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News of The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
 
Friday, June 22, 2018, at 7.30 pm
Künstlerhaus München
Lenbachplatz 8
80333 Munich / Germany
Viktor Frankl
Nevertheless Say “Yes” to Life
In the 1920s, Viktor Frankl (1905 - 1997) founded the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy", the so-called logotherapy or existential analysis. In his approach to therapy he focused on meaning and value. Having survived the Holocaust as the only one of his immediate family, Frankl reflected upon his experiences in the concentration camps in his famous book "Man's search for Meaning" which has become one of the ten most influential books in the United States of America. Lesser known is his play "Synchronization in Birkenwald: A Metaphysical Conference ", which he wrote in 1946. On the occasion of Frankl's 85th birthday in 1990, Gregorij von Leitis, Founding Artistic Director of Elysium, presented the world premiere of this play in New York.
Soon after the Holocaust, Frankl advocated for reconciliation as the only way out of the destructive catastrophe of war. The experience of meaning even while suffering, and reconciliation with oneself and with the world as a precondition for healing the world and society: those aspects of Frankl's work are more important than ever in today's broken world.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads those texts
Admission: € 18,- / € 9,- (reduced)
Advance tickets can be bought at Münchner Künstlerhaus, phone (089) 59 91 84 14, info@kuenstlerhaus-muenchen.de
or München Ticket, phone (089) 54 81 81 81, www.muenchenticket.de
Admission: free
presented by Künstlerhaus München
in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents und The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
Logo Künstlerhaus München
 
Friday, June 15, 2018 (time t.b.a.)
Hochschule für Philosophie München
Kaulbachstrasse 31 a
80803 Munich / Germany
Hate is a Failure of Imagination
A Literary Collage – An Encouraging Testimony
under the patronage of Prof. Felix Kolmer (Prague), Advisor / Foundation for Holocaust Victims
with texts by Alice Herz-Sommer, Georg Kafka, Paul Aron Sandfort, Leo Strauss, Viktor Ullmann, and Ilse Weber
The alarming rise of anti-Semitism and racism as well as the wave of terror attacks and of right-wing hate crimes drastically remind us, how hatred can blind people and how much destruction and violence an inhuman ideology can unleash. The artists who were incarcerated in Theresienstadt have defied the Nazis’ hatred and contempt for them in their own way. They countered this hate with a powerful offensive of imagination. With their artistic fantasy, their creative power, their inventive energy they continuously proved wrong the national-socialist dictum, that Jews were sub-human and as such incapable of any real culture. The life-affirming words of these artists can encourage us today, to break through the spiral of hate, violence and destruction.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads those texts
By invitation only
presented by the Hochschule für Philosophie München
 
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 (time t.b.a.)
Austrian Cultural Forum London
28 Rutland Gate
London SW8 1PQ
Viktor Frankl
Nevertheless Say “Yes” to Life
In the 1920s, Viktor Frankl (1905 - 1997) founded the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy", the so-called logotherapy or existential analysis. In his approach to therapy he focused on meaning and value. Having survived the Holocaust as the only one of his immediate family, Frankl reflected upon his experiences in the concentration camps in his famous book "Man's search for Meaning" which has become one of the ten most influential books in the United States of America. Lesser known is his play "Synchronization in Birkenwald: A Metaphysical Conference ", which he wrote in 1946. On the occasion of Frankl's 85th birthday in 1990, Gregorij von Leitis, Founding Artistic Director of Elysium, presented the world premiere of this play in New York.
Soon after the Holocaust, Frankl advocated for reconciliation as the only way out of the destructive catastrophe of war. The experience of meaning even while suffering, and reconciliation with oneself and with the world as a precondition for healing the world and society: those aspects of Frankl's work are more important than ever in today's broken world.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads those texts
Admission: free
Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum London
in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at 8.00 pm
St. Martin’s Church
Wilhelmstrasse
79379 Müllheim / Germany
Hate is a Failure of Imagination
A Literary Collage – An Encouraging Testimony
under the patronage of Former German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl and Prof. Felix Kolmer (Prague), Advisor / Foundation for Holocaust Victims
with texts by Alice Herz-Sommer, Georg Kafka, Paul Aron Sandfort, Leo Strauss, Viktor Ullmann, and Ilse Weber
The alarming rise of anti-Semitism and racism as well as the wave of terror attacks and of right-wing hate crimes drastically remind us, how hatred can blind people and how much destruction and violence an inhuman ideology can unleash. The artists who were incarcerated in Theresienstadt have defied the Nazis’ hatred and contempt for them in their own way. They countered this hate with a powerful offensive of imagination. With their artistic fantasy, their creative power, their inventive energy they continuously proved wrong the national-socialist dictum, that Jews were sub-human and as such incapable of any real culture. The life-affirming words of these artists can encourage us today, to break through the spiral of hate, violence and destruction.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads those texts
Admission: free
presented by MB Musik- und Kulturverein e.V.
 
Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 7.30 pm
Parish Hall of St. Ursula
Kaiserplatz 13 a
80803 Munich / Germany
Nietzsche: From his Protestant Origins to the Anti-Christ
Raised in a Protestant rectory and marked by the spirituality of pietism, Nietzsche first enrolled as a student of theology and philology. But already during his first year at the university in Bonn he turned away from Christianity and decided to focus solely on the studies of philology. During his years as a professor in “pious Basel” he again encounters the Pietist variety of Protestantism which was dominant among the urban middle class. Nietzsche’s reading of Hölderlin, his studies of antiquity, his encounter with the philosophy of Schopenhauer and finally his friendship with Richard Wagner spur a process of emancipation: Nietzsche becomes one of the great critical diagnosticians of his time, a moralist and brilliant proponent of the enlightenment, but at the same time one of the most pronounced critics of Christianity.
For his contemporaries Nietzsche seemed to be the Anti-Christ, mostly because of his dictum „God is dead.“ As the “prophet of the overman” he assailed the philistine lifestyle of his bourgeois contemporaries and tried to lay a new foundation for morality “beyond good and evil”. And yet, in his most polemic book “The Anti-Christ”, the figure of Jesus was spared all criticism.
Friedrich Nietzsche regarded himself as the „thorn in the side“ of the decadent society and culture of his time. He was a stranger to his own era, and called himself a “posthumous thinker” whose hour would come in the future.
Michael Lahr will outline and reconstruct the extraordinary train of thought of Nietzsche
Gregorij von Leitis will read key passages of Nietzsche’s works.
Admission: free – donations for Elysium – between two continents are gratefully appreciated
presented by Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive in cooperation with St. Ursula Munich
Logo Pfarrverband Alt-Schwabing
 
Thursday, April 19, 2018 (time t.b.a.)
Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, D.C.
3524 International Court
Washington, DC 20008
Hate is a Failure of Imagination
A Literary Collage – An Encouraging Testimony
under the patronage of Prof. Felix Kolmer (Prague), Advisor / Foundation for Holocaust Victims
with texts by Alice Herz-Sommer, Georg Kafka, Paul Aron Sandfort, Leo Strauss, Viktor Ullmann, and Ilse Weber
The alarming rise of anti-Semitism and racism as well as the wave of terror attacks and of right-wing hate crimes drastically remind us, how hatred can blind people and how much destruction and violence an inhuman ideology can unleash. The artists who were incarcerated in Theresienstadt have defied the Nazis’ hatred and contempt for them in their own way. They countered this hate with a powerful offensive of imagination. With their artistic fantasy, their creative power, their inventive energy they continuously proved wrong the national-socialist dictum, that Jews were sub-human and as such incapable of any real culture. The life-affirming words of these artists can encourage us today, to break through the spiral of hate, violence and destruction.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads those texts
Admission: free
presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington
Logo Austrian Cultural Forum Washington
 
Thursday, April 5, 2018, at 12.00 noon
The Lotos Club
5 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065
31st Annual Erwin Piscator Award Luncheon
to benefit our International Educational Programs
The American playwright J. T. Rogers will be presented with the Erwin Piscator Award 2018. His plays are "political theatre" in the truest sense of the word; they strike a deeply political chord and contribute to a "theatre that engages the public realm." His plays deal with "stories... framed against great political rupture." The protagonists of Rogers' plays often are people "who struggle with, and against [unfolding] world events - and who are [permanently changed] through that struggle." His most recent play "Oslo" premiered in 2016. It recounts the secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization that lead to the Oslo Peace Accord in 1993. The play has won several awards, including the Lucille Lortel for Best Play, two Obie awards, two Tony awards and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. After a very successful run on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, "Oslo" is currently running at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. Rogers' play "The Overwhelming" dealt with the Rwandan Genocide. The struggle for control of Afghanistan during the 1980s is the subject of his play "Blood and Gifts." J.T. Rogers is a Guggenheim fellow and holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
The philanthropist Jolana Blau will receive the Honorary Erwin Piscator Award in memory of Maria Ley Piscator for her commitment to support the arts and culture and to work for reconciliation and international understanding. Born in the Slovak village of Bánovce nad Bebravou, Jolana Blau survived the persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust. Together with her mother, she was liberated in 1945 by Russian troops in the ghetto and concentration camp Terezin. After the Prague Spring she emigrated via Austria to the U.S.A.
Since 2003 Jolana Blau has been tirelessly supporting the mission and work of Elysium - between two continents. For the last few years she has served as vice president of the board of directors of Elysium. Reflecting on her dedication to Elysium's work she once said: "Thinking back at this time, I want my grandchildren and the young generation growing up today not to forget. They should never forget. [...] One message we should take away from those times is: Never to be selfish and to help other people wherever we can. And always to be grateful for all we have and share with our fellow citizens."
Admission: $ 350 (tickets are tax-deductible for the full amount less $ 85)
To receive an invitation please contact Michael Lahr.
 
Monday, March 5, 2018
Elysium Office
New York
Science as Vocation
Roundtable Lunch
Prof. Dr. Matthias Bormuth, Heisenberg-Professor for the Comparative History of Ideas at Carl-von-Ossietzky-University Oldenburg / Germany will talk about the groundbreaking lecture, which the sociologist and economist Max Weber gave 100 years ago and later published as a separate article.
By invitation only
presented by Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
 
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 6.00 pm
German Consulate General New York
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Resistance of the Heart
The Uprising of the Berlin Women in Rosenstrasse in 1943
commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Rosenstrasse Protests
under the patronage of Rabbi Prof. Dr. Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and former President of the Leo Baeck Institute
The American historian Nathan Stoltzfus – who was trained in Harvard and teaches at Florida State University – wrote the ground-breaking book “Resistance of the Heart”. His research was first published in 1996. In 1999, the German edition was published by Hanser in Munich. Nathan Stoltzfus spoke with survivors and even could interview one of the perpetrators, the former undersecretary of state in Goebbels’ propaganda ministry. Those first-hand reports add haunting details and immediacy to the book.
At the beginning of March 1943, the last remaining Jews in Berlin, especially those from mixed marriages, were arrested by the Gestapo and brought to a collection center in Rosenstrasse close to the Alexanderplatz, in order to be deported from there. But within a few hours many family members and friends of those arrested gathered outside the building and started protesting. The majority of the 6,000 protesters were women. Again and again they shouted: “Give us back our men!” They defied ice-cold temperatures and were not even deterred by police efforts to intimidate them at gunpoint. Finally the Nazi-Regime gave in. The arrested men were released and even 35 of them, who had already been deported to Auschwitz, were sent back and survived.
The events in the Rosenstrasse show two things: 1) it was possible to collectively protest in the “Third Reich” – a realization which touches the German public to the quick. 2) it becomes clear how people, whose existence is threatened at the core by the political regime – in this case the arrest of the Aryan women’s Jewish husbands – developed a political consciousness and the sense of their political possibilities through their spontaneous acts of resistance. At the end of his foreword for the German paperback edition, Joschka Fischer wrote: “for us, the later-born, today’s message from those courageous women is never to give up and not to bow to the supposedly inevitable when faced with violence and oppression, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem.
Nathan Stoltzfus and Michael Lahr will introduce the program and discuss the relevance of these historic events for us today.
Gregorij von Leitis will read selected passages of Nathan Stoltzfus’s groundbreaking book.
Admission: free – registration is required and can be made here
presented by the German Consulate General New York
in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive

Logo German Consulate General New York

 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 7.30 pm
Parish Hall of St. Ursula
Kaiserplatz 13 a
80803 Munich / Germany
Resistance of the Heart
The Uprising of the Berlin Women in Rosenstrasse in 1943
commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Rosenstrasse Protests
under the patronage of Rabbi Prof. Dr. Ismar Schorsch, Chancellor emeritus of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and former President of the Leo Baeck Institute
The American historian Nathan Stoltzfus – who was trained in Harvard and teaches at Florida State University – wrote the ground-breaking book “Resistance of the Heart”. His research was first published in 1996. In 1999, the German edition was published by Hanser in Munich. Nathan Stoltzfus spoke with survivors and even could interview one of the perpetrators, the former undersecretary of state in Goebbels’ propaganda ministry. Those first-hand reports add haunting details and immediacy to the book.
At the beginning of March 1943, the last remaining Jews in Berlin, especially those from mixed marriages, were arrested by the Gestapo and brought to a collection center in Rosenstrasse close to the Alexanderplatz, in order to be deported from there. But within a few hours many family members and friends of those arrested gathered outside the building and started protesting. The majority of the 6,000 protesters were women. Again and again they shouted: “Give us back our men!” They defied ice-cold temperatures and were not even deterred by police efforts to intimidate them at gunpoint. Finally the Nazi-Regime gave in. The arrested men were released and even 35 of them, who had already been deported to Auschwitz, were sent back and survived.
The events in the Rosenstrasse show two things: 1) it was possible to collectively protest in the “Third Reich” – a realization which touches the German public to the quick. 2) it becomes clear how people, whose existence is threatened at the core by the political regime – in this case the arrest of the Aryan women’s Jewish husbands – developed a political consciousness and the sense of their political possibilities through their spontaneous acts of resistance. At the end of his foreword for the German paperback edition, Joschka Fischer wrote: “for us, the later-born, today’s message from those courageous women is never to give up and not to bow to the supposedly inevitable when faced with violence and oppression, no matter how hopeless a situation may seem.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Christa Pillmann will read selected passages of Nathan Stoltzfus’s groundbreaking book.
Admission: free – donations for the work of Elysium – between two continents are gratefully appreciated
presented by Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive in cooperation with St. Ursula Munich
Logo Pfarrverband Alt-Schwabing
 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 7.30 pm
Karl Jaspers House
Unter den Eichen 22
26122 Oldenburg / Germany
A Time like this Perverts our Hearts
A reading of selected texts by Stefan Zweig
Stefan Zweig once wrote to Richard Strauss: “All real works of art have the power to overcome resistance.” Zweig was enough of a realist to see what the world around him was really like.  But he does not stop at just picturing this world of reality. His books move us to develop energies for doing away with the deplorable state of affairs he describes.  Every line challenges us, his readers, to overcome our own sluggishness of heart.
Born in 1881 in Vienna, Stefan Zweig grew up in an upper middle-class family. The experiences of World War I turned him into a pacifist. After 1918, he worked for the peaceful reunion of Europe with his fatherly friend Romain Rolland.
Until age 52, Zweig lived a very successful life. He published a number of books and plays, travelled a lot, and in numerous lectures he promoted his dream of restructuring the world based on humanistic virtues. Molded by the spirit and the work of Erasmus of Rotterdam, deeply convinced of the inner personal freedom of man, and inspired by the idea of Europe, Zweig worked for a spiritually united Europe, in which there was no room for nationalism and revenge.
After the Nazis came into power, he emigrated to England. His books were burned by the Nazis. With the start of World War II, Zweig realized that the dream of a Europe united in the spirit of humanism, of which he had not only dreamed as a utopia, but whose realization he had worked for with all his spiritual and creative powers for almost two decades, was irrevocably destroyed. He went to live in Petropolis in Brazil. The continuing war, and the increasingly dark prospects in Europe finally depressed him so much that he committed suicide during the night of February 22, 1942.
Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Gregorij H. von Leitis reads Stefan Zweig’s texts
Admission: € 7,- / € 5,- (reduced)
presented by the Karl Jaspers Society
in cooperation with Elysium – between two continents and The Lahr von Leitis Academy & Archive
Logo Karl Jaspers Society
 
 
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