Shared histories: Germans and Jews in Eastern Europe – aspects of a historical entanglement?

Germans as well as Jews have lived in Eastern Europe as minorities for centuries. They both look back on a long history of conflict and cooperation with other peoples, political rulers and among themselves. It is the aim of the contributions to the thematic dossier “Germans and Jews in Eastern Europe – aspects of a historical entanglement?” to reflect on the historical experiences of German and Jewish life in the midst of populations who, in most cases, spoke other languages and shared other beliefs.

On one hand, the thematic portal will provide critical appraisals of German as well as Jewish history in Eastern Europe, particularly with a focus on German-Jewish entanglements and parallelisms. On the other hand, documents of the history of both minorities will be shared with the wider public. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek supports the thematic portal by providing the necessary technical infrastructure and digital copies of important documents. The main target audience of the portal are those groups, particularly in Israel, North American and Europe, who have connections to the German and Jewish heritage of Eastern Europe. An important focus will therefore be placed on the meaning of the historical experience of Germans and Jews from Eastern Europe in an age of global migration and communication.

The first steps towards a thematic dossier were taken by Dr. Tobias Grill, who developed and explored the idea of a shared or entangled history of Germans and Jews in Eastern Europe at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU).

Coordination and redactional support are now in the hands of Dr. Alexis Hofmeister. The project is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) until the end of 2020 and is peer reviewed.

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek supports the project by digitising source material and providing the necessary infrastructure. The osmikon team helps to clarify legal questions, edits the texts and puts them online together with pictures and maps.


Picture credits

Europa, Sprachen - & Völkerkarte, in: Neuer Handatlas über alle Teile der Erde in 61 Haupt- und 124 Nebenkarten mit alphabetischem Namenverzeichnis, hg. von E. Debes, Leipzig 1899, S. 22 (Ausschnitt), gemeinfrei | Hauptstraße Czernowitz, Postkarte vor 1918.12 (Ausschnitt) © Herder-Institut | De bevrijding van Polen. - Karikatur - Amsterdam - In niederländischer Sprache (Ausschnitt), 1915, von Johan Braakensi © ÖNB | Die Welt, 1903 (Ausschnitt), via Wikimedia Commons, public domain | Cover des Romans „Goodbye, Moskau. Betrachtungen über Russland“ von Wladimir Kaminer (Ausschnitt) © Random House | Titelblatt der Zeitschrift "Nation und Staat: deutsche Zeitschrift für das europäische Nationalitätenproblem", 1928/29, 2 (Ausschnitt), Foto: K. Adamczak | Lemberg im Jahr 1841, in: Herder-Institut (Hrsg.): Dokumente und Materialien zur ostmitteleuropäischen Geschichte. Themenmodul "Kronland Galizien und Lodomerien", bearb. von: Börries Kuzmany, Wien (Ausschnitt) | Siedlungsgebiete der Deutschen in der Sowjetunion (1970/1979) (Ausschnitt) von © Peter Palm, Berlin | Die Digitale Bibliothek des DiFMOE. Filtereinstellung: Periodika (Screenshot)


Editorial office

Dr Alexis Hofmeister

Find out more:

Young scholars workshop

"Germans and Jews in Eastern Europe", June 9-10, 2021
Conference report

Prof. Jannis Panagiotidis: Significant Others? Entangled Histories of Germans and Jews in Central and Eastern Europe

International workshop

"Function and Meaning of Virtual Thematic Portals for Historiography and Public History", May 23-24, 2019
Conference report:
on the OstBib-Blog
on H-Soz-Kult

Prof. Gerhard Lauer: Old Wine in Digital Bottles? Achievements and Challenges for Textual Oriented Humanities

International conference

"Jews and Germans in Eastern Europe – Shared and Comparative Histories", 22.-24. Juni 2015

Basic literature:

Tobias Grill (Hrsg.): Jews and Germans in Eastern Europe. Shared and Comparative Histories, Berlin u.a.: DeGruyter 2018 (New Perspectives on Modern Jewish History; 8).