Funded by the Authority for Schools and Vocational Training since 2021
Supported by the Reinhard Frank Foundation since 2013
From 2014 to 2021, supported by the Authority for Science, Research, Equality, and Districts
The Geschichtomat is a school project aimed at imparting knowledge about Jewish history and culture in Hamburg. The goal of the project, which is unique in Germany, is to give students independent access to Jewish history, culture, and the present in their city. This is all the more important because in German school curricula, Jewish history is often invariably associated with the history of persecution and the Holocaust. German-Jewish history beyond the perspective of the victims is often missing. Coming to terms with prejudices against Judaism, some of which still exist, and preventing anti-Semitism constitute important components of the project.
Within the framework of project weeks, the young people venture into their neighborhoods in search of clues. They deal with historical persons, places or events and examine current Jewish life. Under the guidance of experts and media educators, they conduct research, interview specialists and contemporary witnesses, visit museums and archives, shoot and edit films, and write texts. At the end of the project week, the finished contributions are uploaded to the Geschichtomat website. In this way, a digital map of Jewish life from the perspective of young people gradually takes shape.
The Geschichtomat was conceived by Ivana Scharf and has been supported by the Institute for the History of the German Jews. The jaf – Verein für medienpädagogische Praxis Hamburg e. V. takes on the media pedagogical supervision of the students and helps with the production of the films.
In 2018, the project was awarded the “Sonder-Primus digital” prize by the Stiftung Bildung und Gesellschaft. Two years later, it received the Obermayer German Jewish History Award. In 2021, Geschichtomat was awarded the Hamburg Foundation Prize (Hamburger Stiftungspreis).