A Word on the New Project

Compiled by a team of ten at the Humboldt University in Berlin in the years 2006 to 2011, the database was originally set up as the core of a research project on Jewish owned businesses in Berlin between 1930 and 1945. As a intermediary report the team set up the the exhibition “Verraten und Verkauft”, shown amongst other places in the Leo Back Insitute in New York and the Hebrew University in Jeruslem with the help of the Aktive Museum, Berlin. When team leader, Christoph Kreutzmüller, had concluded the project with the acclaimed study “Ausverkauf. Die Vernichtung der jüdischen Gewerbetätigkeit in Berlin 1930-1945” (“Final Sale in Berlin. The destruction of Jewish commercial activity”), an extract of the database was published online in 2012. Full copies were made available in the reading rooms of the Landesarchiv Berlin, Leo Baeck Intitute New York, Yad Vashem Jerusalem and Wiener Library, London. 

The database has since become an important research tool for family research as well as economic and social history.

screenshot of the original database

Still, the database had an increasingly outdated and unstable basis. Funded by the ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION HANADIV EUROPE Foundation it was our primary goal to save the data, capture and publish not just an extract but all the existing information in a web-based format and a more accessible design. We also aimed to enrich the database by adding more information (and more identifications). To add density to the data, we also conducted deeper research into a few dozen companies of the database – and wrote short biographies of them.

In so doing, the database will become a central access point to the widely scattered sources and materials of the history of Jewish businesses in Berlin – with emphasis on the years of Nazi persecution. It will be open for new content, identifications, and links.

We hope the new database will then be a tool for evaluating current technologies for developing databases to access scattered sources.

The new database of Jewish businesses in Berlin will go online later this year!

Christoph Kreutzmüller

Database of Jewish-Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin

This is the blog of the Database of Jewish Businesses in Nazi Berlin. The database was set up between 2005 and 2012 as part of a research project at the Humboldt University in Berlin. It is the basis of both the study “Final Sale in Berlin. The destruction of Jewish commercial activity 1930-1945“ and the exhibition “Final Sale. The end of Jewish owned businesses in Nazi Berlin”. The foundation of the database is a complete indexing of all relevant entries of the Berlin commercial register, published in the German state gazette, the “Deutsche Reichsanzeiger und Preußischen Staatsanzeiger”. It includes information collected from many different primary sources, contemporary newspapers, handbooks and directories and other printed material. The database contains key information on more then 8 000 companies that were regarded as Jewish and therefore persecuted from 1933 on. This includes the name of the company, its address, legal form, economic sector, the date of the entry of a company into the commercial register, the date of its deletion, changes of the owners or managers and all references. The database also holds the raw data of another 44 000 companies that could not be identified as Jewish.

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