Lexikon deutsch-jüdischer Autoren

The Lexicon of German-Jewish Authors is compiled from the collection of the archive Bibliographia Judaica, which provides extensive sources from around 65,000 German-speaking Jewish authors, a biography and a bibliography of authors from A to Z. The term author has been defined in the literal sense of the Latin ‚auctor'. All German-speaking Jews who, as writers, scientists, artists or public figures, have contributed to shaping almost two hundred years of German cultural history have been included in the archive's name index.

Determining who was to be considered a Jewish author in these two hundred years was the most difficult question of definition that the staff of the Archive had to face. Despite all the difficulties that data protection rules posed years of thorough genealogical research were undertaken. Curricula vitae were usually documented from birth to death to determine whether authors had remained members of Jewish communities or had paid the price of accepting the dominant religion as price for full access to Christian-Western German culture. In the course of the work, the period of research from 1750 onwards proved to be a spectrum of the many different directions of Judaism in the German-speaking area.

The aim of the encyclopedia is to document this historical situation. In the section "Position on Judaism", the members of the Jewish minority are listed in detail in quotations that are as literal as possible, showing how they expressed themselves about their own tradition or that of Germany. However, the Lexicon of German-Jewish Authors can only contain a selection from the approximately 65,000 names collected to date. It is limited to literature in the broadest sense and humanities in the more limited sense, i.e. it only takes into account, for example, lawyers only if they have also published other than specialist journals, from medicine only the borderline areas of psychology and psychoanalysis, from the fields of music and art only music and art history.

A database was developed simultaneously with the work on the individual volumes. It makes it possible to pre-record individual sections of the articles (e.g. individual contributions or literature) and then import them into the articles. The complete work is calculated to 20 volumes.

Running time
Project type

Contact person for the academies' programme

Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

Tel: 06131/218 528-17