Fritz Bauer was a jurist and a Social Democrat. He survived a concentration camp and years of exile, fought for democracy and international law. As the attorney general of Hesse, he stood up for the rights of survivors and brought Auschwitz, the Wehrmacht crimes, the Nazi judiciary, and Nazi physicians to justice. Throughout his life, he endured hostility and death threats.
Fritz Bauer’s work for democracy and human rights will be kept alive in Bochum, where a Fritz Bauer Forum is being set up with a Fritz Bauer Library. The forum already exists digitally and is now assuming tangible form as a place for workshops, seminars, film screenings, art, discussions, and events.
At the center of the ensemble is the former Havkenscheid funeral hall with the Fritz Bauer Library as an interactive learning space. It has a confident, almost forbidding look, with a glazed, finely detailed, semi-transparent facade on the ground floor. It provides a counterpoint to the gloomy Nazi architecture in Bochum’s main cemetery.
The funeral hall is the work of the Bochum city architect Ferdinand Keilmann (1907–1979), who joined the NSDAP in 1932 and was involved in designing the southern train station for Hitler’s unrealized Germania project. After 1945, Keilmann went through denazification twice and was later appointed to Bochum’s Civil Engineering Office.
The BUXUS STIFTUNG has found a fascinating site for the Fritz Bauer Forum and the Fritz Bauer Library. Here the survivors’ cry of “never again!” will live on as an enduring challenge to say “no” to acts of injustice and violence both past and present.
The Fritz Bauer Forum has already attracted supporters in Bochum and beyond. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible from different age groups and professions and introduce them to Fritz Bauer’s courageous engagement for democracy and human rights. We launched our project in 2020 under the difficult conditions of the corona pandemic and are all the more grateful to all our supporters for their commitment. They have made it possible for the Fritz Bauer Forum to get off to a successful start that we can build on in 2021.
Please contact us if you would like to get involved with the Fritz Bauer Forum or learn more about the Fritz Bauer Library and its stories of resistance and survival.
We look forward to meeting you in person and working together with you to develop projects that accommodate your interests and focuses. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If our project appeals to you, we would be pleased to welcome you as a member of the Friends of the Fritz Bauer Forum. By joining, you can reserve for yourself a number of benefits even before the forum’s official opening 🙂
The first view of former mourning hall Havkenscheid, an almost enchanted place, hidden behind bushes… this is where the story begins.
In autumn 2019, we explore the site for the first time and become curious.
The BUXUS STIFTUNG successfully participates in a call for expressions of interest in developing the former Havkenscheid funeral hall and its adjacent offices.
Talks continue with the City of Bochum on the use of the former Havkenscheid funeral hall for the Fritz Bauer Library.
The preliminary building application filed by the BUXUS STIFTUNG for the Fritz Bauer Forum is approved by the City of Bochum. Talks begin on a leasehold agreement, which has broad political support.
The architectural planning firm planplus GmbH creates renderings for a landing page, providing a first glimpse of the planned Fritz Bauer Forum.
Two years later: The Fritz Library has been modernized, despite Corona’s price increase and delivery problems, and soon the bookshelves will be installed.
Another six months later: Now the staircase has also been installed, and the huge steel frame for the books will soon be able to support our approximately 45,000 book units.
Summer party for the completion of the Fritz Bauer Library with many guests.
The shelf is up, the screen is hanging, film on… and the second construction phase is in full swing, now the seminar and workshop rooms, offices, the archive and the café are being built.
A dream has become reality.
The interactive Fritz Bauer Library is being set up in the former Havkenscheid funeral hall – a site of introspection and mutual understanding. The hall’s design, devoid of religious symbolism, illustrates the prospects for peace and dialogue.
Here the Fritz Bauer Library will invite everyone to learn more about resistance to human rights violations past and present. It will encourage respect for the Other and promote an open and respectful treatment of all people regardless of age, origin, abilities, sexual orientation, nationality, skin color, or religion.
PD Dr. Irmtrud Wojak, Managing director of the BUXUS STIFTUNG gGmbH
Do you have additional questions about our project or would you like to get involved? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!
The BUXUS STIFTUNG GmbH is a nonprofit company.
Donations to the Fritz Bauer Forum are tax deductible.
IBAN DE16 7035 1030 0032 2488 66