(19 April 2017, Germany) The focus here is on a fascinating personality and the history of the Federal Republic of Germany: The Life and Work of Konrad Adenauer (1876 to 1967), illuminated at the new permanent exhibition in the Adenauerhaus museum in Bad Honnef-Rhöndorf. It opens on 19th of April, the 50th anniversary of the death of the republic’s founding chancellor. The design is from ATELIER BRÜCKNER.
“Personal freedom is and remains the greatest good of humankind”, said Konrad Adenauer. He lived in a period of German history that was as chequered as it was fundamental to the future of the country. It was a time upon which he exercised a decisive influence. Large-format photographs and written documents occupy the space and take the exhibition visitor back into an analogue world of dense information and profound change. Political upheavals are expressed in the form of crooked walls and by the plenary-shaped arrangement of a thematically dedicated area. Exhibits and media stations have been integrated in the exhibition, including, for example, an Old Testament that comes with a dedication by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and represents Adenauer’s efforts to achieve reconciliation, or a darning egg with lighting, one of Adenauer’s charming inventions to which he dedicated himself in his private life. The colours of the exhibition texts illustrate three narrative threads, which are woven throughout the entire exhibition and, in some cases, overlay it: the context of time, Adenauer’s private life and Adenauer in his professional life.
The chronologically ordered route through the exhibition is set out on three floors and passes through six separate areas, each of which deals with a specific theme. The youth and rise of Konrad Adenauer in the German Empire and the period from 1917 to 1933 as Senior Mayor of Cologne are presented on the ground floor. The second floor concentrates on the time from 1933 onwards, when he was persecuted under National Socialism, and the important years from 1945, when he helped to shape the new beginning and served as the first post-war Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1949 to 1963). The third floor of the exhibition is devoted to the last years of his life and to his living memory. From here, the guided tours through Adenauer’s former home start as well.
Konrad Adenauer embodied an entire century of German history. Visitors are reminded of the significance of the founding chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and the importance of democracy, both which are portrayed and elucidated in the exhibition. The specific intention is to convey these themes to a younger public, which can go on a journey of discovery in the exhibition. The pictogram entitled “Conny, the Fox” was specially developed for this target group. Striking a less earnest note, it leads the young visitors through the exhibition.
The Stiftung Bundeskanzler-Adenauer-Haus is the oldest of Germany’s six memorial foundations for politicians. It was established in 1967, the year of Konrad Adenauer’s death. The primary tasks of this cross-party federal foundation are to make the ensemble of exhibition themes accessible to the public, namely Adenauer’s original, preserved house with its picturesque garden and the museum building from the 1970s, and, starting from there, to convey the life and work of Konrad Adenauer to new and younger generations.
“Konrad Adenauer 1876 – 1967. Rheinländer, Deutscher, Europäer”
53604 Bad Honnef-Rhöndorf