- Current Projects
- Socialist Utopia and Jewish Belonging: Another History of the GDR
- Weimar's Republicans: German Jews in Democratic and Pacifist Organizations of the Interwar Period (1918 -1933)
- Max Brod's Late Years (1939-1968): Departure into Exile
- Settling with RASSCO: Transfer Paths of the German Aliyah to Palestine-Eretz Israel (1933-1948)
- United in Diversity – An Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary European Jewry and its Reflection
- The Radical Right in Germany, 1945-2000
- Struggling with Justice: Antisemitism as a Judicial Challenge
- Pilot Project "Jewish Life in Potsdam"
- Jewish History online
- Hakhshara as a Place of Remembrance
- National Socialist Book Burnings 1933
- ArchivedMemory online
- Emil Julius Gumbel Research Department
- Previous Projects
Socialist Utopia and Jewish Belonging: Another History of the GDREuropean-Jewish History
Researchers: Lutz Fiedler, Miriam Rürup
For a variety of reasons, the history of Jews in the GDR has attracted a great deal of interest in recent years. The fact that the socialist polity is at least politically a closed chapter in German history may be favorable to such an inquiry. More important, however, are the historical experiences of Jews themselves, which provide a new and, in many respects, complex view of the German state. Based on the MMZ's collection of numerous interviews with Jews from the GDR, a research project will reconstruct their experiences, perspectives and self-perceptions and thus gain a new perspective on the GDR.
Especially after the catastrophe of the Holocaust, research into the various lives of East German Jews ultimately raises numerous questions: What motivated them to return to the GDR after the catastrophe of the Holocaust? What hopes and expectations were associated with the new polity? And to what extent did the return correspond at the same time to immigration into a socialist utopia that promised a future and a foothold as a reaction to the horrors of the past? The question of hopes and expectations is at the same time linked to the question of disappointments: How was the subcutaneous and occasionally open antisemitism within the GDR experienced and interpreted; how was the GDR's evasion of an explicit thematization of and acceptance of responsibility for the Holocaust perceived? Linked to this are questions about how the Jewish population's own understanding of itself and of belonging changed over time. Are historical changes perceptible here, in which the precarious relationship between majority and minority and the question of the recognition of one's own historical experiences are reflected at the same time?