The New Gallia-Germania Judaica (NGGJ) – pilot research project for an European Digital Cooperative Project Judaica in Europe
funded by the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg for Sciences, Research and Arts, the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland K.d.ö.R)
2017 marks the first centenary of the Germania Judaica. The project was conceived as an international reference work that would undertake the task of providing a catalogue of local entries on the Jewish History of all the cities, places, and regions within the German-speaking world. Now almost a century ago the first volume of the printed edition was published (GJ I: Von den Anfängen bis 1273).
Despite the events of the Shoah, the project continued to thrive into the publication of a 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 that 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 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.
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.
5. Juli 2017
IMC 2017, Leeds
The ‘New Gallia-Germania Judaica’: An International Database of Jewish Settlements, Locations, and Migrations
Clemens Liedtke, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg
Amélie Sagasser, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg
Index Terms: Computing in Medieval Studies; Geography and Settlement Studies; Hebrew and Jewish Studies
The Origins: The Gallia Judaica
Beginning of the Gallia Judaica under the direction of Henri Gross
Upon suggestion of Breslau Rabbi and Historian Marcus Brann before a group of German speaking rabbies and Jewish scholars, the germ of the Germania Judaica is first discussed in the context of a board session of the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaft des Judentums.
Starting the Work
Board Session in Breslau; the first working draft is published in the society’s monthly journal.
Presentation of an alphabetical table with localities and the personal names therein.
Publishing of eight example articles.
Pre-print of articles about localities and territories listing items A-L
World War I
100 Years ago
Publishing of the first partial volume (A-L) of Germania Judaica I for the period from the beginnings to 1238.
The manuscript for entries M-Z is under review at the printing house where it’s misplaced.
Ismar Elbogen takes charge of the project and asks the authors to reconstruct their contributions. Chaim Tykocinski takes over to write several articles as well as editing other articles.
Hitler’s rise to power
The 2nd Fascicle
Publishing the second partial volume (M-Z) of Germania Judaica I for the period from the beginnings to 1238.
On a meeting of the members of the society, Dr. Nachum Wehrmann advocates to expand the Germania Judaica up to the year 1500. Although the proposal is agreed upon, the year 1348 is still set as the date limit for the following volume.
Until October 1938, more than 100 articles are available for review. During the pogroms in November, they fell into the hands of the Nazi party. The contributors are asked by the society to issue their articles again.
World War II
At the beginning of WWII, 80% of the material is brought to safety in London. In 1954, it is transferred to the Jewish Historical General Archives in Jerusalem.
The newly founded Leo-Baeck-Institut takes over the Germania Judaica II and assigns the project to Dr. Zvi Avneri at Haifa.
Publishing of the first partial volume of Germania Judaica II (A-L)
Publishing of the second partial volume of Germania Judaica II (M-Z)
Starting the works on Germania Judaica III (1350 -1519). Appointed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Arye Maimon succeeds Zvi Avneri.
Founding of the Nouvelle Gallia Judaica by Bernhard Blumenkranz sel. A.
Publishing of the first partial volume (A-L)
Publishing of the second partial volume (M-Z)
Publishing of the third partial volume (territories; introductions and indexes)
In the preface to volume III/3 in 2003, the editors of Germania Judaica, Mordechai Breuer und Yacov Guggenheim, advance their plans to expand the project as Germania Judaica IV for the period up to 1620. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf come to an agreement for further cooperation. However, the project falls through after another partial volume (IV.2: Landgrafschaft Hessen-Marburg). The digital publication of the project never saw the light so far.
Prof. Dr. Johannes Heil
Amélie Sagasser, MA
Clemens Liedtke, MA
Student research assistant
Joaquín Porras Ordieres
Student research assistant