New central archive for Jewish history research opens in Germany

The new Central Archive for Research into the History of the Jewish People in Germany has opened in Heidelberg as an important place of memory and preservation.

“The Central Archive holds a treasure: the memory of the Jewish communities,” said Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany at a ceremony on Tuesday.

The occasion marked the relocation of the archive, which was founded in the city in 1987, to a new, much larger and more modern premises. Previously, the holdings were spread over several locations in Heidelberg.

Currently, the archive contains around 2,000 linear metres of documents that depict the life of many Jewish communities in Germany, mainly since 1945.

Among them are minutes of meetings, reports about Jewish teachers or about what celebrations took place.

Documents such as letters from Jewish soldiers from the World War I or reports on the state of health of Holocaust survivors in the years immediately after the World War II are also kept in the archive.

The Central Archive is 100 per cent funded by the Interior Ministry. The archive receives around 900,000 euros (1.06 million dollars) annually.

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