The floods cost many lives and devastated entire regions in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. The House of History wants to secure memories for future generations.
Bonn (AP) – The flood disaster in July is a topic for the House of History. “We collect objects that are emblematic of the event and its effects,” said Collection Director Dietmar Preißler of the German Press Agency.
The dimension of the catastrophe is a historical event, so it is important to secure mementos as “part of cultural memory” for the future.
So far, for example, the museum has received dirty wine bottles from the Ahr valley, but also a muddy device from a dental practice. A clergyman from the region provided liturgical books and other items from his flooded church.
Overall, the collection on the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia is still at the very beginning. “We are very cautious about inquiries to those affected, people are sometimes traumatized and now have to do something different than worrying about possible museum pieces,” said Preissler.
However, he is confident that the museum will receive numerous meaningful objects from the flood areas over the next few months. The employees could also fall back on the experiences from the Elbe flood in eastern Germany in 2002. A damaged concert grand piano from the Semperoper in Dresden, for example, testifies to this event in the House of History.
Two months ago storms with unusually heavy rainfall in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia triggered a disaster. Whole areas were devastated by the masses of water. So far, around 190 deaths have been counted, and several people are still missing.