Dr. Jonathan Kaplan will receive our Manfred  Lahnstein Fellowship. He will conduct a research project on the topic: East-German/Jewish relations and “Coming to Terms with the National Socialist Past”

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan is a project associate (Projektmitarbeiter) at the Specialized Information Service (FID) for Jewish Studies at the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg Frankfurt am Main. Kaplan received his PhD in History from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2020. He published his first book in 2022 in German: Diplomatie der Aufarbeitung. Das Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten der DDR und die nationalsozialistische Vergangenheit. The book ultimately portrays how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic instrumentalized Nazi history to consolidate the East German self-definition as reactionary to the Federal Republic. Kaplan is currently working on his second book about political exchange between the East German government and Jewish organizations in non-socialist countries.

Research areas: Post-War Germany , Holocaust and Memory, East Germany, Cold-War, German-Jewish Relations, Israeli History, Politics and Culture


2014-2020    Freie Univeristät berlin                               PhD    History

2009-2012    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem       MA     History

2006-2009    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem       BA      History / Political Science



Diplomatie der Aufarbeitung. Das Ministerium für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten der DDR und die nationalsozialistische Vergangenheit, Leipzig: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2022


“Die kleinen Nazis und die großen Diplomaten – DDR-Diplomaten mit national-sozialistischer Vergangenheit“. S:I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2020) Vienna: Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI), 2020, pp. 66-81.

“’Queen Esther’ of the Third Reich: Leni Riefenstahl in the Hebrew-Speaking Press in 1930s Mandate Palestine.” Slil – Online Journal for History, Film and Television, 2023

“‘nishṭ fun unzere?’ Israel-GDR Relations in the Israeli Press – The Case of Otto Winzer.” In: Marten-Finnis, Susanne/Nagel, Michael (eds.) Die historische deutsch-jüdische Presse: Forum, Quellenfundus, Bremen: edition lumière, 2021, 425-439.

“Fighting Nazis and Confronting the Past: The German Democratic Republic
and the National Committee against Nazis in the United States”. Anna Koch and Stephan Stach (eds.) Remembering Across the Iron Curtain. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2023 (forthcoming)