Hamburg shines a lightweight on troubled heritage with new app
The app is predicated on the guide “Hamburg: Germany’s gateway to the colonial world”
Last week, Hamburg introduced the launch of a new app, which guarantees to untangle the city’s colonial previous. The app was developed by a team at the city’s Research Centre for (post-)Colonial Heritage (Forschungsstelle Hamburgs (post-)koloniales Erbe). It was based on the book Hamburg: Germany’s gateway to the colonial world (Hamburg: Deutschlands Tor zur kolonialen Welt).
The app goals to make the city’s colonial history accessible for each visitors and locals providing a tour of notable places with background historical past on Hamburg’s heritage and participation in the theft and trade of African artefacts.
Although Germany is legendary for its transparent efforts to rectify the mistakes of Nazism from the 20th century, colonialism stays a more obscure topic. Katharina Fegebank, Science Senator, was quoted in a press statement explaining that the app helped to make this chapter of German historical past more seen.
Germany’s colonial port
Researchers from the Centre for (post-)Colonial Heritage claim that the Hanseatic City of Hamburg was the premier level of entry and exit for colonial artefacts during the 18th and 19th centuries for the entire of Germany.
During this period, many colonial powers traded looted artefacts from their overseas colonies in the port of Hamburg and many individuals who lived in the area turned immensely rich. Moreover, it was the main level of launching German colonial expeditions.
Even today, town hosts a clothing store near the port referred to as Ernst Brendler, founded in 1879, which still sells tropical and marine outfits commonplace in expeditions in the course of the interval. Moreover, around 179 artefacts originating from the dominion of Benin used to be housed in Hamburg’s ethnological museum.
More than 100 of those had been part of the Benin Bronzes – a well-known art set up depicting the history of the kingdom of Benin dated from around the 16th century. Most of the plaques had been taken during a British Expedition in 1897 and bought all over the world, with the gathering primarily positioned within the British Museum, with notable exceptions in Hamburg and the US.
The Benin Bronzes are a really prominent instance of the brutality of colonialism, as they stored the entire history of the Benin people (today living in Edo State in Nigeria). Colonial forces robbed a culture of its roots by demolishing the unique palace where they have been displayed and scattering them in the world.
Notably, the Hamburg Ethnological Museum determined to return its assortment in 2021, together with many institutions in Germany and the United Kingdom, with the notable exception of the British Museum.