Key Documents of German-Jewish History

This online source edition realized by the IGdJ sheds thematic light on central aspects of Hamburg’s Jewish history from early modern times to the present using selected sources, so-called key documents, as examples. Hamburg serves as a magnifying Lens for larger developments and questions of German-Jewish history. The edition aims to contribute to digitally reuniting the city’s Jewish heritage, which was scattered all over the world due to persecution and migration, to make it accessible and to preserve it for future generations. The presentation of source material that has received less attention to date, as well as the novel arrangement and preparation of well-known archival materials, provide Impulses for thought and stimulate new questions. The materials are accessible via comprehensive search options and various access points – timeline, subject categories, and map.

All sources (text, image, audio, video, object, and 3D) are provided as transcripts and digital facsimiles, embedded in their historical contexts by interpretation texts, and enriched by information on the tradition and the history of reception. The bilingual (German/English) source edition is aimed at students, researchers and teachers as well as an interested public.

Since 2017, online exhibitions on various overarching themes of German-Jewish history have regularly been compiled under the umbrella of the Key Documents. The section entitled “Dossier” presents larger volumes of sources that are interrelated in terms of content. In addition, there is a section on teaching resources for teaching in schools and universities as well as an app offering tours along the Jewish history of Hamburg. In the future, Key Documents will form the central module in the “Jewish History Online” portal being planned jointly by the IGdJ and the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies (Potsdam).

The online edition was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from July 2015 to January 2021. An advisory board of renowned scholars of German-Jewish history and experts in the field of digitalization supports the project.

You can access the online source edition here.

About the members of the advisory board

Dr. Anna Menny
Phone: +49 (0)40 42838-4060
E-mail: anna.menny[at]
Office hours: by appointment

Dr. Sonja Dickow-Rotter
Phone: +49 (0)40 42838-2100
E-mail: sonja.dickow[at]
Office hours: by appointment

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