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The Judeo-Spaniards “of the East” – those of the former Ottoman Empire (as opposed to the Judeo-Spaniards “of the West” who were mostly in Morocco) – “know each other and recognise each other, but nobody knows them”, as Marie-Christine Bornes Varol explains to us, reminding us that in Turkey today, the motto of the Jews is “to live happily, let’s live in hiding”. A look back at a complex history, which took place in an equally complex geographical area and through a network of different languages. A story of the survival of a scattered micro-society, of which Turkey remains a center.

The Humboldt Forum’s vocation is to host exhibitions on non-European cultures. But this ethnographic museum is now at the center of a controversy over the ownership of artworks and objects obtained during the German colonial empire in Africa and Asia. In this interview with the art historian Horst Bredekamp, we wanted to learn more about a forgotten German ethnographic tradition – and in particular about the contribution of Jewish scholars and collectors within this tradition.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.