NS-Documentation Center

NS-Dokumentationszentrum der Stadt Köln © Joern Neumann

The NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne is dedicated to commemorating the victims of the Nazi regime and to researching and communicating the history of Cologne under NS-Regime. It is located in the EL-DE-Haus, where the headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo were situated from December 1935 to March 1945. The Gestapo prison with around 1,800 wall inscriptions by prisoners from the years 1943 to 1945 has been preserved and has been accessible as a memorial since 1981. Since 1997, the permanent exhibition "Cologne under National Socialism" has provided information about political, social and public life during the Nazi era. Numerous special exhibitions, events, research projects and publications on a wide range of topics expand the range of offerings. Since 2008, the Information and Education Centre against Right-Wing Extremism (ibs) has expanded the scientific and educational work of the NS Documentation Centre to include the aspect of dealing with current right-wing extremist, racist, anti-semitic and discriminatory ideologies and manifestations.
In the Documentation and Collections Department, every kind of evidence of Cologne's history under National Socialism and the confrontation with the Nazi era and remembrance after 1945 is collected and made accessible for internal research and exhibition projects as well as for external use. While the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne archives the city's administrative records from the years 1933 to 1945, the holdings of the NS-DOK are primarily written material and collections under private ownership. Particularly important is the collection on Jewish history (with a focus on the period 1900-1945) and the biographical collection on forced labour, the basis for which was provided by the visit programmes for Jewish former Cologne residents and for former forced labourers, concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war that have been carried out since the 1980s, as well as the collection on the topic of youth 1918-1945. Interviews with contemporary witnesses that were conducted as part of NS-DOK projects form an important part of the archive.
The image archive currently comprises around 125,000 objects from the 1870s to the present: mainly photographies and photoalbums, as well as printed image media such as posters, postcards, cigarette collectors’ pictures, advertising stamps, and graphic art and paintings including works by György Békeffi, Grigory Berstein, H. W. Brockmann, Phili. W. Brockmann, Philibert Charrin, Ingeborg Drews, Heinrich Feulner, Rolf Maria Koller, Yury Kharchenko, Heinz Kroh, Peter Joseph Paffenholz, Otto Schloss and Ben Warzager.

Digital copies of photo albums and illustrated diaries and journey books from the Collection Youth 1918-1945 are accessible via the website: Editionen zur Zeitgeschichte

NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne
Appellhofplatz 23-25
50667 Cologne

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