German-Israeli Literature Days
Berlin // April 11 - 15, 2018

Fair Enough? Deutsch-Israelische Literaturtage 2018 © Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Fair enough? What is fair?

with: Yiftach Ashkenazy, Liran Atzmor, Fatma Aydemir, Nicol Ljubić, Mira Magén, Clemens Meyer, Amichai Shalev, Sarit Yishai-Levi und Takis Würger.

70% of Germans believe that the gap between rich and poor is continuing to grow. At the same time, just 14% feel that they live in a fair society. And in Israel? The question of fairness in Israel almost automatically elicits responses involving memories from 2011. At the time, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and protested for weeks against excessive rents, expensive child care, high taxes and insufficient public funding. “The people want social justice” - this rallying cry was intended to reduce the issue to a lowest common denominator and mobilize the country. Hopes for change were high - and so was the disillusionment that followed. In the end, not a lot was accomplished and there is nothing left of the movement.

Inequality in our societies is nothing new. But it also isn't self-evident. What is stopping us from organizing society to be fairer, or do we not dare ask ourselves basic questions of distribution? These questions and others will be explored by nine authors at the 2018 German-Israeli Literature Days in Berlin. The readings will take place in German and Hebrew with simultaneous interpretation.

 The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Goethe-Institut have organized the German-Israeli Literature Days every year since 2005, alternating between Berlin and Tel Aviv. The event, which has been well-received by attendees and the media, is evidence that Germans' interest in Israel has further increased in recent years. At the same time, many young Israelis are coming to Berlin to find out what's going on in Germany - in politics, in society and in the cultural realm. The German-Israeli Literature Days aim to organise dialogue and debate between Germany and Israel and give authors a platform to talk about pressing issues of the day - through their work and with their opinions. This year, we ask the question “Fair enough?” and bring together nine authors from both countries to give readings and debate social justice.

Goethe-Institut e.V. Zentrale  Dachauer Straße 122, 80637 München
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung  Schumannstraße 8, 10117 Berlin


Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 7:30 pm
Deutsches Theater, Kammerspiele, Schumannstraße 13a, 10117 Berlin

Welcome Address: 
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut
Dr. Ellen Ueberschär, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
Reading and discussion

Beautiful living
Many people can't afford the rents in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Life in German cities is also becoming more expensive. Who determines who can live where?

With: Mira Magén - Clemens Meyer
Moderator: Shelly Kupferberg

Friday, 13 April 2018, 8:00 pm
Roter Salon / Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, 10178 Berlin

Screening and discussion

Defense Files TV series
German Premiere
The documentary series’, “Defense Files”, critique of the Israeli criminal justice system could hardly be more savage. It follows every step of public defenders and their charges, who stand trial guilty or not guilty. Whether we are looking at a racist football fan, a suspected murderess or a corrupt customs inspector – every single criminal case reveals more and more injustices in the society. The 6-episode series from Israel was awarded the Documentary Filmmakers’ Forum Prize for Best Series in 2014.

Interview and Q&A with producer Liran Atzmor
Moderator: Christian Römer

Sunday, 15 April 2018, 12:00 pm (doors open at 11:00 am)
SOPHIENSÆLE, Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin

Reading and discussion

Too much of a good thing?
Equal opportunity, gender and intergenerational equality ... it's all well and good. But how much equality are we really ready for?

With: Sarit Yishai-Levi - Fatma Aydemir
Moderator: Shelly Kupferberg

Sunday, 15 April 2018, 2:00 pm
SOPHIENSÆLE, Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin

Reading and discussion

Between the frontiers
What can we achieve if we stand up for a cause and fight for it? And how does this fight affect us?

With: Amichai Shalev - Nicol Ljubic
Moderator: Shelly Kupferberg

Sunday, 15 April 2018, 4:00 pm
SOPHIENSÆLE, Sophienstraße 18, 10178 Berlin

Reading - discussion

Our feeling of self-worth depends to a large extent on how we are perceived by others. What are we prepared to do to feel like we belong to certain groups or to set ourselves apart from others?

With: Yiftach Ashkenazi - Takis Würger



All readings will take place in German and Hebrew with simultaneous interpretation. The film on 13 April shall be screened in Hebrew with English subtitles.

Project team: Frank Domhan (Curator), Heike Friesel (Project lead, Goethe-Institut), Christian Römer (Project lead, Heinrich Böll Foundation), Karin Lenksi (Project coordinator, Heinrich Böll Foundation), Dr. Anne-Bitt Gerecke (Assistant to the project lead, Goethe-Institut), Carola Söllner (Project coordinator).

The German-Israeli Literature Days are organized by the Goethe-Institut and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. In partnership with Deutsches Theater, Volksbühne and SOPHIENSÆLE. Media partners: Berliner Zeitung, Jüdische Allgemeine, Kulturradio rbb, AVIVA-Berlin and Spitz Magazin.