The Rosenburg

Client: Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz

Year: 2017

Museums and exhibitions

The Federal Ministry of Justice in the shadow of the Nazi past. The "Rosenburg" in Bonn was the seat of the Federal Ministry of Justice from the foundation of the Federal Republic until 1973.

In 2012, the Ministry set up an Independent Scientific Commission to investigate the administration's dealings with the Nazi past in the early years of the Federal Republic. The final report was published in October 2016. The results will now be made available to the public at large in a comprehensive travelling exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into nine sections. Each of these is represented by a stele, which approaches each respective topic using newspaper reports, victim and perpetrator biographies as well as exemplary legal texts. The steles convey the two-faced nature of the Ministry, contrasting a bright front with a dark reverse side. On the one hand the brilliant expertise of many lawyers, on the other their dark past and deep entanglement in the Nazi injustice.

This impression is enhanced by the exhibition design. The tilted and distorted forms of the exhibition walls convey a feeling of disorientation and instability. Oversized office lamps literally shine a light on what for a long time remained in the shadows.

AV stations with historical images and audio documents from witnesses and protagonists make the story come alive.

At the end, visitors can leave their own opinions, which are documented on historical typewriters from the 1950s. For many young guests this is certainly a completely new writing sensation.