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.
of the WWU
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
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
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.
to the right scroll
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”.
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.