President Friedrich Ebert Memorial

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Friedrich Ebert's birthplace: The apartment above the gateway EbertGedenkstaette6.JPG
Friedrich Ebert's birthplace: The apartment above the gateway

The President Friedrich Ebert Memorial (Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte) in Heidelberg commemorates the life and work of Friedrich Ebert, who was born in the house on 4 February 1871. From humble origins, he became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and was finally elected as the first German democratic head of state in 1919. Faced with extreme internal and external pressures, he prepared the way for parliamentary democracy in Germany after the end of World War I. In these years he preserved national unity and made a vital contribution to the creation of a social and democratic republic.

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Friedrich Ebert 19th and 20th-century German politician and president of Germany

Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925.

Social Democratic Party of Germany political party in Germany

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A small exhibition commemorating the life of Friedrich Ebert was first opened in his birthplace on 7 June 1962. [1] Work on the project had started in 1960 at the instigation of Alfred Nau, an energetic member of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. In the 1984 the city purchased some surrounding properties which made it possible to expand the exhibition space. A library and a record office, containing documents written by Ebert and some of his personal belongings, were added to the collection. In 2007, the Exhibition underwent a general refurbishment program.

Friedrich Ebert Foundation German political foundation

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is a German political foundation associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), yet independent of it. Established in 1925 as the political legacy of Friedrich Ebert, Germany's first democratically elected President, it is the largest and oldest of the German party-associated foundations. It is headquartered in Bonn and Berlin, and has offices and projects in over 100 countries. It is Germany's oldest organisation to promote democracy, political education, and promote students of outstanding intellectual abilities and personality.


Living room of the tiny apartment EbertGedenkstaette2.JPG
Living room of the tiny apartment

A core piece of the memorial place is the small apartment, where Friedrich Ebert was born, seventh of the nine children of a master tailor. He spent his childhood and youth with his parents and five brothers and sisters, in three rooms totalling 46 sq. m. The tiny apartment was also used by his father as workshop.

A permanent exhibition, which consists of ten rooms, follows the political stations of Ebert's life, and portrays the contemporary background to each section. On a round tour, visitors are informed of Germany's first president, and also receive insights into the history of the German labour movement and the general political history from the "Kaiserreich" up to the early years of the Weimar Republic.

Weimar Republic Germany state in the years 1918/1919–1933

The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.

In addition to the permanent displays, at regular intervals, special exhibitions are presented which are organised by the staff of the memorial place or brought in from other institutions.

There is a library, which offers more than 7,000 books, magazines and brochures, concerning the history of the labour movement in Germany and Friedrich Ebert's time in general.

Currently, the President Friedrich Ebert Memorial is visited by about 50,000 people every year.

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  1. Walter Mühlhausen: Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Gedenkstätte, in: Walter Mühlhausen (Hg.): Erinnern und Gedenken - 20 Jahre Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte, Heidelberg 2009, p. 63-88.
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Coordinates: 49°24′46″N8°42′30″E / 49.41278°N 8.70833°E / 49.41278; 8.70833

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