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Historical Museum Bremerhaven

The Historical Museum Bremerhaven, nowadays situated in a both modern and representative building, has an interesting and varied history.

At Weddewarden north of Bremerhaven in the “Morgenstern” pub, a local cultural society named „Heimatbund der Männer vom Morgenstern“, was founded in 1882, initiated by the local poet Hermann Allmers (1821-1902). This society still exists today and has made it its task to conserve local and regional cultural heritage. In cooperation with the society, the scientist and regional historian Dr. Johann Bohls conducted excavations which were put on display in Lehe in 1896. In 1902, these collections were taken over by the city of Geestemünde and displayed from 1910 to 1943 in the local chamber of commerce.

The war brought heavy losses, but the material was finally displayed in the upper storey of a former warehouse in the Geestemünde Kaistrasse (near the marina) from 1961 on, thanks to the still remembered ethnologist and museum manager Gert Schlechtriem (1929-1998). Meanwhile, the collections covered areas such as archaeology, regional history, ethnology and urban history. The large maritime collections were handed over to the newly-founded German Maritime Museum, but afterwards, new maritime objects were acquired.

Finally, the exhibition area proved to be too small. So a design contest for a new building on the Geeste River was held in 1986. Designed by the Bremerhaven architect Wolfgang Bending, construction was carried out in two phases, beginning in 1988. On August 30th 1991, the new museum was inaugurated. Sections such as “Bremerhaven and surroundings 1827 to 1927”, “Deep-Sea Fishing and Fish Industry”, “Ports and Port Labour”, “Shipyards and Shipbuilding” and “Bremerhaven and surroundings 1920 to 1930” tell much of the urban and regional economic history. The section entitled “Treasures from the region” shows the results of archaeological excavations, while the “Bremerhaven Gallery” displays the activities of contemporary local artists.

The trawler GERA belongs to the museum too. She is moored in the fisheries port (Fischereihafen I) and open to the public from April 1st to October 30th. A further service for genealogists and other specialists is the German Emigrants Data Bank (Link:  www.deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de) with information of passenger lists of the emigrant ships departing from German ports to North America between 1820 to 1939.

Link to Historical Museum Bremerhaven: www.historisches-museum-bremerhaven.de

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