The Former FDJ Youth College and the Goebbels Villa at Bogensee
Research and exhibition project
The Transformation of a Double Contemporary Historical Memory Site after 1990" (BOGENSEE).
A project of the ZZF Potsdam in cooperation with the Barnim-Panorama in Wandlitz,
funded by the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship and the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg
At Bogensee near Wandlitz, located in the middle of the forest, are two sites of Germany's past: the former villa of Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and the building complex of the former FDJ Youth College. In the villa built for Goebbels in the 1930s, the Red Army initially set up a military hospital in 1945. As early as 1946, however, the FDJ's "Central School" moved into the building. In the 1950s, numerous new buildings were constructed on the adjacent grounds. The result was a complex of classroom, communal and residential buildings that has been largely preserved to this day. Aspiring FDJ functionaries and pioneer leaders from all over the GDR, as well as young people from "friendly" socialist countries, from so-called national liberation movements and from left-wing organizations in the West, were delegated to the political educational institution, which was shielded from the surrounding area and had above-average facilities. After the end of the GDR, the International Federation used the complex. Since 1999, however, the buildings have stood empty. Previous utilization concepts were unsuccessful.
To date, there is no historical educational work that provides information about the use of the site under National Socialism and during the occupation and the GDR on site. Rather, the listed buildings have been left to decay for many years. The dilapidated fabric of the buildings and the increasing reconquest of the site by nature promote a mysterious and mythically charged aura of the site. This process of transformation and decay, which has now been going on for twenty years, also needs to be reflected upon and processed in a historical-critical manner.
The project "BOGENSEE" inquires into the potential of the site as a contemporary historical place of remembrance and has set itself the goal of sounding out possibilities as well as offers of historical education and enlightenment work on its eventful history.
The aim of the project is to present the first research results on the history of the site in an online exhibition. Under the title "BOGENSEE. A historical tour of the place", current 360° photographs will provide a glimpse into the buildings that are no longer accessible today. The online offer will also provide information about the history of construction and use of the site. Historical image and film material as well as selected documents round off the presentation.
As an impulse generator and laboratory, the exhibition is intended to promote further exchange and the development of a long-term concept for dealing with the site and its history.
Dr. Anja Tack
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
Office: Am Neuen Markt 1, room 0.01
Phone: +49 331 289 91 47
mobile: +49 176 60 88 65 70
Email: tack [at] zzf-potsdam.de