The Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History was established in 1986 with the support of the Minerva Gesellschaft für die Forschung to promote research in German and German-Jewish History. It integrated the Richard Michael Koebner Lehrstuhl founded in 1977. The Center is located at the History Department of the Faculty of Humanities in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. It is one of the oldest and one of the few Minerva Centers in the fields of humanities in the country. The Center works in research and teaching of German and German-Jewish History in the Middle Ages, the early modern period, the 19th and 20th centuries and in contemporary German History.
The Center is named after Richard Michael Koebner (born 1885 in Breslau - died 1958 in London), a German-Jewish Historian and lecturer, later extraordinary Professor at the University of Breslau. Koebner was expelled from office in 1933 and followed a call to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he contributed intensively to the development of the History Department.
The permanent and affiliated academic members of the center today are Prof. Ofer Ashkenazi (director and permanent member), Dr. Aya Elyada (permanent member) and Dr. Amir Engel (affiliated member); more information and the full list of members and fellows is available at the corresponding sections of this site.
Research and teaching activities of the Center are reinforced by regular vistist of scholars from Germany. From its start the Center hosted regularly well-known German historians like Hans Mommsen, Eberhard Kolb, Wolfgang Fischer, Reinhard Rürup, Wolfgang Schieder, Rainer Hudemann, Ute Frevert, Bernd Weisbrod, Christoph Dipper und Inge Marsolek. In 2012/13 the newly established Stavenhagen Guest Professorship at the Koebner Minerva Center for German History was launched for the first time. This Guest Professorship institutionalized the cooperation with German historians inviting each year established as well as young historians for a short-term stay for up to three months to participate in the teaching and research activities of the Center.