Der Förderverein: Verein der Freunde und Förderer des Max-Samuel-Hauses e.V.

Geschichte des Vereins:

Ende der 1970er Jahre begannen HistorikerInnen, sich mit der Rostocker jüdischen Geschichte zu beschäftigen. Sie recherchierten in Archiven und knüpften Kontakte zu Jüdinnen und Juden, die in der Hansestadt gelebt, die Shoah überlebt hatten und die nun in alle Welt verstreut waren.

1982 erschienen Zeitungsartikel zum Thema. Der Archivar und Historiker Frank Schröder (1958–2014) hielt erste öffentliche Vorträge. Zwischen Juli und Dezember 1986 druckte die Tageszeitung Norddeutsche Neueste Nachrichten 23 Artikel Schröders von ihm zur jüdischen Geschichte Rostocks, zu Personen und Ereignissen. Sie dienten als Grundlage für das 1988 publizierte Buch Zwischen Emanzipation und Vernichtung. Zur Geschichte der Juden in Rostock (Ingrid Ehlers und Frank Schröder). Außer den Recherchen der Autoren trugen zum Gelingen des Buches Zeitzeuginnen und Zeitzeugen durch Berichte, Dokumente und Erinnerungen in Interviews bei. Der israelische Historiker Ya‛akov Zur (1924–2013), in Rostock als Alfred Zuckermann geboren, spielte dabei eine wichtige Rolle. Er vermittelte Kontakte zu anderen Überlebenden, berichtete bei seinen häufigen Besuchen in Rostock und in der Region in Vorträgen von seinem Leben im religiösen Kibbutz ‛Ein HaNetziv, er sprach über Israel, Zionismus und den Holocaust.

The Team
You can find us on the first floor.

The Max-Samuel-Haus has three permanent employees: Steffi Katschke, research associate, Dr. Ulf Heinsohn, research manager, and Ramona Wendt, project assistant. Frequently, they are supported by school or university interns, as well as occasionally by freelance staff. In addition, there are both regular and occasional volunteers, many of them from the booster club. There are also two volunteer committees working alongside the booster club: the board of directors and the board of trustees.


Steffi Katschke, director.



Dr. Ulf Heinsohn, scientific project manager.


20230209 Ramona Wendt

Ramona Wendt, project assistant.

The library of the Max-Samuel-Haus is currently being added book by book to the catalogue of the Rostock University Library.

It is expected to be available as a reference library from November 2020 on.
We ask for your understanding.

For questions we are at your disposal from Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 4pm
on the phone number 0381/492 32 09 and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All released publications

Note: Publications can be ordered via telephone or Email.

Führer zu Orten jüdischer Geschichte in Rostock
Guide to Places of Jewish History in Rostock (only available in German)

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This guide to Jewish sites in Rostock – in the form of a brochure – is intended to encourage you towards a path through the city of Rostock to the well-known, but certainly also to the little-known points of Jewish interest.

The book names and explains buildings and locations which are connected to Jewish life of Rostock then and now. Hardly any sites – such as the Old Jewish Cemetery or the commemoration stele of the destroyed synagogue – of this important part of Rostock’s history go without mention.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Kristine Schlaefer and Frank Schröder, Führer zu Orten jüdischer Geschichte in Rostock, Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: Redieck & Schade, 2002, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 0). No ISBN.

* 32 pages with 21 black-and-white illustrations
honorary fee 3€

SinnLEHRE gegen SinnLEERE
Sensible Teaching against Senselessness (only available in German)

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From the 3rd to the 5th of May 1999 the Max-Samuel-Haus organised an international colloquium in collaboration with the University of Rostock about Viktor E. Frankl’s logotherapy. This book contains various contributions of renowned academic to the topic.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Dirk Drewelow, Ilona Lieber, Heinz Gall, Jaro Křivohlavý, Otto Zsok, and Yaʿaqov Zur, Sinnlehre gegen Sinnleere: Impulse zur positiven Wertevermittlung aus der Logotherapie des jüdischen Psychiaters Viktor E. Frankl: Kolloquium des Max-Samuel-Hauses und der Universität Rostock anlässlich des 75. Geburtstages von Dr. Dr. h.c. Yaakov Zur ... 3. bis 5. Mai 1999 in der Aula der Universität und im Max-Samuel-Haus, Dirk Drewelow and Christine Gundlach (eds.) on behalf of the Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur, Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2000, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 1). No ISBN.

* 96 pages
honorary fee 3€

Ein bißchen anders bleibt man immer
One always stays a bit different (only available in German)

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What compelled a singer from Saint Petersburg, an engineer from Baku, a programmer from Kiev, a doctor from Poltava, a precision mechanic from Riga, and a scientist from Moscow to move to Rostock, Schwerin, or Wismar with their families?

More than 1,000 Jews came to Mecklenburg from the states of the former Soviet Union. 36 of these immigrants, who were admitted within the framework of a German Federal special quota regulation (Germ. Kontingentflüchtlinge), report about hope and their lives between family and foreign parts, tradition and present.

Author and bibliographical data:

Christine Gundlach, Ein bißchen anders bleibt man immer: jüdische Zuwanderer in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwerin in Mecklenburg: Helms, 2000, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 2). ISBN 3-931185-75-3

* 207 pages
honorary fee 8€

100 jüdische Persönlichkeiten
100 Jewish People from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (only available in German)

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As rabbis, community representatives, artists, politicians, businesspeople, jurists, doctors, scientists, inventors, and teachers, these people helped shape not only the development of Hither Pomerania and Mecklenburg, but also those of their paramount entities such as the Holy Roman Empire, the German Empire, and the Weimar Republic.

Among those portrayed are people who can today be found in every lexicon, such as the car inventor Siegfried Marcus (Malchin; 1831–1898) or the internist Oscar Minkowski (Greifswald; 1858–1931), but also people of local history, such as the fire chief David Davidsohn (Demmin; 1850–1926) or the gynecologist and obstetrician Hedwig von Goetzen (Rostock; 1893–1976).

Two hundred years are between the births of the oldest, the medalist Jacob Abraham (1723–1800), and the most recent, the historian Yaʿaqov Zur (1924–2013). These were two hundred years which were of decisive importance for Jewish Germans: in the early 18th century they were a discriminated group of low rank, however in an overall environment where inequality was the standard with various other groups such as illegal aliens, nomadic diddycoys, outcast travelling performers, serfs, free peasants, free city-dweller, legal aliens, privileged aristocrats and legally exempt members of the regnal houses, to mention only a few.

With the revolutions in the USA (1776) and France (1789), legal equality became standard and exclusion from it a scandalon. Jews in Prussian Pomerania (unlike in Swedish Pomerania) and in Mecklenburg-Schwerin were emancipated as citizens in 1812 and 1813, respectively. However, in 1817 Mecklenburg-Schwerin's Jews were disenfranchised of their citizenship again. So, struggle for Jewish emancipation remained the task in Mecklenburg, finally reachieved through North German federal law in 1868, whereas overcoming extralegal discrimination within society and last restrictions as to officialdom were issues in Pomerania and Mecklenburg alike. In 1919 these last restrictions fell. Jews experienced the second half of the 19th and the first third of the 20th century as confident German citizens of Jewish faith. However, with the Nazis in power and their willful helpers as of 1933 they smashed all this to smithers.

Author and bibliographical data:

Frank Schröder, 100 jüdische Persönlichkeiten aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: Stadtdruckerei Weidner, 2003, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 4). No ISBN.

* 174 pages
honorary fee 8€

 Die Welt ist eine schmale Brücke.
Yaakov Zur ein Israeli aus Rostock.

The World is a Narrow Bridge
Yaakov Zur – an Israeli from Rostock (only available in German)

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Alfred Jacques Zuckermann, born in Rostock in 1924, emigrated to Palestine in 1939 like both of his brothers. His father could emigrate to England, but his mother Perle and sister Ruth remained in Germany and were deported to Auschwitz and killed in a gas chamber. About a half century later Zuckermann, now the Israeli Dr. Yaʿaqov Zur (1924–2013), returned to the city of his birth (which bestowed him honorary citizenship in 1993).

Childhood in the Jewish community of Rostock, schooling in Frankfurt am Main, life in the religious kibbuz Ein haNetziv, a lectureship in South America, study in Jerusalem, work as a teacher and university lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University, family, religion, science, and politics: memories of Yaʿaqov Zur, portrayals of family members and companions, interviews, documents, and photographs communicate a Jewish view of life and a view into German-Jewish history of the 20th century.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Yaʿaqov Zur, Die Welt ist eine schmale Brücke: Yaakov Zur ein Israeli aus Rostock; Erinnerungen und Begegnungen, Christine Gundlach (ed.), Schwerin in Mecklenburg: Helms, 2003, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 3). ISBN 3-935749-20-1.

* 256 pages
honorary fee 8€

Die dunklen Jahre von Schwarzenpfost

The dark Years of Schwarzenpfost
Gelbensande Students research German History (only available in German)

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Travelling along the federal route B 105 between Rostock and Ribnitz, one could easily miss the inconspicuous arrow which points to a neighbouring narrow forest path. A path leads into the thick mixed forest almost every hundred metres near Gelbensande. One of these, its sign reading Schwarzenpfost, does not only give hikers pleasant views of the Rostock Heath; it leads to one of the darkest chapters of German history. In a small clearing are the remains of Schwarzenpfost, a subcamp of the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

More than 50 youths from Gelbensande have learned a lot in the past years while they were researching regional history. The results of their work have been materialised in a book edited by Petra Klawitter, in which reports of the atrocities of guards and the fates of forced labourers are given. However, it also contains the pride of students and teachers from having created a new awareness among people from the area as well as decisionmakers from business and politics.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Petra Klawitter, Die dunklen Jahre von Schwarzenpfost: Gelbensander Schüler erforschen deutsche Geschichte, Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: BS-Verlag, 2006, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 6). ISBN 978-3-89954-214-1.

* 129 pages.

Bruno Gimpel Monographie
Bruno Gimpel Rostock - Ahrenshoop - Dresden (only available in German)

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Bruno Gimpel (1886–1943), who was born in Rostock, was highly regarded as a poster designer and graphic artist in his chosen home of Dresden. As a co-founder of the ‹Vereinigung Rostocker Künstler› (Union of Rostock Artists), he regularly participated in exhibitions in the city of his birth until 1933. He also concurrently spent the summer months of every year until 1935 in Hither Pomerian Ahrenshoop. In these productive years an extensive corpus of works was developed: expressionist paintings, still lifes, landscape watercolours, and paintings of structures. As a Jew, Gimpel received an professional ban (Berufsverbot). Facing the threat of deportation, he chose to kill himself in 1943.

Klaus Tiedemann, a Rostock art expert, reconstructed Bruno Gimpel’s entire body of works in a research project which lasted several years. His monograph is the first extensive publication about this painter. It contains 76 primarily colour illustrations, details of the biography, and a temporary catalog of works.

Author and bibliographical data:

Klaus Tiedemann, Bruno Gimpel: Rostock, Ahrenshoop, Dresden; Malerei, Grafik, Plakat; [accompanies the exhibitions ‹Bruno Gimpel Rostock, Ahrenshoop, Dresden Malerei, Grafik, Plakat› im Max-Samuel-Haus Rostock, [...] from 3 September to 29 October 2006 and in the Kunstkaten Ahrenshoop, [...] from 13 Mai to 10 Juli 2007], Frank Schröder (ed.) on behalf of the Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock, Berlin: MCM-Art-Verlag, 2006, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 7). ISBN 978-3-9809969-6-9.

 * 79 pages
honorary fee 22.50€

Kate Diehn-Bitt Joseph-Zyklus
Kate Diehn-Bitt  The Joseph Cycle and other Works of Jewish History and Mythology (only available in German)

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The Rostock painter Kate Diehn-Bitt (19001978) was inspired by the Joseph novels of Thomas Mann (1875–1955) to create a painting cycle from 1951 to 1956. In addition to that, works of Jewish history and mythology formed an important part of her corpus of works over several decades. In this book the art scholar Dr. Katrin Arrieta investigated the position of this complex of works in Kate Diehn-Bitt’s corpus of works and biography.

Author and bibliographical data:

Katrin Arrieta, Kate Diehn-Bitt: der Joseph-Zyklus und andere Arbeiten zur jüdischen Geschichte und Mythologie,  Max-Samuel-Haus (ed.), Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2007, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 8). No ISBN. 

 * 48 pages with 36 colour illustrations
honorary fee 9€

Kate Diehn-Bitt Tagebuch
Kate Diehn-Bitt Journal (only available in German)

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The 30 watercolour drawings of Kate Diehn-Bitt (1900–1978), the ‹journal› of her youth, appeared in 1958. This was a time when the artist had withdrawn from public functions, commissions, and exhibitions as a protest against the programme of early East Germany formulated in the so-called ‹formalism debate› to delineate the art under communist rule from the ‹western decadent art scene›.

As she reflected on her thematic and creative potential, she took a radical and lonely position. Biographical topics played an important part: firstly those of her fundamental familiar surroundings, the characterisation of which, through her Jewish stepfather Leo Glaser (1876–1950), had highly influenced her self-understanding, especially during the time of the Nazis.

The ‹journal› allows this environment to become alive in many ways via graphical recordings of memories of moments of everyday life. Bright colours, a subtle style which extends from the finest to the heftiest strokes, precision in details, and a lightly humorous exaggeration of the depicted topics give the pages a unique radiance.

Author and bibliographical data:

Katrin Arrieta, Kate Diehn-Bitt: Tagebuch; Kindheit und Jugend 1904–1920,  Max-Samuel-Haus (ed.), Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2009, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 10). No ISBN. 

* 40 pages with many illustrations
honorary fee 9€

Die biblische Josefsgeschichte

The Biblical Story of Joseph
A Retelling with Comments from Fred Mahlburg (only available in German)


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The theologian Dr. Fred Mahlburg, longstanding leader of the ‹Protestant Academy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern› (Evangelische Akademie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), approaches the biblical story of Joseph from his own perspective. This occurred in loose correlation with the intention of the Max-Samuel-Haus to exhibit works of the painter Kate Diehn-Bitt (1900–1978), among these a cycle about the story of Joseph.

Author and bibliographical data:

Fred Mahlburg, Die biblische Josefsgeschichte: eine Nacherzählung mit Kommentaren, Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2007, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 9). No ISBN.

* 91 pages
honorary fee 5€

Richard Siegmann. ... aber wir waren Deutsche
Richard Siegmann … but we were Germans (only available in German)

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The hints of Richard Siegmann (1872–1943) in Rostock are varied. In front of the city hall a ‹stumbling block› (Gedenkstein) was placed in his memory. A street in the district of Reutershagen is named after him, and a foundation bears his name.

An entrepreneur with foresight, first sponsor of Mecklenburg tourism, citizen with public spirit: all of this was Richard Siegmann, who lived in Rostock from 1898 to 1935. For the first time, data, facts, and background of his life, a life which fell almost entirely into obscurity after 1945, are coherently portrayed. The great significance of the tram director for Rostock and Mecklenburg forcefully reveals itself to the reader.

What led to the electrification of Rostock’s trams beginning in 1904 and the integration of the busses into the mass transit system during the 1920s (which reached its zenith with a strategic expansion of the network) was initiated by him.

The particular attention of this politically engaged liberal affected the creation and expansion of a professional commercialisation of tourism in Mecklenburg. Siegmann consequentially was one of the founding members of Rostock’s tourist office (Rostocker Verkehrsverein) in January of 1910 and of the Mecklenburg transport association (Mecklenburgischer Verkehrsverband) in May of 1911, of which he was the chairman for several years.

Following the separation of state and religion in 1919 he actively reformed the statutes of the ‹Board of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Jews›, transforming it from a body of compulsory membership for all Jews in the pre-1918 Mecklenburg-Schwerin into a statewide umbrella body of Jewish congregations of voluntary membership. The deputies of the ‹Israelite regional assembly› elected him their speaker in 1926, and again, until he resigned in 1936.

As a Jew he was fired as managing director of the ‹Rostocker Straßenbahn AG›, and returned to Berlin, the city of his birth. For his entire life, Richard Siegmann had seen himself as German and therefore after 1933 could not decide to save himself via emigration from what he saw as his home country. He starved to death in the concentration camp Theresienstadt in October of 1943. The Nazis killed almost his entire family, including his wife and one of his three children.

Author and bibliographical data:

Jan-Peter Schulze, Richard Siegmann: ...aber wir waren Deutsche, Max-Samuel-Haus (ed.), Rostock: Redieck & Schade, 2011, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 11). ISBN 978-3-942673-08-2.

* 219 pages
honorary fee 8€

Die Familie Josephy
The Josephy Family (only available in German)

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Historically descriptive and demonstrated with impressive documents and archive materials, this publication of the Max-Samuel-Haus documents the life and various activities of the Jewish German Josephy family across a timespan of 11 generations which began in the Mecklenburg town of Schwaan.

At the beginning of the 18th century the Josephys did not enjoy the rights as ducal subjects. Their existence in a feudal society remained dependent on the favour of their lord, here the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. As ‹protected Jews›‹ (Schutzjuden), they labouriously established the basis of their livelihood. A century later they experienced in Mecklenburg-Schwerin a short period of Jewish emancipation (1813–1817). Its repeal did not break their will for self-determination and demand for equal rights. As merchants, the Josephys claimed their place in the society of their small city. In their synagogue they struggled with religious orientation. Only in 1868 the North German Confederation established equal rights in Mecklenburg-Schwerin through federal law. The Josephys utilised this chance for an economic upswing and opened new areas of business.

Beginning in 1933 the Josephys were persecuted in Germany and lost their opportunities for education and work. The young family members emigrated first. The family’s men were arrested during the Kristallnacht in November of 1938. After that, the older members also tried to flee Germany. Seven family members were victims of the Shoah. The emigrants found new homes and spread themselves across three continents. At the beginning of the 21st century, the youngest members of the Josephy family were being raised in Canada, Israel, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Currently no family members live in Germany.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Steffi Katschke und Frank Schröder, Die Familie Josephy: Lebenswege einer deutsch-jüdischen Familie aus Schwaan 17142012, Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock, 2012, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 12). ISBN 978-3-00-038618-3.

* 216 pages
Note: This book is sold out. A reprinting is currently not planned. The book can only be found in the library of the Max-Samuel-Haus. 

Die Synagoge und ihre Rabbiner
The Synagogue and its Rabbis. Rostock 19021938 (printed in German and English)

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This brochure – printed in German and English – deals with the fitful history of Rostock’s former synagogue and its rabbis.

On 14 September 1902 the Mecklenburg-Schwerin's chief rabbi Dr. Fabian Gabriel Feilchenfeld (1827–1910) inaugurated the synagogue built at Augustenstraße 101. Designed by the architect professor Ludwig Levy (1854–1907), this structure reflected the increasing confidence of Rostock’s Jewish community. With 350 seats the synagogue was the largest in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Via religious services, celebrations and activities it became the center of Jewish life. With the persecution of Jews during the Nazi period the synagogue became a place of refuge for an ever-dwindling community. This last point of self-determination ended with the Kristallnacht, when it was burned and its ruins sold. The ruins were destroyed, as was the pertaining front building, thus far undamaged and then still inhabited by the Levys from Tessin as the site was struck in a British air-raid by a bomb on 11 April 1944.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Steffi Katschke und Frank Schröder, Die Synagoge und ihre Rabbiner: Rostock 1902–1938 / The synagogue and its rabbis, Oliver Hoffmann (translator), Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2013, (Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 13). ISBN 978-3-00-044025-0.

* 40 pages with 12 black-and-white illustrations
honorary fee 6€

Nimm mich mit
Take me with you! A children’s book (only available in German)

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The author Helga Mahlburg traced the life stories of Alfred Jacques Zuckermann (later Yaʿaqov Zur; 1924–2013) and Ruth Zuckermann (1931–1942). With many watercolour illustrations this book explains in a child-friendly manner how life for Jewish children was during the Nazi period.

This book is inspired in text and design by Yaʿaqov Zur's book Die Welt ist eine Schmale Brücke (The World is a Narrow Bridge). The Rostock-born German philologist Dr. Christine Gundlach had many conversations with Zur, which she recorded for this book. Thus a book of Zur’s memories has been created via these numerous audio recordings and written sketches.

For this children’s book some connections had to be abbreviated, but the accuracy of the content was maintained. This children’s book is suitable for children of 6 years and older.

Authors and bibliographical data:

Helga Mahlburg, Nimm mich mit!, Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock (ed.), Rostock: Max-Samuel-Haus, 2014, (=Schriften aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus; vol. 14). No ISBN.

* 70 pages with watercolor illustrations
honorary fee 9.90€

Blätter aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus

BMSH grau

"Blätter aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus" was a magazine published internally at irregular intervals between 1992 and 2006, interrupted by four special issues (marked with *). Among other things, it dealt with current events, news about the Stolper-/Denksteine or from the Jewish Community Rostock. In addition, there were often book tips and reviews as well as travel reports and articles about guests of the house or other personalities. Here, interested parties can view and download the issues of the "Blätter aus dem Max-Samuel-Haus". This gives them valuable insights into the history of the foundation.

Nr. 30, Sep. 2006 Nr. 15, Jan. 2000
Nr. 29, Jun. 2005 Nr. 14, Okt. 1999
Nr. 28, Feb. 2005 Nr. 13, Jun. 1999
Nr. 27, Jul. 2004 Nr. 12, Feb. 1999
Nr. 26, Apr. 2004 Nr. 11, Nov. 1998
Nr. 25, Sep. 2003 *Nr. 10, Nov. 1998
Nr. 24, Jan. 2003 Nr. 9, Sept. 1998
Nr. 23, Okt. 2002 Nr. 8, Jun. 1998
Nr. 22, Mai 2002 Nr. 7, Apr. 1998
Nr. 21, Okt. 2001 Nr. 6, Jan. 1998
*Nr. 20, Sept. 2001 Nr. 5, Jul. 1997
Nr. 19, Mai 2001 Nr. 4, Okt. 1996
Nr. 18, Jan. 2001 Nr. 3, Apr. 1996
Nr. 17, Okt. 2000 *Nr. 2, Okt. 1992
*Aug. 2000 Nr. 1, Jul. 1992
Nr. 16, Jun. 2000  

20 viewsof Synagogues in Mecklenburg

20 Postkarten der Synagogen

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The postcards show former synagogue buildings and interior photos of
Demmin (die einzige Vorpommersche)
Krakow am See
Plau am See
Rostock (zerstört, Bauzeichnung)
Rostocker Gemeindezentrum mit Synagoge

The photos were taken by photographer and journalist Sven Tetzlaff, printed by PINAX.

* Only available in pack of 20
honorary fee 5 €


A Commemoration Stone (Denkstein), hitherto also called a Rostock Stumbling Block (Rostocker Stolperstein), is a memorial or a «cenotaph» in a sidewalk of Rostock on which a name, final place of residence, location of death, and date of death are engraved.

The booster club of the Max-Samuel-Haus, the «Association of the Friends and Sponsors of the Max-Samuel-Haus e.V.» («Verein der Freunde und Förderer des Max-Samuel-Hauses e.V.») places the stones as monuments to the people who were persecuted and killed as Jews during the Nazi era. Each block, partially from stone and from metal, is placed in the pavement in front of buildings where the victims lived or worked.

The Zuckermann family in 1933.

A stumbling block for Perle Zuckermann (1897–1942) in Rostock’s Altschmiedestraße 26.

«Commemoration Stones» are lasting marks: tangible, simple, unobtrusive, and components of the city’s image. Behind every stone is a terrible fate. The life and work of many of these persecuted individuals still have meaning today. Many Jews of Rostock were killed as they were persecuted by the Nazis. Some were driven into suicide, others died due to being denied protection, and again others were killed in ghettos or concentration camps. Only a few succeeded in fleeing to other countries where they escaped the Holocaust of the Jews, also called the Shoah (שואה). Far fewer survived deportation into the intended extermination.

Would you like to support our project?

In the year 2000, the booster club adopted the idea of Gunter Demnig – which had first been realised, starting in Cologne, since 1992 – and began placing Stumbling Blocks around Rostock. This initiative has been continued by the booster club since 2016 as the Commemoration Stone Project (Denkstein-Projekt).

In 2015, the «Foundation – Tracks – Gunter Demnig» (Stiftung – Spuren – Gunter Demnig) conflicted with the continued use of the term «Stumbling Block» (Stolperstein) by Rostock’s initiative. The Demnig foundation copyrighted the German term «Stolperstein» in 2006. The Demnig foundation would not allow continued use of the term, not even in exchange for a fee, as the booster club had offered. The booster club therefore chose the term «Commemoration Stone» (Denkstein) in order to continue to include the many associated groups active in Rostock’s initiative of commemoration.

In the future, the laying of stones will be scheduled according to how relatives and friends of the killed individuals can arrange their participation. After that will be the coordination of the remaining participatory parties (researchers, students, sponsors, and the many enthusiasts who celebrate the unveiling of these stones). The stones are financed exclusively via donations from individuals, associations, and companies.
According to current knowledge, approximately 100 Rostockers were murdered as Jews in the Shoah, in whose memory an equal number of Commemoration Stones are to be laid. 66 of these have already been placed. There are also Commemoration Stones arranged by different organisations for other victims of Nazism, such as the politically persecuted, the so-called «anti-socials» or homosexual people. For example, on the grounds of the former psychiatric hospital Gehlsheim such stones have been placed to commemorate the mentally ill victims murdered there.

With a donation of 135€ you make a Commemoration Stone possible. Each Commemoration Stone is a stumbling block in the views of attentive observers, making them stop, read and think.

Bank information of the booster club for your donation:
IBAN: DE83 1305 0000 0201 1609 51
Account owner: Förderverein Max-Samuel-Haus
Bank name: OstseeSparkasse Rostock
Note: If you would like a charitable donation certificate for your donation, then please inform us via email. We will send your certificate to your postal address.

Max-Samuel-Haus (Rostock Jewish Heritage Center)
Stiftung Begegnungsstätte für jüdische Geschichte und Kultur in Rostock

Postal Address: Schillerplatz 10, 18055 Rostock
Telephone: +49 0381 4923 209 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office Hours: Monday–Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM or by prior arrangement
Bank Information:
Ostseesparkasse Rostock
IBAN: DE39 1305 0000 0220 0145 66

Information about our work can be found at www.max-samuel-haus.de www.juden-in-rostock.de

Would you like to be engaged with the booster club «Verein der Freunde und Förderer des Max-Samuel-Hauses e.V.» ?

Here you can find the current statute of the association as well as the corresponding admission application.
They are both PDF files which can be printed. Please send the completed application to us physically by mail. We will forward it to the association’s committee. We are available for questions via the contact information above.