Alexander Schneidmesser studied Eastern European Cultural Studies at the University of Potsdam and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He worked in Israel from 2016 to 2022 as a research assistant at the International Institute for Holocaust Studies in Yad Vashem. The main part of his work was documentation and research of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union; within the framework of the project "The Untold Stories - Murder Sites of Jews in Occupied Territories of the USSR" at the Moshe Mirilashvili Center. He was interested in research about mass executions and related memorial sites in the post-Soviet space.
He was also involved in the field of history education there. He guided and taught Jewish and non-Jewish visitor groups from English, German and Russian-speaking countries about the history of the Holocaust and the commemoration associated with it. Between 2017 and 2020, Alexander organized study trips to Israel for students at the University of Potsdam.
The focus was to get to know the remembrance culture in Israel and to have a comparative look at the different forms and phases of coming to terms with the past in Germany and Austria.
In 2020, he worked as a historical advisor for the movie "Anna and the Egyptian Doctor" by Taliya Finkel. The film tells the story of Dr. Mohamed Helmy, who hid and saved the Jewish girl Anna Boros in Nazi Berlin between 1942 and 1945. So far, Mohamed Helmy is the only Arab to be honored as Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem. The film received its first premiere at the Jerusalem Film Festival in December 2022.
As project coordinator at Centropa in Vienna since April 2022, he was responsible for educational projects in Georgia and Azerbaijan. These projects aim to keep the Jewish history of the Caucasus in memory and teach it to Georgian, Azerbaijani, and German teachers. Additionally, he contributed to the production of podcasts about Jewish life in Ukraine, Moldova, Vienna, and Romania.
In 2022, Alexander began as a PhD student at the Research Center for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna since 2022, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jannis Panagiotidis.
It is the aim of this PhD to investigate the mutual perception between Russian Germans and post-Soviet Jews in the Federal Republic of Germany. Antisemitic attitudes are examined, as well as classist prejudices and how they are expressed. Are prejudices brought from the Soviet Union passed on to the second and third immigrant generations? Beyond mutual perceptions, it is important to examine the extent to which anti-Slavic prejudices are expressed by the German majority society and by the immediate neighborhood of the two immigrant groups.
"Schwieriges Erinnern an Holocaust-Opfer", Erinnerungskulturen in Europa. Herausgegeben vom Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., Kassel, 2019