07.02.2017: The Rosenburg Files – The Federal Ministry of Justice and the Nazi Past

Photo: Manfred Görtemaker

Dienstag, 7. Februar 2017, 17–19:00 Uhr
The Max Webb Family School of Languages Building, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Klausner Street, Tel Aviv, Israel

In January 2012, the German Federal Ministry of Justice tasked an Independent Academic Commission with investigating the Ministry’s national-socialist legacy during the early years of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. The Ministry wanted to know whether, and to what extent, continuities existed in terms of personnel between the Nazi regime and the Federal Republic of Germany in its founding years, and in what ways this had had an effect on the Ministry’s substantive work in both law-making and the prosecution of Nazi criminals. Under the direction of Professor Manfred Görtemaker (University of Potsdam) and Professor Christoph Safferling (University of Erlangen-Nuremburg), the Commission was given unrestricted access to the Ministry’s files, and the Ministry supported the Commission’s work actively and without reservation.

In October 2016, the Commission published its concluding report in a book entitled The Rosenburg Files, following a launch in Berlin. The report generated considerable interest among the German general public and was widely covered in the media. It casts a dark shadow on the first decades in the history of the Federal Ministry of Justice. Numerous members of the Ministry’s executive staff had been involved in the power apparatus of the “Third Reich,” and this had had far-reaching consequences with regard to the Federal Republic’s dealing with the legacy of Nazism: Nazi laws were corrected only in a superficial manner, there was ongoing discrimination against former victims, and the prosecution of Nazi criminals was thwarted.

Thus Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas believes it is an important task for the Ministry to relate the findings to the victims of National Socialism and their descendants, and to enter into a dialogue with them about the consequences. He will therefore draw particular attention to the Rosenburg Project during his official state visit to Israel. Together with the two heads of the Independent Academic Commission, he will present the findings of the project at The Max Webb Family School of Languages Building (Webb Building), Auditorium 001, at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, 7 February 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m., and will enter into discussion with the audience. Afterwards, a buffet reception will be held from 7 to 8 p.m.

Vorträge und Diskussion:

  • Prof. Raanan Rein, Vizepräsident der Tel Aviv University
  • Heiko Maas, Bundesminister der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz
  • Prof. Christoph Safferling, Universität Erlangen
  • Prof. Manfred Görtemaker, Universität Potsdam


  • Prof. Dina Porat, Yad Vashem Museum