On November 9th 1980 the “Alte Synagoge” in Essen opened as a local memorial. The centre began work on local memory cultures of the National Socialist era and was integrated into the West German memorial movement (Gedenkstättenbewegung). Its institutionalisation took place in midst of conflicting priorities of diverse political and religious constructions of the past, and present-day concerns. This article examines these conflicts of interpretation from the perspective of the stakeholders and of local history as well as addressing the latitude and learning processes of the participants. In doing so it contributes to research into contemporary memory culture and politics of history in Germany.
Author(s): Fabian Schwanzar,