlined the importance of focusing on the education of children and making sure that they would not be affected by the rising anti-Semitism in their surroundings.

Christian Stenzel of Bild noted that 70 years after the Holocaust, there were still many lessons that have not been learned. In that respect, Aladdin fills an important void by focusing on Holocaust education and also anti-Semitism and bigotry.

Julian Deutz brought the meeting to a close while reiterating the wishes of his colleagues to continue to exchange with the Aladdin Project and help it develop its activities and network in Germany.