Leibniz Center for Contemporary History

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Leibniz Center for Contemporary History
Leibniz Center for Contemporary History
Leibniz Center for Contemporary History
Category: research Institute
Carrier: none (legally independent)
Membership: Leibniz Association
Facility location: Potsdam
Subjects: Historical sciences
Basic funding: Federal government (50%), states (50%)
Management: Frank Boesch
Martin Sabrow
Homepage: zzf-potsdam.de

The Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF) eV is an interdisciplinary institute for research into German and European contemporary history, based in Potsdam . It is a member of the Leibniz Association and - with the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich - is one of the largest and most important research institutes in the field of contemporary history in Germany .


The ZZF emerged in early 1996 on the basis of the recommendations of the Science Council from the research focus on contemporary historical studies, which was founded in 1992 after the unification of Germany by the Förderungsgesellschaft Wissenschaftliche Neuvorhaben, a subsidiary of the Max Planck Society . In 2006, the Science Council recommended that the center be accepted into the Leibniz Association , which took effect on January 1, 2009. Until the ZZF was accepted into the Leibniz Association in 2009, the basic equipment of the ZZF was provided by the State of Brandenburg, while the German Research Foundation (DFG) and numerous other foundations financed the implementation of the projects.

Until 1996, the ZZF and the research focus on contemporary historical studies was headed by Jürgen Kocka , after which Christoph Kleßmann took over the management of the house, from 1998 together with Konrad H. Jarausch . In December 2004, Martin Sabrow succeeded Kleßmann. After the departure of the co-director Konrad H. Jarausch in 2006, the ZZF was managed solely by Martin Sabrow until 2011. Since Frank Bösch took up his work as director in October 2011, the institute has again been led by a dual leadership.

Research profile

The scientific work is currently divided into four departments, which deal with the following subject areas:

  • Communism and society
  • History of the economy
  • Contemporary history of the media and information society
  • Regime of the social.

The ZZF has an internationally oriented guest scientist program and works with numerous university and non-university research institutions in Germany and abroad. It is linked to the University of Potsdam and the Humboldt University of Berlin through joint appointments . In addition, it cooperates with universities in Berlin and Brandenburg in academic teaching and doctoral training. In addition, the center performs advisory tasks in the area of memorial and museum work .

The ZZF attaches great importance to communicating its tasks and work results to the specialist public. It publishes its research results in numerous scientific publishers. In 2010, scientists at the institute published a total of 21 specialist books on contemporary history topics. With public lecture series, conferences, workshops and multimedia websites, it contributes to historical-political clarification and to public discussion on contemporary historical topics.


Since 1993, the ZZF has published the series “Zeithistorische Studien”, which is published by Böhlau Verlag . By the end of 2010 it had published a total of 47 volumes in the series.

The History of the Present series has been published by Wallstein Verlag since 2010 . The series Media and Society Change in the 20th Century has also been published by Wallstein Verlag since 2014. 2016, the series began Communism and society in publishing Ch. Links .

In order to offer an insight into the diverse research projects, the institute has also published the almanac “ZeitRäume” every year since 2006 . The annual report provides information on the scientific work and the structural and personal development of the institute .

From 1994 to 2009 the ZZF published the “Potsdam Bulletin for Contemporary History Studies”. In addition to scientific contributions, it provided direct information about the work of the center.

Multimedia offers

One of the most important ZZF projects on the Internet is the Zeitgeschichte-online portal . With the portal, the ZZF has become the most important provider of specialist contemporary information on the Internet in Germany.

In addition, the electronic journalZeithistorische Forschungen / Studies in Contemporary History ” appears three times a year . It is also available in print from the Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht publishing house and sees itself as a forum for German, European and global history of the 20th century.

At Clio-online , the specialist portal for the history sciences, the ZZF is a member of the sponsoring association. It also participates in the web platform H-Soz-u-Kult , a sub-project of Clio-online, which is both a specialist forum and moderated information and communication platform for historians.

With Docupedia Contemporary History , the ZZF created a specialist reference work for basic texts on contemporary history. The ZZF developed and operates it together with the Institute for Historical Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin and Clio-online.

Together with the Federal Agency for Civic Education and Deutschlandradio , the ZZF also designed websites on the uprising of June 17, 1953 in the GDR (“17Juni53.de”) and the history of the Berlin Wall (“Chronik-der-Mauer.de”).

The website “Ungarn1956.de”, which sheds light on the background and effects of the Hungarian revolution of 1956, was created with the foundation for coming to terms with the SED dictatorship and the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin .

With this, the ZZF has not only succeeded in taking on a “pioneering role in the field of electronic specialist information” and a “leading position in communicating the results of basic research on contemporary history in social discourse”, but also in the capital region as “the decisive focal point of the contemporary historical debate “To be noticed.


Since the 2008/09 winter semester, the ZZF has been offering the master's degree in " Public History " in cooperation with the Friedrich Meinecke Institute at the Free University of Berlin .

Selection of current and former employees

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research Potsdam (ZZF) e. V.



Members of the association

Members of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Research Potsdam (ZZF) e. V.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See press release of the Federal and State Commission for Educational Planning and Research Funding from November 19, 2007, http://www.blk-bonn.de/pressemitteilungen/pm2007-14.pdf (accessed on February 21, 2008).
  2. Wissenschaftsrat: Recommendation of the Science Council for the Promotion of Humanities Centers, in: Recommendations and Statements 1994, Vol. II, Cologne 1995, pp. 35–72.
  3. Press release of the Science Council of July 10, 2006 (PDF; 22 kB).
  4. ZZF - News from December 2008 ( Memento from December 20, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Information on the visiting scholar program on the ZZF website ( Memento from July 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Publications 2015 ( Memento from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ^ Potsdam Almanac of the Center for Contemporary History ( Memento from December 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Annual reports for download on the ZZF website ( Memento from May 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Most of the 46 editions can be viewed in full text on the ZZF website ( memento of March 5, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. www.17Juni53.de
  11. www.Chronik-der-Mauer.de
  12. Focus: The mass demonstration of October 23, 1956 in Budapest - the start of the uprising ( Memento of October 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  13. Statement of the Science Council on the application for inclusion of the ZZF in joint funding by the federal and state governments of July 7, 2006, http://www.wissenschaftsrat.de/download/archiv/7355-06.pdf , p. 10.
  14. Public History Master
  15. https://www.enricoheitzer.de/%C3%BCber-mich/
  16. https://zzf-potsdam.de/de/mitarbeiter/rene-schlott
  17. https://www.uni-giessen.de/fbz/dfgk/tme/Kollegiatinnen/schlott-rene
  18. Members of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History Potsdam eV ( Memento from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  19. [1]
  20. Prof. Dr. Brigitte Studer. April 26, 2018, accessed February 21, 2019 .
  21. https://zzf-potsdam.de/de/institut/gremien/trägererversammlung

Coordinates: 52 ° 23 ′ 45.7 ″  N , 13 ° 3 ′ 29 ″  E