The concept

In 2019, the MGH celebrated their 200th anniversary. This historical milestone was at the same time an occasion to critically examine our history, in particular the period between 1935 and 1945, during which time the Monumenta as a National-Socialist „Reichsinstitut“ served to legitimate the Nazi regime. This topic naturally raised the question of the fate of the Jewish scholars who worked for the MGH. Inspired by the plans to celebrate 1700 years of Jewish life in Germany in 2021, we developed the idea of a public exhibition on our Jewish staff members and their contribution to the MGH. A generous grant from the BMI made the realisation of this project possible.

>> Welcoming address by Dr Ludwig Spaenle, Beauftragter der Bayerischen Staatsregierung für jüdisches Leben und gegen Antisemitismus, für Erinnerungsarbeit und geschichtliches Erbe

The exhibition

The exhibition with ca. 60 objects on display tells the stories of Philipp Jaffé, Harry Bresslau, Henry Simonsfeld, Ludwig Traube, Wilhelm Levison, Ernst Perels, and Erika Sinauer, portraying their lives, their scholarly achievements, and their experiences as Jews. In the collective view, it becomes apparent that the treatment they experienced as Jews did not depend on the extent to which they identified themselves with Judaism.

The objects on display cover over 100 years of eventful history, ranging from a letter written by Philipp Jaffé to his parents in 1854 to one written by Helene Schweitzer-Bresslau in July 1951, arranging the disposition of her father’s estate to the MGH and featuring a handwritten greeting to the MGH from her husband, Albert Schweitzer.

The range of documents and objects that were to be found on our selected persons is quite surprising. They include memoranda, research and teaching materials, and in particular all sorts of correspondence: letters written to and from family, friends and colleagues, letters communicating thanks, organisational details, scholarly information, and so much more - with fascinating insights to be read „between the lines“.


+ around 60 exhibits in images and text
+ easily understandable label texts
+ transcriptions of all textual exhibits
+ linked translations of foreign language citations
+ links to biographical and background information

Authors of the virtual exhibition

Heike B. Görtemaker (Documents on the MGH and anti-Semitism), Claudia Märtl (Henry Simonsfeld), Annette Marquard-Mois (Philipp Jaffé, Harry Bresslau, Wilhelm Levison, Ernst Perels, Erika Sinauer), Arno Mentzel-Reuters (Ludwig Traube, Documents on the MGH and anti-Semitism), Sabrina Nortey (Lists)

Historical advisors
Letha Böhringer, Heike B. Görtemaker, Martina Hartmann, Frank-Michael Kaufmann, Theo Kölzer, Arno Mentzel-Reuters, Anne C. Nagel

Conception and project direction
Annette Marquard-Mois

Duane Henderson

Technical realisation
Kuse Werbeagentur München

sincinema Filmproduktion Augsburg

You would like to know more about the Jewish scholars at the MGH?

In 2022, we will be publishing a collection of international studies on this subject in the MGH series „Studien zur Geschichte der Mittelalterforschung“