„My Wounded Heart": The Life of Lilli Jahn, 1900 - 1944 – WZB Alumni Reunion 2022

In June 2022, the alumnae and alumni of the WZB finally met again at the WZB – due to the pandemic we all had to wait almost three years. At the heart of the program was a reading initiated by alumni speaker Christoph Albrecht: Former SPIEGEL deputy editor-in-chief Martin Doerry read from the letters of German-Jewish doctor Lilli Jahn with her children. Her oldest child was Gerhard Jahn, later co-founder of the WZB; together with his siblings, he had written over 500 letters to his mother in the Breitenau labor camp before she was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944. In the discussion that followed, it became clear how much the self-image of the first post-war generation of German scientists had still been shaped by the events of the war and the post-war years. The moderator, Christiane Neumann, is herself a WZB alumna and is still very familiar with the institute – she was administrative director of the WZB from 1992 to 2005 and later secretary general of the Leibniz Association.

After the moving reading, the alumni had the opportunity to look around the newly completed winter garden of the WZB and enjoyed the reunion and the balmy summer evening in the courtyard.

In the slider above you will find impressions of the evening. In addition, here you will find the reminiscences of former WZB President Friedhelm Neidhardt, which he had written in the run-up to the event.

The recording of the reading can be found on our Youtube channel WZBlive.