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Susan Neiman’s most recent book, Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil, combines philosophical reflection and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with their own national histories, especially in relation to racism. In conversation with Michaela Kalowski, Susan will reflect on how much the unexamined past forces its way into the present. What is our responsibility to our national pasts? How should children be educated, monuments built or removed, reparations for injustice organised, and political cultures constructed?

With reference to the history of post-war Germany and its relationship to moral responsibility for the actions of the Nazi party, to the Black Lives Matter movements around the world, and how genuine social equality can be created, this is a timely and powerful conversation.


 “From Baltimore to Bristol to Brisbane, thousands are standing in solidarity with black Americans and calling for a re-examination of their own local histories…We cannot have a just and decent present as long as we refuse to face our pasts.” Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans

Susan Neiman

Susan Neiman is a moral philosopher, the director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany and a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

She is the author of several books, including Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil; Why Grow Up?: Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age; Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists; Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy; The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant; and Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin.

Neiman studied philosophy at Harvard and the Free University of Berlin and was a professor of philosophy at Yale and Tel Aviv Universities. She is the mother of three grown children, and lives in Berlin.



Interviewer – Michaela Kalowski

Michaela Kalowski is an interviewer and facilitator for writers’, film and ideas festivals. She has conducted radio interviews for ABC Radio National, Classic FM and Local Radio, and was festival curator of the Big Weekend of Books, ABC Radio National’s first ever on-air writers festival. Highlight interviews include Margaret Atwood, Trent Dalton, Amos Oz, Tom Keneally, Turia Pitt and Charlotte Wood. Michaela is a member of the SJWF Programming Committee.


When: 8-9 pm, Sunday 6th September

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This event is part of the online Sydney Jewish Writers Festival, keeping you connected and entertained this August & September.

This year’s festival brings some of the best contemporary Jewish writing from around the world. Join us for an exploration of Jewish identity and global issues with authors from South Africa, Germany, the USA, and Australia.

   Click HERE to view the full program.


Purchase all books and have them delivered from our official bookseller, Gertrude & Alice / 9130 5155


For more information about this event, please contact Anna Stern anna@shalom.edu.au / 9381 4273

Thank you to our partner:

Books Online Australia - Booktopia