Research group “Jews in Brandenburg from 1671 onwards”
Coordinator: Klaus Boas
On the emergence of the research area
Inspired by a request from the USA, we decided to publish information on BGG “Roter Adler” e.V.`s website which will allow individuals interested in genealogy,
- to conduct research on their Jewish ancestors in Berlin-Brandenburg
- to gain a better understanding of everyday Jewish life in Berlin-Brandenburg in the period from 1671 onwards.
All information is in German and in English, as we assume that many family researchers live abroad and either do not speak German or do not know it well enough to study German sources on their own.
Why has 1671 been chosen as the starting point?
On 21 May 1671, the “Great Elector” Friedrich Wilhelm issued an edict allowing Jews to resettle in Brandenburg after a long period of absence 1.
When we look 350 years into the future, we reach the anniversary year 2021, in which a multitude of events took place under the motto of “350 Years of Jews in Brandenburg” 2.
However, Jews had already been living in the Mark Brandenburg at least 400 years prior to that 3
What proportion of the population of Brandenburg were Jews?
In the census of 1 December 1871, a total of 11,469 Jews were registered in the two administrative districts of Potsdam (excluding Berlin) and Frankfurt/Oder. Additionally, 36,021 Jews were counted in Berlin. The city was included in the official statistics of 1871 as being part of the administrative district of Potsdam 4.
Seven districts within the province had more than 500 Jewish inhabitants in 1871; six of them belonged to the administrative district of Frankfurt/Oder 5.
When the National Socialists came to power (1933), 7616 Jews still lived in Brandenburg 6
Their number declined by more than half in the first six years of Nazi rule 7 and probably only amounted to a few hundred by the end of the Second World War 8.
Please join us
Anyone interested in the research topic is invited to join our research group. All you need to do is write to the Board (vs(at)bggroteradler.de).
1 DIEKMANN, Irene A.: Juden in Brandenburg (1671 bis 1871), in: Historisches Lexikon Brandenburgs, online: https://brandenburgikon.net/index.php/de/sachlexikon/juden-in-brandenburg-1671-bis-1871, (last accessed on 14.2.2022)
2 350 Jahre Juden in Brandenburg, Willkommen, online: https://juden-in-brandenburg.de/ , (last accessed on 7.2.2022).
3 350 Jahre Juden in Brandenburg, Chronologie, online: https://juden-in-brandenburg.de/chronologie/ , (last accessed on 7.2.2022).
4 Own calculations based on: Königliches Statistisches Bureau, Die Gemeinden und Gutsbezirke des Preußischen Staates und ihre Bevölkerung, II. Provinz Brandenburg, Berlin 1873, Page 3, page 249
5 Own calculations based on: Königliches Statistisches Bureau, Die Gemeinden und Gutsbezirke des Preußischen Staates und ihre Bevölkerung, II. Provinz Brandenburg, Berlin 1873, pages 2 – 245.
6 Statistisches Reichsamt, Statistisches Jahrbuch für das Deutsche Reich, 56. Jahrgang (1937), Berlin 1937, page 18
7 Only so-called “Glaubensjuden” were taken into account in this calculation. Statistisches Reichsamt, Statistisches Jahrbuch für das Deutsche Reich 1941/42, 59. Jahrgang, Berlin 1942, page 27.
8 According to the first census in the Soviet occupation zone, 424 Jews were still living in the state of Brandenburg in 1946. 350 Jahre Juden in Brandenburg, Chronologie, online: https://juden-in-brandenburg.de/chronologie/ , (last accessed on 7.2.2022).
Klaus Boas (Research Group “Jews in Brandenburg”)