Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ)
The Institut für Zeitgeschichte ("Institute of Contemporary History") in Munich was conceived in 1947 under the name Deutsches Institut für Geschichte der nationalsozialistischen Zeit ("German Institute of the History of the National Socialist Era"). Founded by the German government and the State of Bavaria on suggestion by the Allied Forces, it was established in 1949 and renamed in 1952. Its purpose is the analysis of contemporary German history.
Since 1953, the Institute has been publishing the journal Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte ("Contemporary History Quarterly"), which is regarded as one of the most important publications of German historical research. The Institute has also published extensive editions of contemporary historical documents, such as The Foreign Policy Files of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland and The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels.
In 1994, the Institute founded a branch in Potsdam, which has been based near the German Federal Archives since 1996. The focus of research at the Berlin branch of the Institute is the history of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The branch Abteilung des IfZ im Auswärtigen Amt ("IfZ Department in the Foreign Office"), founded in 1990 (first situated in Bonn; in Berlin, since 2000), publishes documents from the German Foreign Office.
In 1999, the Institute conceived the Dokumentationszentrum Obersalzberg museum on the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden at the request of the Bavarian government. This exhibition documents the construction of the Obersalzberg into a showy residence for Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist leadership circles.