Reference works and documentations

BKGE | Projects | Documenting the Heimatsammlungen in Germany

In the Federal Republic of Germany there are several hundred smaller museums with collections from refugees, expellees and emigrants. They are often described as “Silesian”, “Pomeranian”, “East-Prussian” or - extending beyond regional borders - “East German” Heimatstuben or local centres. These museums house various items of memorabilia, precious objects with historical, artistic or ethnographic value, as well as books and archival documents, which are often unique specimens. Some of these items were carried by the emigrants as they fled their homeland, other pieces were purchased or acquired during subsequent visits to the earlier place of residence. As a consequence many very comprehensive collections have resulted.

Until now, primarily museological and conservation problems, resulting from the origins and the heterogeneity of the collections, as well as the individual cultural and social-science aspects of the research are have been covered in shorter articles. Directories of establishments have been complied for certain regions of origin and for some individual states. However, the true meaning of the Heimatstuben and the cultural assets they contain has not really been thoroughly investigated and documented. This is becoming steadily more important, as the long-term survival of many of these establishments cannot be guaranteed. For the first time, the project Dokumentation der Heimatsammlungen in Deutschland [Documentation of the small local history collections in Germany] is investigating and focussing on the entire breadth of this subject.

 

Project aims

  1. The complete registration and presentation of all current Heimatsammlungen in Germany
    Each individual collection should be recorded with a rough outline of its history and a summary documentation of its collected items. This project aim also includes the registration of those collections that no longer exist as independent establishments. As a result, a complete overall documentation will be presented in the form of a regularly updated online platform, http://www.bkge.de/heimatsammlungen, which will be publicly accessible throughout and after the project.
  2. The monographic analysis of the phenomenon Heimatsammlungen/Small local history collections.
    In an accompanying interdisciplinary research paper, the history (foundation, development) and the social significance will be explained, especially looking at integration of expellees (means of communication and preservation of identity). Furthermore, the political dimension will be outlined and a cultural-disciplinary classification of the Heimatsammlungen will be presented. In an inter-disciplinary approach, associated issues and historical development, European ethnology and museology will be linked. Resources for the planned presentation include, among other things, the collections themselves, documents and archival records from the local municipalities and states, the expellees' press as well as additional interviews.
    One can expect constructive developments from the linking of these two project aims, which promise a positive impact on the overall scientific result. In mutual collaboration, both parts of the project should document the importance of the Heimatstuben and Heimat museums as elements of the German commemorative culture in the second half of the twentieth century up to the current day.

 

Project organistation and collaboration

The project started in July 2008, and is located at the Seminar for European Ethnology/Folklore at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel under professional leadership of Prof. Dr. Silke Göttsch-Elten from Kiel. The project is being realised in cooperation with the Oldenburg-based Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe, led by Prof. Dr. Matthias Weber.

Preparatory work has already been completed in the academic specialist area of European Ethnology/Folklore (Prof. Dr. Kurt Dröge, Dr. Heinke Kalinke) within the Federal Institute, and so the project´s workplace was consequently also established here. The cultural scientist, Cornelia Eisler M.A., is the project editor. The project, which is planned to run for three and a half years, is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media based on section 96 of the Federal Expellee Law (BVFG).

An advisory board of experts - including members of the committee of the League of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen, BdV), the League of Expellees in Lower Saxony (BdV-Landesverband Niedersachsen), the German Museums Association (Deutscher Museumsbund), the Museums´ Association for Lower Saxony and Bremen (Museumsverband für Niedersachsen und Bremen e.V.), as well as the directors of the Martin-Opitz-Library in Herne and the Silesian Museum in Görlitz - provides consultation for the project and ensures its trans-disciplinary approach.

The compilation of the collections, furthermore, takes place in agreement and in exchange with: the current ongoing regional compilation projects in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westfalia and Saxony; with initiatives responsible for the Heimatstuben; and with the museums sponsored under section 96 of the BVFG.

 

References

  • Beer, Mathias: Heimatmuseum – Eine Bestandsaufnahme. In: Annemarie Röder (Hg.): Heimat – Annäherungsversuche. Stuttgart 2007, S. 54-62.
  • Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa (Hg.): Was wird aus den Heimatsammlungen? Überlegungen, Denkanstöße, Lösungsansätze. [Oldenburg] 2007.
  • Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa: Dokumentation des Kolloquiums: Was wird aus den Heimatsammlungen? Zukunftsperspektiven für die historisch-ostdeutschen Heimatmuseen und Heimatstuben in Deutschland und die dort verwahrten Sammlungen und Archivbestände, veranstaltet vom Schlesischen Museum zu Görlitz, der Martin-Opitz-Bibliothek Herne und dem Bundesinstitut für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa. Oldenburg 11.-12. Dezember 2006. [als Typoskript vervielfältigt].
  • Dröge, Kurt: Das "ostdeutsche" Museum und Ostmitteleuropa. In: Jahrbuch für deutsche und osteuropäische Volkskunde 43 (2000), S. 1-27.
  • Eisler, Cornelia: Die „verlorene Heimat im Osten“ in den Heimatstuben der deutschen Flüchtlinge und Vertriebenen. In: Elisabeth Fendl (Hg.): Zur Ästhetik des Verlusts. Bilder von Heimat, Flucht und Vertreibung. Münster 2011 (Schriftenreihe des Johannes-Künzig-Instituts Freiburg 12), S. 125-139.
  • Eisler, Cornelia: Historisch-ostdeutsche Heimatsammlungen in Deutschland. Eine interdisziplinäre Untersuchung zur Erinnerungskultur von Flüchtlingen und Vertriebenen nach 1945. In: Berichte und Forschungen. Jahrbuch des Bundesinstituts für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa 16 (2009), S. 143-162.
  • Eisler, Cornelia, Bauer, Markus (Bearb.): Schlesische Heimatstuben in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Ein Projekt des Schlesischen Museums zu Görlitz. Görlitz [2004]. Online in Interenet: URL: http://www.schlesisches-museum.de/hst/  [Stand: 13.08.2008]
  • Fendl, Elisabeth: Deponien der Erinnerung – Orte der Selbstbestimmung. Zur Bedeutung und Funktion der Egerländer Heimatstuben. In: Hartmut Heller (Hg.): Neue Heimat Deutschland. Aspekte der Zuwanderung, Akkulturation und emotionalen Bindung. Erlangen 2002 (Erlanger Forschungen, Reihe A, Geisteswissenschaften 95), S. 63-78.
  • Göttsch-Elten, Silke: Heimatsammlungen in Deutschland. Überlegungen zu ihrer heutigen Bedeutung. In: Berichte und Forschungen. Jahrbuch des Bundesinstituts für Kultur und Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa 16 (2009), S. 135-142.
  • Schütze, Manuela: Zur musealen Aneignung verlorener Heimat in ostdeutschen Heimatstuben. In: Kurt Dröge (Hg.): Alltagskulturen zwischen Erinnerung und Geschichte. Beiträge zu einer Volkskunde der Deutschen in und aus dem östlichen Europa. München 1995 (Schriften des Bundesinstituts für Ostdeutsche Kultur und Geschichte 6), S. 95-111.
  • Thürmer, Mayra: Fiedel, Klöppelspitze und Zunftpokal - Zur Inszenierung der 'alten Heimat' am Beispiel von zwei historisch-ostdeutschen Heimatstuben in Baden-Württemberg. Genese, Funktion und didaktische Analyse. Magisterarbeit, Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg. Heidelberg 2011.

 

Download this information as a leaflet.Information on the presentation of the project on 18.11.2008: Pressemeldung. Information about the Federal Government of Germany online.

 

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