description of the project
The "Digital Library of the Kirchenkampf"
The "Digital Library of the Kirchenkampf (Church Struggle)" is a project of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Archive und Bibliotheken in der evangelischen Kirche (AABevK = Working Group of Archives and Libraries in the Protestant Church).
The collections of the libraries and archives of the Protestant Church in Germany contain an estimated 10,000 monographs and magazines as well as brochures and other small documents from the time of the so-called Kirchenkampf (Church Struggle). In addition, there are also around 5,000 essays, sermons and other relevant texts. These documents are invaluable for researching the history of the Protestant Churches during the National Socialist period. They reflect the conflict between the Bekennende Kirche (Confessing Church) and the Deutsche Christen (German Christians) as well as other people, groups and institutions involved in the struggle.
The primary goal of the project is to offer a complete online inventory of the source material available in church archives and libraries. Where possible, the catalog allows direct access to the digitized full texts, so that the documents are freely available for scientific work and research.
At the same time, the digitization supports the preservation of the original material, since the decay of paper caused by acid corrosion poses a serious threat to these important sources from the National Socialist era.
While the project is limited to the years from 1933 to 1945, the time before and after this period has not been left out of consideration. The reason here is twofold: Firstly, the thought processes found in the writings often go back to the 19th century and, secondly, they played an important role well beyond 1945, in that their themes were taken up in later works and helped to determine the development of the Protestant churches after 1945.