Our Antetypes: Germania Judaica and Gallia Judaica
100 years have been passed, since Gallia Judaica and the first volume of Germania Judaica have been published. The projects were conceived as an international standard work for Jewish as well as for general history and provide a catalogue of local entries on Jewish History of all the cities, places, and regions within the German- respectively French-speaking world.
The first Germaia Judaica volume has been published in 1917. Despite the events of the Shoah, the project continued to thrive into the publication of a second an even third volume (until 1519). The corpus was deemed equally indispensable to both Jewish and general history alike and, after 1945, laid the foundations for futher transboundary cooperation between Israeli and German historians. Nevertheless, the work wich would have later comprised the fourth volume (GJ IV bis 1650) never came through.
In a similar fashion to the Germania Judaica, the project Nouvelle Gallia Judaica was launched by French scholars in order to replace its precursor of 1897, albeit without the adequate publication of any consequential works to date.
The Local Entries Go Digital:
German and French Jewish History up to 1300
The New Gallia-Germania Judaica aims to weave these two reference enterprises and bring them to fruition. The project thereby concentrates on the timeframe from the beginnings of Ashkenaz (ca. 900)—within the Jewish cultural sphere of Latin Europe—to the apogee of its development prior to 1300. Placing a strong focus on the central regions of Ashkenaz from the Upper and Middle Rhein region (i.e. today’s federal states Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate) to Champagne. The project seeks to bring local entries regarding spaces and regions up to date. In doing so, the project does not intend to revise these entries for a book series, but rather to fulfill the aims of the initiators via constructive application of today’s technical means: as a digitally-safe, interactively applied, and a steadily maintained web platform with free and open access to all users. The platform should enable optimum accessibility and foster the awareness that Judaism is elemental in the inherent makeup of Europe, both historically and currently. The following outlined New Gallia-Germania Judaica lends itself as a pilot project for subsequently evolving Judaica in Europe.
Open Access, Up To Date and To Be Continued
The aim of the project is to establish a virtual and academically grounded Forum, which is designed to reflect sustainability and self-preservation, and which installs a European-wide communication structure (posting articles and introducing research findings) at an administratively minimal and thereby cost-effective level via quality-assured instruments. Furthermore, these challenges—both to found an efficient, transboundary forum of cooperative operations and to launch said forum effectively—present themselves dually with the gains, namely, the accomplishments of both an adaptable vehicle for awareness of individual locations and regions pertaining to their manifold Jewish histories, as well as a user-friendly data software development for specific questions. These achievements ultimately stand as evidence of the efficiency of transnational structures and the scholarly pursuit of a long-term pan-European network.