Blick in den Ausstellungsraum des Offenen Depots

Weekly Opening Hours of the Open Depot at Riebeckstraße 63 from April 13, 2023


Starting on April 13, the Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63 will once again offer weekly opportunities to actively engage with the past and present of Leipzig’s former municipal workhouse. The exhibition in the gatehouse – the Open Depot – is always open on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and can be visited free of charge. During this time, members of the initiative group will be available for in-depth discussions.

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The Open Depot in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63 is a collection, exhibition and meeting place all in one. It displays documents and objects relating to the history of the former municipal workhouse and provides an insight into the first research results on the history of the site. At the same time, it provides a space for visitors to contribute their own sources, stories and photographs to the reappraisal.

Opened on November 8, 1892, the municipal workhouse was for decades the epitome of repressive social policies, stigmatization, exclusion and forced labor. The Initiativkreis and the association Riebeckstraße 63 e.V. are trying to come to terms with this history at this historic site. Anyone who would like to take an active part is welcome to attend the meetings of the Initiativkreis, which usually take place every first Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63.

The weekly opening hours every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. can be realized in the period from April 13 to June 22, 2023 thanks to the support of the Holger Koppe Foundation.

PDF Press Information

Download Press Photo Open Depot

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Schriftzug "Riebeckstraße 63 - ein Ort der Erinnerung und Mahnung"

New Podcast Series on Riebeckstraße 63


We are pleased to announce a new #podcast about the former municipal workplace in #Leipzig. Berit Lahm has published several episodes about the history of Riebeckstraße 63 on Spotify.

The Podcast

Angehörige des Initiativkreises und Grünen-Politikerinnen stehen vor dem Eingang des Gedenkortes

Visit of Politicians from Bündnis 90/Die Grünen


On Thursday, October 6, 2022, State Secretary Gesine Märtens, City Councillor Katharina Krefft and the two members of the Saxon State Parliament Petra Sejdi and Claudia Maicher visited Riebeckstraße 63.

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Ella Falldorf and Hannes Schneider from the board of the Riebeckstraße 63 e.V. association provided information about the history of the site, showed the open depot and spoke with the politicians about the commitment and goals of the Riebeckstraße 63 Initiativkreis.

Verzierter historischer Hauseingang zur Riebeckstraße 63

Blog Post “Suspicion of Prostitution” by Francesca Weil


On the blog “Denken ohne Geländer” of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Research at the Technical University of Dresden, Francesca Weil describes how the inhumane interaction of state institutions in the GDR could dramatically change people’s lives.

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Using the biography of Elisabeth Q., the historian shows the double standards of state institutions, but also that patients in GDR venereological wards, such as the one at Riebeckstraße 63 in Leipzig, are still struggling with the long-term consequences today. It also shows how men and women were treated differently: not only were men much less likely to be admitted with suspected venereal disease, but the women who were admitted were also much less likely to be diagnosed with venereal disease.

Read the Article

Menschen betreten den Gedenkort

Initiativkreis Meeting on October 6, 6 p.m.


On Thursday, October 6, at 6 p.m., the monthly meeting of the Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63 will take place.

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The “Initiativkreis Riebeckstr. 63” was founded in 2019. The group of over 30 individuals, civil society, municipal and academic actors is committed to creating a living place of remembrance on the site of the former Municipal Labor Institute. The Ini Circle meets every first Thursday of the month in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63, usually at 5 pm. In October, the meeting will be postponed by one hour, as a guided tour will be offered at 5 p.m. as part of the “OSTLichter” district festival.

Violettes Buchcover des Romans "Herumtreiberinnen" von Bettina Wilpert

Radio Cora Interview with Bettina Wilpert about Riebeckstraße 63


Radio Corax interviewed Bettina Wilpert about the history of Riebeckstraße 63. You can listen to the interview here.

The Interview

Blick in den Ausstellungsraum des Offenen Depots

Open Depot and Site Tour in September 2022


In September, the Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63 offers further opportunities to explore the past and present of the former City Labor Institute in Leipzig. The exhibition in the gatehouse – the Open Depot – is always open on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be additional opening hours on September 11, the Day of the Open Monument, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be a guided tour of the site at 4 p.m.

More…

The Open Depot in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63 is a collection, exhibition and meeting place all in one. It displays documents and objects relating to the history of the former municipal workhouse and provides an insight into the first research results on the history of the site. At the same time, it provides a space for people to bring in their own sources, stories, and photographs to support the reappraisal.

Opened on November 8, 1892, the municipal workhouse was for decades the epitome of repressive social policy, stigmatization, exclusion and forced labor. The Initiativkreis and the Verein Riebeckstraße 63 are trying to reappraise this history at the historic site. Anyone who would like to take an active part is welcome to attend the meetings of the Initiativkreis, which take place every first Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63.

Overview:

The Open Depot is open every Thursday in September and on Sunday, September 11, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Historical tour of the site with Markus Streb and Bettina Wilpert: Sunday, September 11, 4 p.m., duration: approximately 90 minutes.

Meetings of the Initiativkreis: every first Thursday of the month, 5 p.m.

Screenshot der nd-Website mit dem Artikel "Unrecht hinter Backsteinmauern"

Article about the Initiative and the History of the Site in “Neues Deutschland”

In the print edition of “Neues Deutschland” from August 17, 2022 and in the online edition there is an article by Sarah Nägele about the history of the municipal work institution at Riebeckstraße 63 in Leipzig: “Injustice behind brick walls“.

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The journalist spoke with members of the initiative group and two contemporary witnesses. Highly recommended reading, many thanks for the great article!

Blick in den Ausstellungsraum des Offenen Depots

Search for Objects, Documents and Stories about Riebeckstraße 63


The association Riebeckstraße 63 e.V. is looking for objects, documents, photographs, sources and stories for the open depot in the former gatehouse of Riebeckstraße 63 in Leipzig: to research the history of the former municipal workhouse and to create an active memorial and meeting place.

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For decades, the municipal workhouse was the epitome of repressive social policies, stigmatization, exclusion, and forced labor. In July and August 2022, the Open Depot will be open every Thursday between 14:00 and 17:00. Individual appointments can also be made for the delivery of objects and sources. Contact: verein@riebeckstrasse63.deDownload Object Registration Form

Blick in den Ausstellungsraum des Offenen Depots

Weekly Opening Hours and Open Depot in July and August


In July and August 2022, we offer regular opening hours for the former gatehouse of the Municipal Labor Institute: Every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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During the opening hours, you can visit the Open Depot with the first documents and objects on the history of the Municipal Labor Institute and talk to contemporary witnesses who were once housed in the Riebeckstraße as part of a “Storytelling Café”.

In addition, a tour of the site on July 21 at 5 p.m. will provide information about the history of the site.

Klemmbrett mit Quelle "Die Leipziger Andere Zeitung - DAZ"

PR: Opening of the Open Depot on July 14, 5 p.m.


As part of the commemorative year “130 Years of the Municipal Labor Institute in Leipzig”, we will open the Open Depot on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at 5 pm in the former gatehouse at Riebeckstraße 63.

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Objects and stories will be collected and exhibited here to research the history of the former Municipal Labor Institute and to create an active memorial and meeting place. Read our press release.

Historisches Bild zeigt die begrünte Umgebung der Riebeckstraße 63 und das Gebäude aus einer erhöhten Perspektive

PR: Event Series “130 Years of the Municipal Labor Institute in Leipzig”


Opened 130 years ago on November 8, 1892, the former “Municipal Workhouse” was the epitome of repressive social policies, stigmatization, exclusion and forced labor for decades. As part of the commemorative year “130 Years of the Municipal Workhouse in Leipzig”, a series of events offers an opportunity to take a closer look at the history of Riebeckstraße 63. The events are funded by the City of Leipzig as part of the Initiative Fund Partnership for Democracy.

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Two readings offer a literary approach to the history of the site: On Thursday, June 16, at 5 p.m., author Cornelia Lotter will read from her novel “Schweigeort,” which tells the fictional story of three women in Riebeckstraße. On Thursday, June 30, also at 5 p.m., Bettina Wilpert will present her novel “Herumtreiberinnen,” in which a fictional house, inspired by the history of Riebeckstraße 63, connects three narrative strands about young women in different decades.

Those interested can learn more about the history of the site during two historical tours that will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 7 and Thursday, July 21. It is also possible to explore the site at any time with an audio tour, available at https://rundgang.riebeckstrasse63.de.

The former gatehouse is normally open to the public on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of August. The art exhibit “JOD and Mr. Z” is on display through July 10. On July 14, the “Open Depot” at Riebeckstraße 63 will open its doors to the public, presenting the growing collection of objects, historical sources and printed matter on the history of the site. During opening hours, a storytelling café offers the opportunity to talk to former residents, contemporary witnesses, neighbors, and members of the Initiativkreis. Since 2019, the Initiativkreis has been working to create a vibrant place of remembrance and encounter at Riebeckstraße 63, which will enable historical remembrance and learning.

Download Press Release as PDF

Ausschnitt eines Flyers mit der Aufschrift "130 Jahre Städtische Arbeitsanstalt in Leipzig"

Flyer for the Event Series “130 Years of the Municipal Labor Institute in Leipzig”


Flyers designed by the artist Stefanie Leinhos are now available for our event series “130 Years of the Municipal Labor Institute in Leipzig”. Download the PDF here.

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Historischer Grundriss der Riebeckstrasse 63 aus dem späten 19. Jahrhundert

New: Audio Tour of the Site

 

Anyone interested in learning more about the history of the site can take a new audio tour. You can listen to the tour at home or while walking around the site. You can also borrow the headphones on site during the opening hours of the gatekeeper’s office, every Thursday from the beginning of June to the end of August 2022, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Riebeckstraße 63 was a focal point of social exclusion in the political systems of the 19th and 20th centuries. The tour presents the buildings and their uses, including as a forced labor institution at St. Georg, a “homeless shelter”, a transit camp and police prison, a venereological ward, a social home, and a long-term psychiatric ward.

To the Audio Tour: https://rundgang.riebeckstrasse63.de

Eine Gruppe von Menschen steht zur Schlüsselübergabe am Eingang des Gedenkortes

PR: Key handed over to “Initiative Riebeckstraße 63“


On Thursday, March 17, Peter Böhmer, Director of the Municipal Services for the Disabled (Städtischer Eigenbetrieb Behindertenhilfe, SEB), handed over the key to the gatehouse on the site of the former municipal workhouse to the Riebeckstraße 63 Initiative.

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Since its founding in the summer of 2019, the Initiativkreis has been researching the history of the site. Last fall, an association was founded with the goal of establishing a permanent place of remembrance and learning on the site.

Riebeckstraße 63 was a place where social exclusion crystallized across the political systems of the 19th and 20th centuries. The spacious site is located southeast of Leipzig’s city center, near today’s Technical City Hall. Built in 1892, the municipal forced labor institution at St. Georg and its successors served to marginalize and exclude people, including through persecution and extermination. The municipal workhouse stood for a repressive municipal welfare policy that used exclusion, discipline, and forced labor to combat social phenomena such as poverty, unemployment, and mental illness. During the Weimar Republic, the building served as a home for the homeless. Under National Socialism, many of the inmates were persecuted as “asocials” and the site was used as a transit camp and police prison. In the GDR, it was home to a closed venereological ward, a social home and residential units of a long-term psychiatric ward.

Since 1999, the site has been run by the Municipal Services for the Disabled (SEB). Today there is a day care center, a residential group for children and young people, and a refugee shelter. In the future, a living memorial at the site will promote historical remembrance and learning, as well as encounters and exchanges. The Initiativkreis and Verein Riebeckstraße 63 are committed to this goal. The handover of the space in the former gatehouse is a further step in this direction.

Download Press Release

Eine Backsteinfassade eines älteren Hauses mit Supraporte am Hauseingang

Interview with Bettina Wilpert


On November 7, 2021, Radio Blau interviewed Bettina Wilpert about the Riebeckstraße 63 Initiative and the historical tours on the site of the former workhouse.

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“There have always been social groups that were pushed to the edge or beyond. In Leipzig, the former workhouse is an example of this. Various groups of people were administered, imprisoned or ‘re-educated’ there.”

Listen to the Interview: https://www.freie-radios.net/112167

Zwei Ausstellungstafeln an einer Backsteinfassade

Exhibition panels at the former gatehouse


Workhouse, prison, homeless shelter, venereological station and much more…
Two boards at the former gatehouse now inform about the history of Riebeckstraße 63 and the Initiativkreis.

We are grateful for the support of the district council of Leipzig.

Eine Gruppe von Menschen stößt mit einem Glas Sekt an.

Foundation of the association


On September 9, 2021 the general meeting took place: We officially founded an association! Riebeckstraße 63 e.V. Become a member!

Download Declaration of Membership

Ausschnitt des Buchcovers von "Die ehemalige Leipziger Arbeitsanstalt in der Riebeckstraße 63 - Verwahrung, Ausgrenzung, Verfolgung"

Edited Volume published


In September 2020 the edited volume “The Former Leipzig Workhouse Riebeckstraße 63. Imprisonment, Exclusion, Persecution”, jointly edited by the Leipzig Forced Labor Memorial and Ann Katrin Düben, will be published by Hentrich & Hentrich. The book is the result of a symposium held in March 2019.

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The volume brings together contributions that shed light on the history of the site, ask about patterns and ruptures in the treatment of “marginalized groups,” and formulate perspectives on the culture of remembrance.
With contributions by Steffi Brüning, Ann Katrin Düben, Elisabeth Elling-Ruhwinkel, Hedi Haase, Rosi Haase, Steffen Held, Dietfried Kraus-Vilmar, Thomas R. Müller, Alexander Rode, Hannes Schneider, Maximilian Schochow, Gjulner Sejdi, Petra Sejdi, Thomas Seyde, Jana Sitz, Josephine Ulbricht.

Bunte Zettel liegen auf dem Boden und dokumentieren einen Brainstorming-Prozess

PR: Foundation of the “Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63”


Last Wednesday, July 3, 2019, the Initiativkreis of about 30 committed people was founded at the historic site. In the future, the open circle will work to promote learning and remembrance at the site of the former municipal workhouse at Riebeckstraße 63.

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The background to the kick-off and inaugural meeting is a resolution passed by the Leipzig City Council in May 2018, which instructed the city administration, in cooperation with the Saxon Museum of Psychiatry and the Leipzig Memorial to Forced Labor, to permanently and visibly commemorate the history of Riebeckstraße 63. For more than a century, the municipal workhouse was part of the city’s repressive health and social policies. Opened as a workhouse in 1892, municipal “welfare” became increasingly strict during the Nazi era, and the site was also used as a collection and transit camp, meaning that all groups persecuted by the Nazis passed through Riebeckstraße. During the GDR era, the buildings housed a venereology ward and a psychiatric ward. Facilities whose central function was social discipline. Today, the site is run by the Municipal Services for the Disabled (Städtischer Eigenbetrieb Behindertenhilfe, SEB), which runs a shared accommodation for refugees and a residential project for children and young people.

Although the building complex has been largely preserved, there is currently no information board or memorial to the many people who suffered here. In order to draw attention to this gap and, above all, to sensitize the Leipzig public to the topic, a symposium was held in March 2019. The diverse contributions provided an overview of the current state of research. Another aim of the event was to enable a broad public to participate in the future discussion on how to deal with the former workplace. “The founding of the Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63 is a first and important step in this direction”, says Petra Cagalj Sejdi, Green City Councillor and initiator of the City Council resolution.

The Initiativkreis Riebeckstraße 63 will meet regularly in the future to discuss the form and content of the design and communication and to encourage a debate on this part of Leipzig’s history. The Initiativkreis is open to all interested parties. If you are interested, please send an email to an unavailable address.

Contact: Ann Katrin Düben, Gedenkstätte für Zwangsarbeit Leipzig

E-Mail: initiativkreis@riebeckstrasse63.de

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/riebeckstrasse63/