The 'First Letters'of jacob wahrman

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Within the broader framework of the history of Jews, Germans, and science after the Holocaust, this article examines the tensions between Israeli and German scientists, paying particular attention to sciences that had been corrupted during the Nazi era. More specifically, the article studies the correspondence between German-born Israeli geneticist Jacob Wahrman and his German and Austrian colleagues, initiated as early as 1950 when Wahrman was still a PhD student. The article employs David Kettler's notion of 'first letters'as a theoretical framework for reading Wahrman's correspondence with German biologists and geneticists. In addition, the letters are brought into conversation with the genetic utopia promoted in the science fiction novels of Ram Moav,Wahrman s colleague in the Department of Genetics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ReadingWahrman andMoav together, the article focuses on what might be termed a post-Holocaustian'genetic fantasy'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-218
Number of pages20
JournalLeo Baeck Institute Yearbook
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author (s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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