Frankfurt is a good place for cooperation: Fortunately, almost all institutions are very open to cooperative projects. Consequently, the Historical Museum, the Jewish Museum as well as the Institute for the History of Frankfurt were very open to the idea of not just joining forces but also pooling data so that the three different digital projects could be implemented: The Frankfurt History App of the Historical Museum contains information on over 1,000 places where National Socialist history can be seen. At the Shoah Memorial Frankfurt of the Jewish Museum, the biographies of more than 12,000 Jews deported from Frankfurt and then murdered are made publicly accessible. With the website Frankfurt and National Socialism, a joint platform has been created on which educational offerings and events can be communicated. And because we are only strong when we operate together, we have also opened up this platform to the many civil society initiatives that exist in Frankfurt.
With the app, people interested in history can now navigate (even from the comfort of their sofa) to over 600 places which show just how much National Socialism was in evidence throughout the whole city. We have more than just the well-known places in the app, such as the Römer – i.e. our town hall –, the synagogues or the Frankfurt Central Station; we also have many places with an "invisible history" such as the numerous camps for forced laborers which were all over the city or the many offices of the NSDAP local groups, many of which were in private dwellings. The Shoah Memorial Frankfurt commemorates more than 12,000 people who were persecuted and murdered because they were Jews. They get a face and a story. It is continually revised to keep alive the memory of every individual. Incidentally, both projects are participatory, which means they can be expanded. Descendants and researchers may contribute information or photos about people or places; teachers can create individual tours in the app..
In Frankfurt, the process of addressing National Socialist history was largely initiated by civil society groups. They have researched, documented and thereby secured a great deal of what we know about National Socialism. Some initiatives have become professionalized and are now part of established history institutions, whilst others are still handled by volunteers, which means they have limited resources and communication channels. With the memory platform, we wanted to share our privileges, as it were, as a large history institution so to speak: We can handle projects as large as this one. And we can try to create structures that benefit many people in the process, for example by ensuring visibility and publicity.