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19 | 02 | 2020
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The exhibition

The exhibition of the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Memorial of the city of Bayreuth shows the path of life and the significance of the Weimar politician and member of the resistance, Wilhelm Leuschner. In four rooms with all in all five thematic sections the most important stages of his life are shown on the basis of plates and exhibits. His stages of life contain the birthplace Bayreuth where he spent his childhood, adolescence and apprenticeship as well as Darmstadt and Berlin, the places of his political functioning. 

Leuschner got involved in union very early and entered the union in Bayreuth in 1907. His political commitment led him to the SPD in 1913 because he believed that there his beliefs in a fairer society were most likely to be put into effect. In 1919 he was elected full-time chairman of the unions in Darmstadt as well as representative of the labor force in the city’s municipality. In the year 1924 he was elected for the SPD into the Hessian Landtag. In 1928 he became Hessian Minister of the Interior. Already as a unionist and representative of the Landtag and later as Minister of the Interior he fought publicly against the NSDAP which was gaining more and more strength through conventions and rallies. In November 1931 he publicised the so-called “Boxheimer documents” and tried to enforce an accusation against the author of these coup plans, Werner Best and against Adolf Hitler at the Court of the German Empire.

Wilhelm Leuschner also had an internationally high standing as a union leader. Therefore the National Socialists tried to use his prestige for their cause. In June 1933 they wanted him to legitimate the Nazi organization “German Labor Front”, under the direction of Reichsführer Robert Ley, at the international employment bureau in Geneva as successor of the free unions. Wilhelm Leuschner refused and explained the course of action and the aims of the Nazi rulers to the other conference participants. At his return to Germany in the middle of June he got arrested and was placed in the concentration camp Börgermoor, afterwards to the one in Lichtenburg near Torgau. In the exhibition this period is documented by a fifteen minutes video and a chess. By playing chess with his political friend and chess gamer Ernst Reuter he mentally survived the incarceration.

The basis of the memorial exhibition is the inheritance kept safe by the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation which is scientifically researched and coffered in the birthplace. Through this exhibition the memorial with the associated Bildungswerkstatt Wilhelm Leuschner is suited as a place of learning, encounter and international understanding. 

Finanzielle Förderer



Bayerische Landesstiftung

 Bayerische Landesstiftung



Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit

Allianz gegen Rechtsextremismus in der Metropolregion Nürnberg

 Sparkasse Bayreuth


Möbel Hertel Bayreuth

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