Project News

November 07, 2023 - General

New online exhibition about the Iranian-Jewish community in Hamburg

Yesterday, the tenth online exhibition on the the key documents website was launched as part of the event „Persian Jews in Hamburg – another Jewish post-war history“. The exhibition We came because of the free trade…“ A different post-war history: The Iranian-Jewish community in Hamburg is based on the example of various family stories from within the group of Iranian Jews who immigrated since the 1950s to Hamburg. It sheds light on a different post-war Jewish history, in which migration and economic history intertwine and whose local and at the same time global point of reference for several decades was Hamburg.

September 29, 2023 - General / Publication

A collaborative portal on Jewish history – Key Documents are participating!

As part of this year’s Historiker Tag in Leipzig, the collaborative portal Jewish History online, hosted by the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in Potsdam and developed in cooperation with the IGdJ, was launched. On the website, various digital projects can be searched simultaneously. The Key Documents edition is participating from the beginning! Discover more!

August 24, 2023 - General

New Source Dossier „(No) return?“

Most Jewish refugees did not return to their former places of birth and residence after 1945. Nevertheless, looking at questions of remigration and belonging allows for a better understanding of German-Jewish postwar history. The new source dossier „(No) return? Return and (Re-)migration to Hamburg“ is therefore devoted to precisely this aspect of the city’s history on the basis of a wide range of sources.

Thanks to our cooperation with the archives of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, the Hamburg State Archives, the Hamburg University Archives, and the Workshop of Remembrance at the Research Center for Contemporary History, we are able to present extensive and diverse source material as digital facsimiles and transcripts and, precisely by presenting them together, to illustrate the multi-perspectivity and multi-layered nature of this complex of topics.

In addition to Martha Glass’s travel diary from 1953, you will find, for example, an exchange of letters between Arie Goral and Erich Lüth, a list of so-called restitution cases at the University of Hamburg, statistics on returnees, or selected interviews with people who decided for or against remigration.

The dossier will be supplemented by further sources in the coming months, so that it is worth visiting regularly!


April 03, 2023 - General

Student Assistant wanted!

Do you like working with historical sources? Do you have experience in digital history and already worked on an edition?

We are looking for a student assistant with 37.5 hours / month to support the project Key Documents! For more information see here.

August 24, 2022 - General

New Online-Exhibition: „Nothing. Just Leave!“ Escape from Germany and New Beginnings in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and São Paulo

Our new exhibition „Nothing. Just Leave!“ Escape from Germany and New Beginnings in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and São Paulo on emigration to South America is online. In seven chapters, the difficult history of the decision to emigrate is traced through to the aftermath of this (family) biographical caesura in the three urban areas:

June 21, 2022 - Presentation

Reading with documents from the Key Documents – July 3, 2022

In July 1942, Jews from Hamburg were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp and to the Theresienstadt ghetto. Thus, after a seven-month interruption, the National Socialists continued the deportations that led thousands to their deaths. The Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres, the VHS-Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Israelitische Töchterschule, and the Institute for the History of German Jews (IGdJ) would like to commemorate these historic events, which will reach their 80th anniversary in 2022, with a jointly organized event on July 3, 2022.

On that day, a performance reading will take place at 11 a.m. at denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof in Lohsepark at the historic deportation site. Members of the student theater group Kalliope Universitätstheater e.V. will provide insights into the historical events based on contemporary observations as well as retrospectively written memoirs of contemporary witnesses. In farewell letters or diary entries, the victims as well as those who observed the events have their say. For the deportations took place before the eyes of the Hamburg public and were also noticed by them.


Sunday, July 3, 2022, 11 a.m.


denk.mal Hannoverscher Bahnhof, in Lohsepark (Hafencity)



June 03, 2022 - General / Publication

The Key Documents on

A detailed report on the Key Documents Edition has just been published on the portal, a platform for topics regarding the history of education. We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ingrid Lohmann, who is the editor of the thematic category Education and Learning, for this appreciation. Click here for the full report.

April 06, 2022 - General

City map with places of Jewish past and present – now online!

We have just launched the new edition of the (digital) city map that was realized in cooperation with the Hamburg Ministry of Culture. The digital map lists more than 200 sites of historical and contemporary Jewish life throughout the entire Hamburg city area and links them to further information, in particular to articles in our Key Documents Edition. A menu box allows for filtering the sites according to specific thematic categories. Start discovering for yourself and follow the (unknown) traces of Jewish life!

March 15, 2022 - General

Support wanted!

We are looking for support in the area of Digital History at the Institute for the History of German Jews in Hamburg, specifically for the implementation of an online exhibition as part of the online source edition „Key-Documents of German-Jewish History„.

Your profile includes:

  • experience with data processing in the Humanities or in the field of Digital Humanities
  • very good knowledge of HTML and CSS, ideally also in PHP
  • very good knowledge of databases and extensive experience with description languages and metadata standards in XML (TEI)
  • practical experience in the implementation of online presentations, especially exhibition formats
  • ideally, basic historic knowledge
  • willingness to familiarize yourself with new tasks
  • independent and reliable way of working, ability to work in a team

The Institute

The Institute for the History of German Jews in Hamburg was founded in 1966 as the first research institution of its kind in the Federal Republic of Germany and has since been dedicated to the study of (German) Jewish history in its local, national and global dimensions. The dissemination of research results to the interested public has been an important pillar of the institute’s work since the beginning. Against this background, the area of digital projects has been steadily expanded and DH practices have been implemented in ongoing research projects for several years. In the future, questions such as the sustainability and enhancement of digital structures or digital (long-term) archiving will increasingly be on the agenda. The central project in this context is the online source edition „Hamburger Schlüsseldokumente zur deutsch-jüdischen Geschichte“ (, under whose umbrella online exhibitions on various topics of Jewish history are published at regular intervals. The goal is the innovative presentation of heterogeneous source material for a broad interested public.

For this purpose, we need technical support and are looking forward to applicants (m/f/d) who ideally combine an interest in history with comprehensive technical knowledge and experience in digital history and have the desire to develop new online presentation formats.

We welcome letters of interest by April 5, 2022, and look forward to discussing possible forms of collaboration with you. The IGdJ welcomes applications from qualified individuals – regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion, belief, age, or sexual orientation.

Contact: Dr. Anna Menny, schluesseldokumente(at)

February 09, 2022 - General

Following the traces of Jewish women – cooperation with Jewish Places

In addition to our online exhibition „Women’s Lives. Work and Impact of Jewish Women in Hamburg“ we have developed a walking tour along the places where some of these women lived and worked. The walk introduces nine Jewish women who lived in Hamburg at different times and thus also left traces in the urban space. The tour is offered via the website Jewish Places by the Jewish Museum Berlin.

October 26, 2021 - Presentation

„How much home does one need?“ Hamburg as a Place of Jewish Migration after 1945: Encounters – Relationships – Reflections

On November 9, on the occasion of the relaunch of our first online exhibition „Jewish Life since 1945“, we would like to discuss the significance of (re)migration for the development of Jewish life in Hamburg. In addition to a commentary on our online exhibition by Theresia Ziehe from the Jewish Museum Berlin, Hendrik Althoff (University of Hamburg), Kirsten Heinsohn (FZH), Karen Körber (IGdJ) and Sebastian Schirrmeister (Jüdischer Salon am Grindel e.V.) will reflect on central aspects of contemporary Jewish history in a roundtable discussion – such as reconstruction, culture, tradition and memory.

The event will take place on November 9, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish House of Culture, Flora-Neumann-Strasse 1, in compliance with 3G rules. Registration via schluesseldokumente(at) is obligatory.

August 23, 2021 - General / Presentation

Kick-off Workshop for the Portal Jewish History Online

As part of this year’s #vDhD2021, a digital brainstorming experiment will start next week on August 30, 2021. Ideas, suggestions, and wishes are being sought for the online portal to be developed within the field of Jewish history. The portal will be located at the MMZ in Potsdam and is to be realized together with the Key Documents. The hopefully numerous contributions will be discussed and structured in a round of experts on September 15, so that ideally a first roadmap for further project development will emerge. All information about the event and registration can be found here.

To prepare for the event, you can listen to the latest episode of the RadiHum podcast:


August 17, 2021 - Obituary

Mourning for Richard Levy

We mourn the death of Prof. Richard Levy, one of the meritorious early researchers of antisemitism. He supported us for a long time as a translator in the context of both the Key Documents Edition and the Stumbling Stones Biographies with great professional knowledge and linguistic sensitivity. We are very grateful to him for this important work and will miss it all the more painfully in the future.

Obituary published in the Chicago Sun-Times:

June 21, 2021 - General

Cooperation with the Geschichtomat Project

The last Geschichtomat project weeks, the first for a long time, dealt among others with various aspects of our online dossier „Martha Glass.“ A total of four of videos created by the participating students deal with the biography of Martha Glass, the deportation of Hamburg Jews, the concept of the online dossier or the family research work of Matthias Brandis on the history of his family. We are excited about this addition to our existing offerings! All videos will also be included in the teaching materials section.

June 21, 2021 - Presentation

Workshop and Presentation at ReiReS School

The Key Documents project participated with two events at the ReIReS School, hosted by the Institute for Jewish Philosophy and Religion at the University of Hamburg: In April, Daniel Burckhardt and Anna Menny gave a virtual hands-on session on tagging according to TEI P5 using the Oxygen editor; in June, Anna Menny presented concept and goals of the online edition.