The Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media, Stadthöfe GmbH & Co. KG and the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres to Remember the Victims of Nazi Crimes (SHGL) have signed an agreement on the future operation of the Stadthaus Remembrance Site.
For an initial period of 20 years and with an unlimited option to extend, SHGL will take over the operation of the historical site. Yesterday, the Hamburg Parliament decided to provide the Foundation with 100,000 euros for the establishment, and 139,000 euros annually for the management of the historical site.
The Development of the Stadthaus Remembrance Site
From 1933 to 1943, the Stadthaus complex on Neuer Wall and Stadthausbrücke housed, among other things, the Hamburg police headquarters and the control centres of the Secret State Police and the Criminal Investigation Department. In these headquarters of terror and violence, the police organised the persecution of political opponents, Jews, Sintize and Sinti, Romnja and Roma as well as other groups.
Since 2018, the Stadthaus Remembrance Site, set up by Quantum Immobilien AG as its project developer, has been a reminder of these crimes. This is supplemented by display boards in the arcade over the Bleichenfleet and an installation in the so-called Seufzergang, which is largely preserved in its original state. The history site was operated by the bookshop "Lesesaal" until the end of February 2022. The area of the site, which, along with the bookshop, has since been the cause of public protests and discussions about an appropriate way to deal with Hamburg's Nazi past. In the course of these disputes, the floor-relief Stigma was also created, which since June 2022 has been a reminder of the site's past as the former headquarters of the police and Gestapo in front of the Stadthaus, and refers to the consequences of arbitrariness, violence and displacement.
Following the closing of the bookshop, the owner of today's "Stadthöfe", Stadthöfe GmbH & Co. KG, agreed with the Authority for Culture and Media and SHGL, that the Foundation should operate the Stadthaus Remembrance Site in the future. SHGL has already developed two permanent exhibitions for the remembrance site and has accompanied the site with educational and scientific opportunities since 2019.
Conversion into a Multifunctional Place of Learning
In the coming period, the rooms previously used by the bookshop and café will be made available for the Remembrance Site Stadthaus, in addition to the exhibition space. Here, SHGL plans to set up a multifunctional event and seminar room as well as an area for participatory information services. The conversion is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks and will be completed in spring 2023.
Visiting the Exhibition and Programme Until Reopening
Despite renovations, the Foundation will create opportunities to visit the permanent exhibition at the remembrance site "The Stadthaus in National Socialism: Headquarters of Terror". Until the end of the year, the exhibition will initially open on the dates of the public tours of the Stadthaus:
Thursday, 6th October 2022, 3-7pm.
Saturday, 29th October 2022, 3-7pm.
Monday, 31st October 2022, 3-7 pm.
Tuesday, 10th November 2022, 3-7 pm.
Saturday, 26th November 2022, 12-4 pm.
Thursday, 8th December 2022, 3-7 pm.
Saturday, 17th December 2022, 12–4 pm.
Dr. Carsten Brosda (Senator for Culture and Media): "Now that the parliament has cleared the way for the operation of the Remembrance Site Stadthaus under sponsorship of the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Learning Centres, the reconstruction can begin. In dialogue with civil society, we have once again been able to significantly strengthen this place of remembrance. In the future, this place, where crimes were committed by the police and Gestapo during National Socialism in the heart of the city, will remind us of history in many ways. Together with the foundation and the owner, we want to keep the memory of history alive so that arbitrariness and violence no longer have a place in our society."
Dr Oliver von Wrochem (Board of Directors of the Foundation of Hamburg Memorials and Places of Learning Centres in Memory of the Victims of Nazi Crimes): "We are pleased to take over the Stadthaus Remembrance Site into the sponsorship of the foundation. This site of National Socialist terror, located in the centre of the city, will thus be given a long-term perspective. We want to develop a lively place of information, learning and encounter in exchange with initiatives and groups that are committed to remembering the Nazi crimes."