Homepage (English Version)

This web site created by Geschichtswerkstatt Goettingen e.V. is dedicated to all Jewish citizens who during the era of Nazi rule were forced to flee from anti-Semitic persecution. Cases from the city of Goettingen and the surrounding area shall serve as examples to show what effects the various processes of persecution had on Jewish citizens' efforts to emigrate.

The focus is on the following issues:
Did the anti-Semitic measures of the Nazi administration expedite the emigration efforts of the Jewish population or did they obstruct their escape? Which were the escape routes for the Jewish people on their way out of Nazi Germany? Who supported them and how did they start their new lives in the countries that received them?

No self-determined emigration

What became clear in the course of research was that the process can certainly not be called voluntary, self-determined emigration. Especially the withdrawal of their economic basis and job prospects left the Jews with hardly any alternative but to escape, though this was made significantly harder due to marginalisation and expropriation.

The escape efforts described here, which were mostly successful, should not hide the fact that the measures taken by the Nazi state often made it impossible to leave the country - as well as the harsh restrictions on immigration put in place by the receiving countries. An ignoble example of how the international community obstructed Jewish emigration is the Évian Conference held at Lake Geneva in summer 1938. The fates of those who failed to escape ended in the German extermination camps.

A complete account of the persecution and emigration processes in the region around Goettingen between 1933 and 1945 is yet to be provided; work on a publication is still in progress. Certain aspects of this theme complex will therefore be treated only briefly on this web site. In its work, the Geschichtswerkstatt Goettingen e.V. focuses on the lives of the "common people". This web site also follows that tradition.

Call for donations:

Currently, work on a translation of the web site into English is in progress. Unfortunately, as the financial means available so far are insufficient to have all pages translated, we are in need of donations. If you find this web site of interest to you and agree with us that a complete English version is absolutely necessary, you may support us with a donation.
Thank you very much!

At this point we wish to once more express our most profound gratitude to the recipients of the Gottingen Alexander Award, who donated part of their award money towards having the web site translated. Here is a link to the laureates and their work acknowledged by the award: www.uni-goettingen.de/de/550710.html

The web site still requires significant work: translation into further languages as well as compilation and activation of a database. The latter will combine all research findings in files and tables and will be accessible via password allocation to interested schools, students and relatives of the refugees. Further, additional example cases and biographies are intended for inclusion.

A note regarding the example cases: the history of the Baruch family, which lived in Gottingen for 30 years and was forced to escape Nazi persecution to the Netherlands in 1933, was written by Jet Baruch, who kindly permitted us to publish it here.

You can find a list of archives and collections, information on the image material used a selected bibliography, as well as links to other interesting sites, at the end of this web site. We wish to express our special thanks to the staff of the archives listed.

Further, we wish to point out three other matters:

First, the Geschichtswerkstatt Goettingen e.V. depends on the commitment of interested people. We are therefore happy to receive your ideas, suggestions regarding content and also materials on the subject.

Beyond this web site, we also address further themes regarding the history of Nazi rule, such as on our guided city tours or in a permanent exhibition and web site on forced labour under the Nazis. You can find an overview of our work under www.geschichtswerkstatt-goettingen.de. Please contact us under: info (at) geschichtswerkstatt-goettingen.de

And finally on how to use the web site: move the cursor onto an image and click to open a lightbox with an enlarged version. The "Links" in the appendix are kept up to date as far as possible. However, it may still happen that the occasional site does not display the announced content. If we failed to notice this in time, we apologise for the inconvenience. We would greatly appreciate it if you could inform us of any such errors.

As the financial means of a small non-profit society are severely limited, the Geschichtswerkstatt Goettingen e.V. depended on sponsors to create this web site. We wish to thank all those who provided their support! Further, we extend our thanks to all those who helped in implementing the goals of this project.

Jörg Janßen (Geschichtswerkstatt Göttingen e.V.) 

Sources of the pictures used for the title animations:

  1. Sign ‘Jews’ at entrance of a village near Gottingen, 1937: Photo archive of the Städtisches Museum Göttingen.
  2. Refugees in front of the ship “Tiger Hill” on the beach in Tel Aviv, 1939: Wikimedia commons (public domain)
  3. Document “Security account of Commerz- und Privatbank”: Stadtarchiv Göttingen.
  4. Office of the History Workshop Göttingen (Geschichtswerkstatt Gottingen): Philipp Küchler
  5. Refugees in a lifeboat from the ship “Tiger Hill” in 1939: Wikimedia commons (public domain)

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