The Centre for Contemporary History (German: Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, abbreviated ZZF) is an interdisciplinary research institute focusing on the contemporary history of Europe, especially Germany, and member of the Leibniz Association. The ZZF, located in Potsdam, Germany, was established in 1996 as the continuation of the Max Planck Society research program on Contemporary History, founded in 1992. Its main operation was supported by the state of Brandenburg, with additional financial backing from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) for specific projects. Since 2009 the ZZF is a member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Community and therefore mainly funded to equal parts by the German Ministry of Education and Research and the Länder. Its current directors are Martin Sabrow and Frank Bösch. Past directors include Jürgen Kocka, Christoph Kleßmann, and Konrad H. Jarausch.
The Association of Supporters and Friends of the Centre for Contemporary History was founded on the initiative of Martin Sabrow on May 18, 1998. Dr. Hans Otto Bräutigam was the Association’s first chair. At present, Dr. Hinrich Enderlein presides over the Association. The approximately one-hundred members of the Association contribute at levels they choose themselves: the minimum annual contribution is currently 50 €.
Each member receives a copy of the Centre’s annual report and almanac, ZeitRäume. Funds provided by the supporters allow the Centre to invite distinguished lecturers from the realms of public and cultural affairs to give presentations and participate in podium discussions. They also enable the institute to host scholarly and literary book presentations, as well as special exhibitions. Donations from the association enable the ZZF to collaborate with memorial sites such as Potsdam’s Lindenstraße 54/55, a historic site dedicated to victims of political violence during the twentieth century.
The annual report of the ZZF provides information on the scientific work and the institutional development of the institute during the relevant period. In figures and data, he presents the projects and personalities, the events and publications, which have shaped the work of the institute. The report has been published annually since 2008. The Center for Contemporary History Research (ZZF) researches German and European contemporary history in the 20th century and its effects up to the present. As a member of the Leibniz Association, its basic equipment is funded in half by the Confederation and by the Länder. In addition, there are third-party funds which the Institute for Research Projects invests.
The ZZF cooperates with numerous university and non-university research institutions in Germany and abroad and has an internationally oriented guest scientists' program. It is connected to the University of Potsdam and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin through joint appointments and cooperates in research, teaching and the development of young academics with numerous other universities. The scientific work of the institute is currently divided into four departments as well as the management.