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 to 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 about the historical experiences of German and Jewish life in the midst of populations who in the 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 German-Jewish entanglements and parallelisms will be in the focus. On the other hand, documents of the history of both minorities will be shared with a wider public. The Bavarian State Library, Munich supports the thematic portal with the necessary technical infrastructure and digital copies of important documents. The thematic portal aims to reach the public spheres who were concerned with the German and the Jewish heritage from Eastern Europe, particularly in Israel, North American and Europe. The meaning of the historical experience of Germans and Jews from Eastern Europe in an age of global migration and communication, therefore, will be highlighted by the thematic portal.

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

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 Bavarian State Library (BSB) is not only hosting the thematic dossier. It also provides digital materials as well as critical support concerning the infrastructure.

Overview of content

Editorial office

Dr. Alexis Hofmeister
(Department of History, University of Basel)

Find out more:

International workshop

“Function and Meaning of Virtual Thematic Portals for Historiography and Public History”, May 23rd–24th 2019

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).