Searching for traces in the past and present

The University of Münster digital exhibition celebrating 1700 years of Jewish life in Germany.

Originally planned as a mobile exhibition on historical door panels, 14 digital doors with (hi)stories from different locations lead to the diverse Jewish past of Münsterland. The doors are juxtaposed with seven film episodes that make it possible to experience up close how the Jewish community in Münster currently lives its everyday life.

digital
Exhibition
of the WWU
Münster

Jewish life

In Münster and in Münsterland –

an interactive map

With the help of citizen scientists, Expedition Münsterland has been exploring the Münster region for more than ten years, addressing various research questions and making science tangible and accessible for people on their doorsteps. The exhibition is based on traces that were found in four excursions through all parts of Münsterland, with mixed teams comprising academics, the general public, and students involved in co-creative processes to work on and present 

content on a number of locations that they themselves chose.

At the suggestion of Expedition Münsterland, the FilmLAB of the University of Münster has also produced in close cooperation with the Jewish community of Münster a documentary film in several episodes that brings contemporary Jewish life alive.

Click on the texts in the key

Hover over
the coloured
dots on
the map

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Münster

Einführung

AFO

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Borken-Gemen 

Mikwe

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Telgte

Friedhof & Synagogen

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Billerbeck

Friedhof

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Münster

Jüdischer Friedhof

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Münster

Marks-Haindorf-Stiftung

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Burgsteinfurt

Jüdische Schule

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Burgsteinfurt

Geschichte der jüdischen Schule & letzter Lehrer

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Dülmen

Hermann-Leeser-Schule

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Westerkappeln

Hachschara Hof Stern

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Riga

Deportation-sort des Münster-landes

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Lengerich

Lengericher Gedenkpfad LWL-Klinik

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Borghorst

Synagoge & Villa Heimann

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Lengerich

Stolpersteine

Jüdisches Leben in Münster und im Münsterland vor 1945

Until the Holocaust, there was Jewish life in many places in Münsterland – they are marked in grey on the interactive map. These places have been explored in the “Historical Handbook of Jewish Communities in Westphalia and Lippe”, a four-volume work published by the Institute for Comparative Urban History and the Historical Commission for Westphalia. 

There is a volume each for the districts of Arnsberg, Detmold and Münster that explores locations where autonomous Jewish life is known to have existed. A further volume, “Foundations – Findings – Perspectives”, places the research results of the three volumes on a supra-regional level in the context of general history.

Entering the past
and present

We invite you to enter the past through the doors, to discover traces and remember Jewish stories. The film episodes provide insights into the present and allow you to learn about the Jewish community in Münster. The different perspectives and experiences result in an enthralling and contrasting overview that helps dismantle feelings of wariness and suspicion. 

Scroll to
move on
to the
next door

Introduction AFO

Expedition Münsterland of the Innovation Office and its citizen science projects.

Mikvah in Borken-Gemen

Between the present and the past, immersion in forgotten places

Film – Rites & tradition
Münster

The episode gives an insight into the rites and traditions of the traditional community in Münster.

Jewish cemetery and synagogues
Telgte

Desecration of the cemetery left only 
a few gravestones remaining.

Cemetery in Billerbeck

The missing graves at the Jewish cemetery in Billerbeck: the Albersheim-Eichenwald family history and the Shoah memorial

Film – Researching the history of a cemetery | Münster

The episode shows the old Jewish cemetery in Münster.

Jewish
cemetery, Münster

The Jewish cemetery on Einsteinstraße in Münster is a testimony to 200 years of Jewish-German history in Münsterland.

The Marks-Haindorf Foundation
Münster

On 28 November 1825, the Jewish doctor Alexander Haindorf founded the “Association for the promotion of crafts among Jews and for the foundation of a school in which poor and orphaned children are to be taught and future Jewish school teachers are to be trained”.

Film – New beginning & change – 1945 until today |Münster

The episode is dedicated to the community’s recent past following the Shoa.

Film – Hatikvah – Young people in the community | Münster

The episode provides insights into working with children and young people in the 
community.

History of the Jewish school in Burgsteinfurt and its last teacher

In the middle of the old town centre of Burgsteinfurt, stands on Kautenstege an inconspicuous block of rented flats, surrounded by parking spaces. There is nothing to suggest that this is a building with a special, yet barely known, history: it is the former Jewish school of Burgsteinfurt.

The Jewish school, Burgsteinfurt

The Jewish school in Burgsteinfurt is one of the oldest Jewish schools in Westphalia.

Film – Place of the community
Münster

The episode follows members to choir practice, senior club, and community get-togethers at Club Judaica.

Farming as a point of escape: On Hakhshara in Westphalia

The “Kibbutz Westerbeck” near Westerkappeln: the forgotten vocational training centre for young Jews on a farm in Münsterland, 1933-1938/39

Hermann Leeser School in Dülmen

Film – Organization and commitment |  Münster

In this episode, chair Sharon Fehr explains how the community organizes itself democratically.

Lengerich memorial
path, LWL
clinic

The memorial path of the LWL clinic in Lengerich commemorates the state-organized murders of the sick during the National Socialist era, and provides information on the injustices suffered.

Riga
Münsterlands site of Deportation

The deportation of Jews from Münsterland to Riga on 13 December 1941

Traces of Jewish life in Borghorst

The initiative “Stolpersteine Steinfurt-Borghorst” remembers the fate of Jewish residents, and calls for a living culture of remembrance.

Stolpersteine
Lengerich

Researching the lives of fellow citizens Leonore Kaufmann and Albert Abrahamson from Lengerich provides insights into the harrowing details of their lives and how they were murdered.

Film – The community in the city
Münster

In this episode, members talk about how the community interacts with the 
general public.

clean

now furthe
to the right scroll

Introduction AFO

Expedition Münsterland of the Innovation Office and its citizen science projects.

Mikvah in Borken-Gemen

Between the present and the past, immersion in forgotten places

Film – Rites & tradition
in Münster

The episode gives an insight into the rites and traditions of the traditional community in Münster.

Jewish cemetery and synagogues Telgte

Desecration of the cemetery left only 
a few gravestones remaining.

Cemetery in Billerbeck

The missing graves at the Jewish cemetery in Billerbeck: the Albersheim-Eichenwald family history and the Shoah memorial

Film –Researching the history of a cemetery | Münster

The episode shows the old Jewish cemetery in Münster.

Jewish
cemetery,
Münster

The Jewish cemetery on Einsteinstraße in Münster is a testimony to 200 years of Jewish-German history in Münsterland.

The Marks-Haindorf Foundation Münster

On 28 November 1825, the Jewish doctor Alexander Haindorf founded the “Association for the promotion of crafts among Jews and for the foundation of a school in which poor and orphaned children are to be taught and future Jewish school teachers are to be trained”.

Film – New beginning & change – 1945 until today | Münster

The episode is dedicated to the community’s recent past following the Shoa.

The Jewish school, Burgsteinfurt

The Jewish school in Burgsteinfurt is one of the oldest Jewish schools in Westphalia.

History of the Jewish school in Burgsteinfurt and its last teacher

In the middle of the old town centre of Burgsteinfurt, stands on Kautenstege an inconspicuous block of rented flats, surrounded by parking spaces. There is nothing to suggest that this is a building with a special, yet barely known, history: it is the former Jewish school of Burgsteinfurt.

Film – Hatikvah – Young people in the community| Münster

The episode provides insights into working with children and young people in the 
community.

Hermann Leeser School in Dülmen

Farming as a point of escape: On Hakhshara in Westphalia

The “Kibbutz Westerbeck” near Westerkappeln: the forgotten vocational training centre for young Jews on a farm in Münsterland, 1933-1938/39

Film –Place of the community
Münster

The episode follows members to choir practice, senior club, and community get-togethers at Club Judaica.

Riga Münsterlands site of Deportation

The deportation of Jews from Münsterland to Riga on 13 December 1941

Film – Organization and commitment |  Münster

In this episode, chair Sharon Fehr explains how the community organizes itself democratically

Traces of Jewish life in Borghorst

The initiative “Stolpersteine Steinfurt-Borghorst” remembers the fate of Jewish residents, and calls for a living culture of remembrance.

Stolpersteine
Lengerich

Researching the lives of fellow citizens Leonore Kaufmann and Albert Abrahamson from Lengerich provides insights into the harrowing details of their lives and how they were murdered.

Film – The community in the city Münster

In this episode, members talk about how the community interacts with the 
general public.