Since its foundation in 1962, the Kommission für Zeitgeschichte has supported research on the political and social history of German Catholicism in the 20th and 21st centuries, along with
its 19th-century roots. In the beginning, the church struggle (Kirchenkampf) under Nazism held priority. Since the end of the 1980s, emphasis has shifted to the history of the Federal Republic and the former GDR,
whereby the transnational context of German Catholic history has come increasingly into focus. This comprehensive research into the political and social effects of German Catholicism gives special consideration to
the experiences of living witnesses.
The Kommission für Zeitgeschichte operates a Research Center in Bonn, which includes a reference library and an archive on the history of Catholicism in Germany. The Kommission conceives and organizes team-oriented research projects, particularly ones
that exploit unpublished sources on the history of German Catholicism. A key publishing project is a series of critical editions on the files of German bishops (Edition Akten der deutschen Bischöfe). The Research
Center also cooperates with individual researchers working on dissertations, post-doctoral teaching theses (Habilitation), or other research projects. These projects thematically and methodically explore questions
of political, institutional, church, social, or cultural history. The results are published in the »Blue Series« Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Zeitgeschichte; Series A consists of published original Sources, Series B of Research and Series C.
In addition, the Kommission für Zeitgeschichte collections of sources, conference volumes, thematic anthologies, and overviews aimed at a
All publications are by Ferdinand Schöningh of Paderborn.