Offenburg

  • The Salmen today | Photo: Museum in the Ritterhaus
  • Exhibition on the “13 Demands in the name of the People”
  • Revolutionaries at the Offenburg Freedom Festival 1997
  • The former Synagogue in the Salmen
  • Exhibition on the persecution of Offenburg Jews in the Nazi era

 

Official website: >> Salmen website
Address: Lange Straße 52, 77652 Offenburg, +google
Information and booking: Tel. 0781 – 82 2460, Fax. 0781 – 82 7521, museumspaedagogik
(at)offenburg.de
Telephone times: Mon – Thu 2 – 4 pm, Fri 10 –12 noon
Sponsor of the Facility: Offenburg Town

Memorial Salmen

From the very beginning the former inn, Salmen, built around 1787, experienced an eventful and turbulent history. This is where the Baden democrat Friedrich Hecker and the “Resolute Friends of the Constitution” proclaimed the first drafts of a democratic constitution in Germany in 1847.
1875 the building became the property of the Jewish Community Offenburg. It used the hall as Synagogue for almost 60 years. During the so-called “Reichskristallnacht /Night of Broken Glass” 9/10 November 1938 the house of prayer was devastated by national socialists.
After World War II the building, including its history, sunk into oblivion and served as warehouse. In 1997 the town acquired the Salmen. Following the renovation and extension, the building consecrated in 2002 is a cultural and memorial site today. Due to its importance for the history of German democracy, the Salmen is a cultural memorial of national importance. It is very popular among Offenburg citizens as cultural centre, exchange and meeting point.
Two historical presentations in the gallery of the Salmen hall are a reminder of the proclamation of the draft of the first German constitution which embodies the dawn of a new era of free state under the rule of law and the devastation of the Offenburg Synagogue which stood for the end of freedom and tolerance.


Educational Programme

The pedagogical department of the Ritterhaus Museum to which the Salmen belongs, offers various guided theme tours especially for school classes. The individual themes are listed below. If you have any questions or booking wishes, you can turn to the contacts at the top of this page – by telephone or email.

>> Guided Salmen Tour

The presentation in the memorial Salmen addresses two central themes of the building’s history: its position as meeting point of the “Resolute Friends of the Constitution” who passed the 13-point programme here on 12th September 1847 and its importance as Synagogue of the Jewish Community Offenburg in the years 1875 to 1938.

Age: 8th class up
Course duration: 120 min
Group size: One class

>> Mikveh, Salmen, Stolpersteine (cobble-sized memorials laid flush with the pavement)

The eventful history of the Jewish citizens in Offenburg is still revealed by the townscape today. To see the Mikveh, the former Jewish ritual bath which is several years old, you have to go underground. The Salmen as former Synagogue and the Stolperstiene, which can be seen at many spots in town, invite us to deal with the fate of the Jews in Offenburg during the Nazi era.

Age: from the age of 12 up
Course duration: 120 min
Group size: One class

>> Only soldiers can help against democrats — The 1848 Revolution

When the “Resolute Friends of the Constitution” meet in the inn Salmen in Offenburg, it generates interest, not only in Baden, but almost throughout Germany. The “Demands of the People” which are read out there are indeed not new, but political and social needs and wants are compiled in a programme for the first time. In this course the pupils are familiarised with the problem and the occurrences of the revolution. Thereby particularly the happenings in Offenburg and Baden are addressed. In the practical part the pupils can put what they have learned into “revolutionary” practice in the print workshop and in the media room.

Age: 8th class up
Course duration: 120 min
Group size: One class

>> Places of the Revolution in Offenburg

In the middle of the 19th century Offenburg has some 4000 inhabitants, hardly believable that the residents of such a musing little town were able to get to grips with the organisation of public assemblies of 1848/49 counting 20,000 or respectively 30,000 participants. The pupils, the places and buildings which played a part during the freedom movement 1847 – 48 in Offenburg and that knew the most important revolutionaries. The excursion through the local history of the time provides an introduction to the topic, to be precise an immersion and a complementation of the topic of 48.

The tour is weather-dependent and is recommended for the warmer seasons.
Age: from 8th class up
Course duration: 90 min
Group size: class size

Places to visit in the vicinity

  • Mikveh (Jewish ritual bath), Glaserstrasse 8
  • Jewish Cemetery (part of the Waldbach Cemetery)
  • Sculpture “Freedom” of Jonathan Borofsky, Platz der Verfassungsfreunde

Publications

Rainer Schimpf: Offenburg 1802-1847, Karlsruhe 1997
Revolution im Südwesten: Stätten der Demokratiebewegung, Karlsruhe 1997
Martin Ruch: Geschichte der Offenburger Juden: Jiskor: Erinnere Dich! Books on Demand; 2. Auflage, 2011
Martin Ruch: Verfolgung und Widerstand in Offenburg 1933-1945, Offenburg 1995
Martin Ruch: Der Salmen, Offenburg 2002
Susanne Asche: Der Salmen in Offenburg. Ein Kulturdenkmal von nationaler Bedeutung und ein Kristallisationspunkt populärer Erinnerungskultur, in: Badische Heimat, 2, 2004

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