Not forgiven, not forgotten – the »working group History« (AK History) of »Faites votre jeu!« initiative

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In February 2009, after long and weary debates, the initiative »Faites votre jeu!« finally decided to accept the former police prison »Klapperfeld« as a substitute for the squatted former youth centre at Bockenheim (Frankfurt). When this decision was taken it had already become evident that the building could only be used if simultaneously there would be a critical engagement with the prison’s history of over 115 years.

In order to meet with this requirement, a historical research team – AK History – was founded by some members of the initiative even before we moved into the building. The AK History team is continuously working to reconstruct the various eras of the former prison’s past.

Early results of our work were presented at the first public event at »Klapperfeld« on the 1st of July 2009. The first part of the permanent exhibition on the prison’s history opened on the 9th of August 2009. Only one year later, on the 19th of September 2010, the extended section of the permanent exhibition could be inaugurated. At the same time we hosted in our new gallery on the first floor a temporary exhibition on women in concentration camps (»Frauen im Konzentrationslager 1933 – 1945. Moringen – Lichtenburg – Ravensbrück«) by a study group on German resistance during the Nazi regime, the »Studienkreis Deutscher Widerstand 1933 – 1945«. Another result of our work is the conception and realisation of this web site. Furthermore, we are continuously inviting people to inform and debate on various issues.

In the near future we plan to work on several topics: on the one side, we are engaging with the use of »Klapperfeld« as a detention centre for migrants and refugees before their expulsion from the early 80s onwards. On the other side, we plan to work on the repression and criminalisation of the non-parliamentary left movements, from the student movement of the late 60s until today. Certainly, we are also to continue our research on the national socialist past of the prison. Moreover, we are already in contact with several groups in order to host other travelling exhibitions at »Klapperfeld«.

In addition to the permanent exhibition we plan to create other exhibitions on various topics to be presented in the former police prison. The AK History team conceptualises and realizes all these activities on its own. This means that contemporary witnesses have to be interviewed and different documents and literature need to be searched and viewed in archives and libraries. The results of these inquiries are then to be brought together and presented within the various exhibitions.

It is important for us, that we give not only room to the history of events (Ereignisgeschichte) – i.e. social and political events – but that the experienced histories (Erlebnisgeschichte) – that is personal experiences and biographies – are also taken into account and woven together with the former. That way we make it clear, that political processes always have influence on the individuals of a society and that on the other side perspectives of action are rendered possible.

If you have some information on the history of the former police prison »Klapperfeld« or if you know contemporary witnesses, please contact us – the AK History of the initiative »Faites votre jeu!« – at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +49(0)163 9401683.


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Faites votre jeu!
Klapperfeldstreet 5
60313 Frankfurt

0177 3982718
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