Research Center for German-Jewish Contemporary History

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The Research Center for German-Jewish Contemporary History (FDJZ) was founded in 1991 by Michael Wolffsohn at the Historical Institute of the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich . The work of the research center “serves the scientific research of German-Jewish contemporary history in all its aspects. Their focus is usually, but not exclusively, on the period after 1945. ”. Your main concern is to establish a comprehensive and scientifically sound concept of memory. In addition to questions that move within the traditional framework and national history, international and comparative approaches are another main field of scientific work. The Research Center for German-Jewish Contemporary History is institutionally funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts and through donations from foundations, institutions, associations and private individuals.

Task fulfillment

The research center fulfills its tasks by planning and executing independent research projects lasting several years. As part of these projects, she awards grants and concludes work contracts. In addition, it supports master's theses and dissertations whose subject matter falls within its area of ​​responsibility. The research results are usually published in the form of independent publications or journal articles - each of which contains a reference to the funding activities of the Research Center for German-Jewish Contemporary History.

Research priorities

Contemporary history

Research focuses on German-Jewish-Israeli relations since 1949 (including the GDR and its relationship with Israel, GDR in dealing with its Jewish population, instrumentalization of "Jewish policy" in relations between the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany), the West German coming to terms with the past in the field of foreign policy (including German-Japanese relationship since 1949), the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism since the end of the 18th century. Current projects deal with the social history of European Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries.


In addition to the scientific-rational processing of currently discussed topics of German-Jewish contemporary history, projects that develop new scientific methods are also supported. For example, the new approach of using first names as indicators of public opinion in the pre-demoscopic time.

Memorial book

In addition, the research center is involved in a large-scale research project "Victims of the Holocaust", which aims to document by name as many of the German and European Jews murdered during the Nazi tyranny as possible and the data obtained according to socio-historical criteria in the sense of a "social history of European Jews between emancipation and annihilation ”to analyze scientifically and to publish.

Wolffsohn archive

Another main task of the research center is the expansion and maintenance of the Wolffsohn archive as an important basis for research work. All documents are added to this archive, which Michael Wolffsohn has been keeping since 1977, which are collected in the course of the research activities of Wolffsohn, his staff and doctoral students and the staff of the research center while dealing with their respective research topics. Up to 2000, the latest evaluations of newspapers, magazines, information services and survey publications were added on an ongoing basis. Overall, this resulted in a compilation of the media and the academic perception of German-Jewish relations in all their facets. In 1992 the "Wolffsohn Archive" was given to the Bavarian Main State Archives as property free of charge.

In 2013 the archive was split up: all documents and newspaper reports were transferred to the archive of the University of Jewish Studies and are gradually being digitized there. All of Michael Wolffsohn's correspondence is now accessible in the archive of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich and is also being digitized step by step.


The research center is a registered association with a recognized charitable status .

Publications (selection)

  • Michael Wolffsohn, Thomas Brechenmacher : Monument collapse ? Brandt's kneeling . 178 pages, Olzog Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7892-8162-X .
  • Michael Wolffsohn (editor): Israel, of all places? Prominent Germans through an important partner. Ars uns-Verlag, Neuried 2003, ISBN 3-8939-1313-0 .
  • Jens Schnauber: The Aryanization of Scala and Plaza. Varieté and Dresdner Bank under National Socialism. Weidler Buchverlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89693-199-7
  • Stefan Meining : Communist Jewish policy. The GDR, the Jews and Israel. Münster, Hamburg, Lit, London 2002, ISBN 3-8258-5470-1 .
  • Michael Wolffsohn; Thomas Brechenmacher (editor): History as a trap. Germany and the Jewish world. Ars una-Verlag, Neuried 2001, ISBN 3-8939-1311-4 (general overview of the work of the research center).
  • Philipp-Christian Wachs : The case of Theodor Oberländer (1905-1998). A lesson in German history. Campus Fachverlag, 2000, ISBN 3-5933-6445-X .
  • Michael Wolffsohn, Thomas Brechenmacher: The Germans and their first names. 200 years of politics and public opinion. Diana Verlag, Munich / Zurich 1999, ISBN 3-8284-5018-0 .
  • Andrea Brill:
    • Alexandre Tansman. Polish composer with French elegance, in: Aufbau 8 (1995).
    • First names as a political indicator? An investigation of the first names of the Jewish community in Munich in the period from 1812-1875, in: Historicum (1998), pp. 16–22.
    • The Holocaust as a turning point in Jewish identity. The composer Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986), in: Das Jüdische Echo 48 (1999), pp. 273-280.
    • Processing of the Holocaust in the musical work of Darius Milhaud and Alexandre Tansman, in: Musica Judaica (2002), pp. 159–164.
  • Ingmar Niemann: Jerusalem in the field of tension of the Israelite-Arab conflict. Munich-Neuwied, 1996.
  • Douglas Bokovoy; Stefan Meining: Failed home. Jewish life in Munich's Isarvorstadt. Munich 1994.

Web links


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  3. Thomas Brechenmacher; Michael Wolffsohn: The Germans and their first names. 200 years of politics and public opinion. Diana Verlag, Munich / Zurich 1999