academic council

The following notable academics have agreed to join the Foundation as members of the Academic Council.

These esteemed members will advise on the direction and nature of grants and projects that the Foundation supports, and ensure independent, robust scrutiny of the Foundation’s activities from an academic perspective.

Asset 23.png


Professor Norbert Frei is a German historian. He is the Chair of Modern and Contemporary History at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and leads the Jena Center History 20th Century. His numerous books focus on the history of Nazi and post-war Germany, reparations in Germany and Israel, Human Rights, the memory of the Holocaust, and neo-nationalism.

In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Frei is a member of several academic commissions and advisory boards, including the Fritz Bauer Institute in Frankfurt am Main. He is also Chairman of the Academic Council of the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, and from 2000 to 2016 Professor Frei belonged to the Advisory Board of the Institute for German History at the University of Tel Aviv.

From 2005 to 2017, he chaired the Advisory Board of the Koebner Minerva Center for German History at Hebrew University Jerusalem, and from 1999 to 2002 he was a member of the Independent Historical Commission for the Study of the History of the House Bertelsmann in the "Third Reich.” In 2011 Professor Frei was elected as a full member of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig.

Norbert Frei is Chair of the Academic Council and an ex-officio permanent observer on the Governing Council.

Asset 10.png


Cilly Kugelmann was the Program Director and Vice Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin from September 2002 until March 2017.

Previously, Kugelmann worked at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt am Main, where she directed the education program, ran public relations, and curated historical exhibitions (1986-2000).

Kugelmann has also been involved in the publication of several books on the post-war history of Jews in Germany and on anti-Semitism. She is currently working as chief curator on the new permanent exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Asset 18.png


Professor Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum is a German historian. Since 2011, she has headed the Berlin-based Center for Research on anti-Semitism.

Her work focuses on German history and German Jewish history in the 19th and 20th centuries. She has also undertaken work on gender history and on 20th century Spanish history, with a particular focus on the Spanish Civil War.

She has taught at the Technical University of Berlin, has served as director of the Institute for the History of German Jews in Hamburg, and served as chair of the Leo Baeck Institute’s Academic Working Group in Germany.

Asset 20.png


Professor Dr. Sybille Steinbacher is a German historian. Since May 2017, she has been Professor of Holocaust Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt and Director of the Fritz Bauer Institute.

Professor Steinbacher is the author of several works on the Holocaust, including Auschwitz: A History. She has been a residential fellow of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and has served as Professor of Dictatorship, Violence and Genocide Comparative Studies at the University of Vienna.

Her appointment by Goethe University Frankfurt in December 2016 made her Germany's first Professor of Holocaust Studies.