International History
21 November 2019

Yekkes and Arabs Encounters in British Mandate Palestine

International History doctoral student Tatjana Eichert successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on 15 November 2019. Entitled Yekkes and Arabs – Encounters Between German-speaking Jews and Arab Palestinians in British Mandate Palestine, 1920-1948, the dissertation is a study of the interaction and the nature of the relationship between Palestinians and a segment amongst German Jews in Palestine during the mid-to-late part of the first half of the twentieth century.


The dissertation offers a nuanced and sophisticated argument about this minority of Jewish emigrants, the German Jews known as ‘Yekkes’ in a specific time-period and the historical, political and social contexts of their encounter(s) with local populations and with British colonial administrators. The text argues that the cohort of German-speaking Jews that migrated from Germany (as well as Austria and Czechoslovakia in smaller numbers) to Palestine in the 1930s to escape Nazi repression underwent a distinct cultural and socioeconomic experience, and enjoyed a particular relationship with the local Arab (Christian and Muslim) Palestinian population.

Ms. Eichert’s work opens up a research field since the dissertation could not be based on an extensive historiography as the latter does not yet exist. The case and argument Ms. Eichert makes are sensitive and sensible.

The members of the Defence Committee were Professor Davide Rodogno (Supervisor), Dr. Jessica Reinisch, Reader, Department of History, University of London; and Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou (Second Reader, President of the Committee).

The International History Department congratulates Tatjana Eichert on the successful completion of her doctoral work.



Keywords: International History; PhD Programme in International History;