Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies

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The Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies (MMZ) is a research institute affiliated with the University of Potsdam on the Neuer Markt in Potsdam . It was founded in 1992 and is named after the philosopher and enlightener Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786).

The research center

The Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies was founded on the 50th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in 1992 and is an interdisciplinary scientific research center that conducts basic research in the fields of history, philosophy, religion, literature, political and social sciences .

The MMZ is a registered association and receives funding from the State of Brandenburg , which is supplemented by project-related third-party funding. As an affiliated institute of the University of Potsdam, it is significantly involved in the “ Jüdische Studien / Jewish Studies” course. The employees, fellows and lecturers of the MMZ contribute their scientific questions and knowledge to the teaching of this course.

The head of the MMZ is Julius H. Schoeps .

Research focus

The research interests of the MMZ are in the history, religion and culture of the Jews and Judaism in the countries of Europe. One focus is the history of the relationship between Jews and the non-Jewish environment. The research focuses on problems of social integration and acculturation of Jews (including Haskala research) as well as comparative socio-historical issues (living conditions, geographical and social mobility) and socio-cultural and historical aspects (literature, art, religion, philosophy, music). The center sets major accents in the processing of regional and local history, especially of the new German federal states .

Work areas

The following central work areas were developed from the MMZ's task, to which the various research and publication projects are thematically assigned:

  • European-Jewish history, regional and social history
  • European-Jewish literary and cultural history
  • Anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism research, Holocaust studies
  • History of the State of Israel and Zionism
  • Religious and intellectual history , philosophy
  • Sociology of Judaism , Jewish Migration History
  • Educational Programs, Continuing Education and Training, Audiovisual and New Media
  • Editions, documentation, bibliographies

Moses Mendelssohn Medal

Since 1993, the Moses Mendelssohn Medal (not to be confused with the Moses Mendelssohn Prize ) has been awarded to deserving personalities who have committed themselves to tolerance and international understanding and against xenophobia in the spirit and tradition of Moses Mendelssohn's thoughts .

Hans Keilson at the award ceremony of the Moses Mendelssohn Medal on May 10, 2007 in Potsdam

The winners of the Moses Mendelssohn Medal:


The MMZ publishes numerous publications each year on its main topics: complete and individual editions, the journal for religious and intellectual history ( ISSN  0044-3441 ), the library of burned books , menorah. Yearbook for German-Jewish history as well as several series of publications, including studies on intellectual history , bibliographies on German-Jewish history and articles on the history and culture of the Jews in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia .


  • As long as love doesn't grow cold. The Moses Mendelssohn Center is fighting to keep it alive . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of February 10, 2000, No. 34, p. BS2
  • Jan-Hendrik Wulf: This annoying business! The renowned Moses Mendelssohn Center in Potsdam is struggling with a decline in public funds . In: taz of September 4, 2004

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Central Council of Jews in Germany : Moses Mendelssohn Medal awarded to Berthold Beitz
  2. MMZ list of publications

Coordinates: 52 ° 23 '47.7 "  N , 13 ° 3' 26.2"  E