30 July 2008

Germany: Historical manual, Westphalia and Lippe

Publisher Ardey-Verlag has just released the Historical Manual of the Jewish Communities in Westphalia and Lippe.

The Manual documents the development of Jewish life in this historical area and includes three regional volumes and a summary volume.

Each regional volume describes one of the governmental districts (Arnsberg, Detmold or Munster), while overview articles describe the historical development of the Holy Roman Empire territories and individual Jewish policies.

These are hefty volumes: Munster (780pg), Detmold (ca1000pg), Arnsberg (ca900pg) and the summary volume (ca800pg). Prices range from 69-89 Euros each. Munster is the first available volume of the set (April 2008).

Alphabetically arranged town articles form the most extensive part of each volume. Included are all places in which the existence of at least a prayer room or cemetery could be found.

Development of the Jewish communities is described in the following manner:
- Administrative and ritual affiliation of the community
- History
- Constitution and organization of the community
- Fields of activity of individual municipality members
- Buildings and art monuments
- Sources and literature

Time span ranges from first documentation (Middle Ages) to the few municipalities re-established post-Holocaust era. Each volume includes a map of the documented places and synagogue districts specified by Prussian authorities in the mid-19th century.

It was prepared by the Historical Commission for Westphalia and the Institute for Comparative City History (IStG) at the University of Munster.

For more information, go to www.ardey-verlag.de . The books appear to be solely in German, and the website does not indicate if English abstracts or summaries are available.


  1. Hi Schelly - this is interesting reading because I've been aware that this would come out for ages. Do you or any of your friends who read this have any idea how or if the contents of the books duplicate the series published fairly recently (in German) by Elfi Pracht Joerns - see :


    I own the full set and find them amazingly useful for Jewish genealogical research in Nordrhein Westfalia.

    kind regards Jeanette in London

  2. Anonymous7:16 AM

    The book has no index at all - not even the "Ortsregister" present in Elfi Pracht's books. I only received my copy this morning, but sources and bibliography seem comparable at first sight, without the illustrations and the lists of names found everywhere in Pracht's books.