The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany 1933–1945

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The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany 1933–1945 (short form VEJ ) is the title of a comprehensive, 16-volume edition of sources . The series is published on behalf of the German Federal Archives , the Institute for Contemporary History , the Chair for Modern and Contemporary History at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and the Chair for the History of East Central Europe at the Free University of Berlin and is published by R. Oldenbourg Verlag in Munich or from 2015 in the De Gruyter - Oldenbourg (Berlin / Munich / Boston) publishing house .

As people represented or represented in the past Götz Aly , Wolf Gruner , Susanne Heim , Ulrich Herbert , Michael Hollmann, Hans-Dieter Kreikamp, Horst Möller , Dieter Pohl , Sybille Steinbacher , Simone Walther von Jena, Andreas Wirsching and Hartmut Weber , the Joint editorial team formed from a number of German historical institutions. The project has been financed by the German Research Foundation since 2005 ; the equivalent of around 250,000 euros per volume is available.

Content and structure

Work on the edition began in 2004. The edition includes documents from Germany as well as sources, mostly published for the first time, from the European regions where most of the Jews lived before the war began . A total of about 5,000 documents are to be published, which reflect the perspective of the perpetrator and the persecuted. A small part concerns the point of view of those not directly involved who reflect the attitude of the non-Jewish majority of the population. Comments should be cautious and, above all, explain personal names, unusual events, obvious misrepresentations, contradictions to other documents and localize reference documents. Each document is placed in the historical framework by annotations. Reference is made to parallel documents and to relevant research literature. The senders, addressees, persons, abbreviations or cover words mentioned in the documents are deciphered.

The individual volumes, which are essentially organized by country, contain decrees, official letters, private letters and diary entries, newspaper articles and reports by foreign observers. The documents are arranged chronologically, which traces the escalation of the persecution over several years. There are short biographies with additional information for all persons who appear as actors in the documents, each with a maximum of five lines. Photographs were not shown because the circumstances in which they were made cannot usually be adequately traced.

When selecting documents, similar criteria are used in all volumes. The basic topics include the registration of Jews, the robbery of their property, relief efforts to save them, the collaboration of non-Jews in their persecution.

The first five volumes contain documents on hostility towards Jews and the persecution of Jews in the German Reich from 1933 and in the part of Europe occupied until 1940. Another five volumes document the mass murders in the Polish, Baltic and Soviet territories occupied during the war. The last volume deals with the mass murders at Auschwitz and the death marches of concentration camp prisoners .

Suggested citation style

The editors recommend citing the source edition in the academic literature as VEJ and citing the newly numbered documents in each volume including the volume with a slash. The abbreviation VEJ 3/210 should be resolved as " Volume 3, Document No. 210 " of the edition.

Work title

  • Federal Archives , Institute for Contemporary History , Chair for Modern and Contemporary History at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg and Chair for the History of East Central Europe at the Free University of Berlin (editor; Götz Aly, Wolf Gruner and others for this H.):
The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany 1933–1945:
Published volumes
1. German Reich 1933 - 1937. Arranged by Wolf Gruner. 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-58480-6 .
2. German Reich 1938 - August 1939. Arranged by Susanne Heim. 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-58523-0 .
3. German Empire and Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia September 1939 - September 1941. Arranged by Andrea Löw. 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-58524-7 .
4. Poland September 1939 - July 1941. Arranged by Klaus-Peter Friedrich. 2011, ISBN 978-3-486-58525-4 .
5. Western and Northern Europe 1940 - June 1942. Arranged by Michael Mayer, Katja Happe, Maja Peers. 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-58682-4 .
6. German Reich and Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia October 1941 – March 1943. Edited by Susanne Heim, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-11-036496-5 .
7. Soviet Union with annexed areas I: Occupied Soviet areas under German military administration, the Baltic States and Transnistria. Arranged by Bert Hoppe , Hildrun Glass. 2012, ISBN 978-3-486-58911-5 .
8. Soviet Union with annexed territories II: General Commissariat Belarus and Reichskommissariat Ukraine . Arranged by Bert Hoppe, Imke Hansen, Martin Holler. 2016, ISBN 978-3-486-78119-9 .
9. Poland: Generalgouvernement August 1941 - 1945. Edited by Klaus-Peter Friedrich. 2013, ISBN 978-3-486-71530-9 .
10. Poland: The incorporated areas, August 1941–1945, edited by Ingo Loose, 2020, ISBN 978-3-11-036497-2 .
11. German Reich and Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia April 1943 - 1945 . Edited by Lisa Hauff, collaboration: Andrea Löw, 2020, ISBN 978-3-11-036499-6
12. Western and Northern Europe June 1942 - 1945. Arranged by Katja Happe, Barbara Lambauer and Clemens Maier-Wolthausen. 2015, ISBN 978-3-486-71843-0 .
13. Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria 1939-1945 . Arranged by Mariana Hausleitner, Souzana Hazan and Barbara Hutzelmann. 2018, ISBN 978-3-11-036500-9 .
14. Occupied Southeast Europe and Italy . Arranged by Sara Berger, Sanela Schmid, Erwin Lewin and Maria Vassilikou. 2017, ISBN 978-3-11-055559-2 .
16. The Auschwitz concentration camp 1942-1945 and the time of the death marches 1944/45 . Arranged by Andrea Rudorff. 2018, ISBN 978-3-11-036503-0 .
Volumes in progress
15. Hungary 1944-1945 . Arranged by Regina Fritz

English edition

In parallel to the publication of the edition in German, all 16 volumes will now appear in English in order to enable the greatest possible dissemination of these documents. A working group was set up in Berlin in July 2014 for this purpose. The English edition is being produced in collaboration with the Yad Vashem Memorial . The British historian Alex Kay was the first project coordinator for the English-language edition of the VEJ, which is currently in preparation . The British historian Caroline Pearce has been his successor since April 2017 .

Listening edition

Bayerischer Rundfunk designed a multi-part audio edition that is based on the source edition and follows its structure. Corresponding programs have been broadcast by Bayern 2 since 2013 under the title “ The sources speak ” and are available on the Internet. Under the title “Discourse”, this website also contains contributions from editors and collaborators of the source edition who comment on research questions and the historical context.

This audio book edition is distributed by the Munich Hörverlag under the title “The sources speak” ( ISBN 978-3-8445-1830-6 ).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. see entry of the project in the DFG's Gepris system , accessed on January 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Bernhard Schulz: Everyday life of disenfranchisement. A comprehensive source edition documents the extermination of European Jews. First volume: Germany 1933–1937. In: . January 25, 2008, accessed January 4, 2019 .
  3. Excerpts in Google Books , pp. 85ff, 401ff., 575ff. and 823ff., but with incorrect publisher information ( de Gruyter ) and incorrect ISBN 9783486718614 .
  4. ^ Edition project of the persecution of the Jews 1933–1945 .
  5. page by Dr. Alex Kay at the University of Potsdam .
  6. the-sources-speak .