The Mosse-Lectures are an interdisciplinary and international project. Founded in 1997 by George L. Mosse and Klaus R. Scherpe more than 190 events have been organized. With their motto of »culture and science as a public commitment«, the Mosse-Lectures commemorate the history and legacy of the German-Jewish Mosse Family, successful entrepreneurs, progressive political thinkers and philanthropists. The publishing empire of Rudolf Mosse, the founding patriarch, with its flagship newspaper, the Berliner Tageblatt, helped to shape the public perception of democracy in the Weimar Republic. Descendants of the Mosse Family have continued to advocate these principals in their academic, professional and philanthropic achievements and associations. George L. Mosse, the historian of fascism, opened the Berlin Mosse on May 14, 1997 with his speech on »The Liberal Heritage and the National-Socialist Public«.
Choosing a new topic each semester (see “Archive” including videos, photos and press releases), the Mosse-Lectures are dedicated to imparting knowledge and learning in the areas of history, art history, political sciences, economy and literature. Prominent researchers, writers, artists and politicians are invited (see “Previous Guests”). Special attention is devoted to the past and present of Jewish life and thought in Germany and Israel.
The Mosse-Lectures introduce speakers and their work to students of all faculties and to the broader public. Events with discussions, in English and German, are typically held in the Senatssaal or in the Auditorium Maximum of the Humboldt University, Unter den Linden on a Thursday evening. Student internships and colloquia then follow, and the lectures are frequently broadcast on radio (RBB, Deutschlandradio) and published in print (see “Publications”).
The Mosse-Lectures are organized and supported by the Institute of German Literature and the President of the Humboldt University. A board of researchers and organizers is responsible for the programme, including Prof. Klaus Scherpe, Prof. Joseph Vogl, Prof. Ethel Matala de Mazza, Prof. Michael Kämper-van den Boogaart, Prof. Ulrike Vedder, Prof. Stefan Willer, Dr. Hendrik Blumentrath and Dr. Elisabeth Wagner. The Mosse-Lectures have long enjoyed the support of businesses and foundations: the Mosse Foundation, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, and currently the Friedrich Stiftung and again the Mosse Foundation.