Franz rosenzweig’s mitteleuropa as a new Levante

Jörg Kreienbrock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 1916, the German-Jewish philosopher and theologian Franz Rosenzweig arrives on the so-called Balkanfront. While stationed there, he drafts—in addition to his opus magnum The Star of Redemption—a series of articles (among them one entitled “Die neue Levante”) dealing with strategic and (geo)-political problems directly arising from the concrete situation of the trench warfare in southeastern Europe. Rosenzweig envisions a political model of a United States of Europe that would provide the blueprint for a peaceful world order after the end of WWI. This “neue Denken” [new thinking] of a united Europe manifests itself not on the Western front but in the border regions of the Balkans. The periphery of the old Habsburg Empire becomes that place in which a new vision of “Mitteleuropa” emerges out of the specific formations of the war in the trenches. Against Friedrich Naumann’s influential 1915 book Mitteleuropa, Rosenzweig calls for a re-orientation of Germany’s political and military aspirations towards the Near- and Middle East, creating a “New Levante”. Only a political federation uniting Germany, Austria, the Balkans, Turkey, and Egypt, according to Rosenzweig, is able to end the war, overcome the negative influences of nationalism, and guarantee a permanent peace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSecond Language Learning and Teaching
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameSecond Language Learning and Teaching
ISSN (Electronic)2193-7648

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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