Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

History of the Building

Goldschmidtstrasse 28

Dreistöckiges repräsentatives weißes Eckhaus aus der Gründerzeit


Before World War II, Leipzig was considered as one of the major centers for publishing houses, printing houses, and book binderies. The heart of this »book City« in Leipzig was the former Graphisches Viertel, the Graphic Quarter. Located on both sides of the Johannisplatz (St. John's Square), it extended east from the Leipzig city center. Renowned publishing houses such as F. A. Brockhaus, Reclam, the Musikverlag C. F. Peters and the Insel Verlag were located there. At the center of the book dealers' and publishers' quarter once stood St. John's Church, which like many buildings in the quarter, fell victim to bombing raids during World War II. In the course of granting new licenses after 1945, numerous Leipzig publishing firms relocated to Western Germany, and after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the former importance of the book dealers and publishers' quarter disappeared, and with it the renown of Leipzig as an internationally reputed publishing hub.


The history of the building at Goldschmidtstraße 28 is an integral part of the history of the Graphic Quarter. The entire length of Goldschmidtstraße, which bore the name Königsstraße and was renamed after the famous educator Henriette Goldschmidt in 1947, was one of the most densely built-up and active areas in the Graphic Quarter. In 1894, the Oskar Leiner Book Printers and Bindery (Buchdruckerei und Buchbinderei Oskar Leiner) moved from Königsstraße 5 to Königsstraße 26b, today Goldschmidtstraße 28. The product range of the printing house was rich and diverse: along with publications of the Reclam-Verlag, it printed leaflets, illustrated catalogs, brochures, price lists, printed matter in foreign languages, and newspaper supplements. In 1896, the Bosworth & Co. Music Publishers also relocated to the present-day Goldschmidtstraße 28. From 1930 onwards, along with the Oskar Leiner Book Printers and Bindery, the D. Leiner Verlag was also located in the building at Königsstraße 26b.


In 1946, the B. G. Teubner Verlag purchased the Oskar Leiner Book Printers at today's Goldschmidtstraße 28; it had not suffered destruction during the war. Soon after the war, the Soviet occupying authorities began with dismantling of almost all machinery in the firm. In 1947, the B. G. Teubner Verlagsgesellschaft KG received a publishing license from the Soviet military administration. After the departure to West Germany of Martin Giesecke, a great-grandson in the family, the B. G. Teubner Verlag was refounded as a publishing house in Stuttgart in 1953. That same year, the Leipzig publishing firm B. G. Teubner was placed under a state trusteeship and continued in operation. Not until 1990 were the two Teubner publishing firms reunited after nearly forty years of separation. In 1999, the media concern Bertelsmann purchased the Teubner publishing house, relocating its main office and plant to Wiesbaden.


The Teubner Verlag specialized in scientific publications in the fields of classical studies, mathematics, chemistry, physics, information science, geography, engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical Engineering, and construction. In addition, until 1989 the building at Goldschmidtstraße 28 also housed the publishing firm Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Geest & Portig KG, which became one of the leading specialized publishers in the GDR for the natural sciences. After a number of different tenants at Goldschmidtstraße 28, in the autumn of 1998, after extensive renovation work, the former Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, today Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture – Simon Dubnow (DI), moved into the building. Along with research, the premises of the Dubnow Institute serve as a venue for its numerous academic events, as well as lectures, seminars and various language courses at Leipzig University.