Anja Bukschat

About me

Anja Bukschat

As a native Berliner (born in 1970), I grew up with the inner turmoil of my city. The Shoah occupied me as a schoolgirl and hasn’t let go of me since.

During my studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, I was particularly impressed by interdisciplinary seminars on the Holocaust and encounters with Jewish students. What I was able to learn about Jewish life then and now has had a lasting impact on my future path. My thesis dealt with Israeli and German documentary filmmakers who had interviewed their own families about the Shoah.

This prompted me to do my own genealogical research for my family. I discovered that one of my grandfathers had been a member of the Waffen SS.

Ultimately, it was the 35 stumbling blocks in my street that prompted me to do research in the archives on the lives of my former Jewish neighbours. I was fascinated by how much information was hidden there about these former fellow citizens.

The loss of these people is always present for me because it is always the individuals who give a city a face — and this face in turn shapes the following generations.

One day a family from Israel contacted me. They asked me to find out more about their Berlin ancestors. My project Avudim Berlin emerged from this family research.

Meanwhile, Avudim Berlin is getting valuable support from two PhD historians, who provide me with valuable services in the historical classification.