Der „Dokumentations- und Lernort“ (The documentation and learning centre)

The „Reichserntedankfest“ (Reich Harvest Festival), which was organised annually on the Bückeberg in Emmerthal near Hamelin from 1933 to 1937, was one of the largest mass events of National Socialism. Hamelin historian Bernhard Gelderblom has been campaigning for many years for the site to be treated appropriately. As a result, he was able to get the site listed as a historical monument by the state of Lower Saxony in 2011.
The Verein für regionale Kultur- und Zeitgeschichte Hameln e.V. and the district of Hameln-Pyrmont founded a non-profit limited company in 2018 to realise a documentation and learning site.
Since November 2021, a permanent exhibition spread across the historical site has been showing how the mass events on the Bückeberg were used by Nazi propaganda to stage images of a „national community“ that could be exploited by the media, promote the division of society and prepare Germans for war.
People were sworn in to the person of Adolf Hitler and an alleged „national community“ via the media, but also very specifically on the ground.
A mood that ultimately led to a war of annihilation was created through the appropriation and simultaneous aggressive marginalisation of those who were not supposed to belong. In addition to Hitler’s „people without space“ rhetoric, this included elaborately staged military demonstrations at the Bückeberg, where the latest weapons were used and which lasted up to an hour.
The Bückeberg itself is the most important exhibit. Goebbels had given the order to design a site for a huge „public festival in the great outdoors“ in the centre of Germany. The massive construction work, which lasted five years, was overseen by Hitler’s architect Albert Speer. They turned the hilly terrain into a perfectly levelled, evenly sloping area in the suggested shape of an amphitheatre. The speaker’s platform was located at the bottom of the plain, a huge grandstand of honour at the top; both were connected by the Mittelweg, Hitler’s „catwalk“ through the masses.
The grounds of the Bückeberg documentation and learning centre can be accessed via both the south and north entrances .
There are eight information islands spread across the huge site, which are connected by unpaved paths that are only kept clear by mowing.
The upper area (south entrance) is designed to be barrier-free. Here you will find a short version of the contents distributed throughout the site, a tactile model and boards in easy language as well as a toilet.
The guiding principle behind the design was to leave the authentic site as original as possible and not to over-model it.