NS-Documentation Centre

Cologne's National Socialism Documentation Centre was founded by a resolution passed by the Cologne city council on December 1979 and has become the largest regional memorial site in the whole of Germany for the victims of the Nazis. Since 1988, it has been housed in "EL-DE Haus", the EL-DE building, named after the initials of its owner, Catholic businessman Leopold Dahmen. This building was the headquarters of the Cologne Gestapo (secret police) between December 1935 and March 1945. In the final months of the war, several hundred people, most of them foreign forced labourers were murdered in the courtyard of the building. With a touch of historical irony, the EL-DE building remained largely unaffected by the ravages of the war.

The NS Documentation Centre (NS-DOC) is dedicated to the commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime, as well as research and educational work about Cologne's history during the Nazi era. The former Gestapo prison was opened as a memorial site on December 1981. Some 1,800 inscriptions and drawings by prisoners have sur-vived on the walls of the ten cells. The Gestapo prison memorial site is one of the best preserved prisons from the Nazi era, representing an historical asset of national and European importance. Since June 1997, the permanent exhibition in the EL-DE building has presented political, social and community life in "Cologne During the Nazi Era."

This exhibitions addresses themes such as the seizure and machinery of power, propaganda and the "ethnic community," everyday life, youth culture, religion, racism, the genocide of Cologne's Jews and its Sinti and Roma population, and opposition, resistance, war and society during the war. In addition, temporary exhibitions present local and national aspects of the Nazi regime. The centre also stages more than 130 events each year. The museum's educational department and the Information and Education Association against Right-wing Extremism (ibs) also run educational and teaching programmes.

The NS Documentation Centre sees itself as an important research centre. This is supported by the library, with literature on Cologne under the Nazis, general Nazi history and right-wing extremism. It is also the task of the documentation department, with its extensive collections of photographs, posters, artifacts, documents and witness statements, which are organized into databases and made accessible. Numerous research projects deal with Jewish history, contemporary witness statements and interviews, forced labor, the police, youth culture, the press, clubs and organizations, various victim groups and commemorative activities, such as the Cologne artist Gunter Demnig's project "Stolpersteine" (Tripping Stones). Among the major current research projects are the history of the Holocaust, resistance, the Gestapo, the Nazi system of Gauleiter (district overseers), urban planning, public health policies and the Hitler Youth movement. The results of the research projects are published in a series of writings in book form, a workbook series, a series by the Information and Education Association, and the center's Internet page.

 
 

public guided tours (in German only)

Do. 04.07.
18:30 Uhr

Gedenkstätte Gestapogefängnis und Dauerausstellung "Köln im Nationalsozialismus"

Für: Erwachsene | Von: Museumsdienst Köln | Mit: Oliver Meißner | Treffpunkt: Kasse | Teilnahme: kostenlos

mehr
Fr. 05.07.
15:00 - 16:30 Uhr

Neues Bauen im Rheinland und in Palästina – Erez Israel: Josef Rings und Erich Mendelsohn

Für: Erwachsene | Von: Museumsdienst Köln | Mit: Martin Vollberg | Reihe: Akademieprogramm | Treffpunkt: Kasse | Preis: € 4,50 | zzgl. Eintritt | Anmeldung bis: 01.07.2019 | Rahmenprogramm zu: „Neues Bauen im Rheinland und in Palästina – Erez Israel: Josef Rings und Erich Mendelsohn“, 17.05.2019 - 14.07.2019

Anmeldung
mehr
Sa. 06.07.
14:00 Uhr

Gedenkstätte Gestapogefängnis und Dauerausstellung "Köln im Nationalsozialismus"

Für: Erwachsene | Von: Museumsdienst Köln | Mit: Oliver Meißner | Treffpunkt: Kasse | Teilnahme: kostenlos | zzgl. Eintritt

mehr

acitivities (in German only)

Do. 27.06.
19:00 Uhr

Vortrag | NS-Dokumentationszentrum

Albert Speer: Eine deutsche Karriere

Für: Alle | Von: NS-Dokumentationszentrum | Mit: Prof. Dr. Magnus Brechtken | Treffpunkt: EL-DE-Haus | Preis: € 4,50 | ermäßigt: € 2,00 07.06.2019 - 18.08.2019

mehr
Fr. 28.06.
13:00 Uhr

Kolloquium | NS-Dokumentationszentrum

Grenzüberschreitungen. Das Rheinland und Westeuropa

Für: Erwachsene | Von: NS-Dokumentationszentrum | Mit: Dr. Karola Fings und Dr. Thomas Roth | Treffpunkt: EL-DE-Haus | Teilnahme: kostenlos

mehr

Guided tours can be booked for groups and are available in a variety of languages.

Führung

Guided tour: Basic guided tour

This guided tour is suitable from year 6 of all types of school.

The tour includes a visit to the memorial, the history of the EL-DE-Haus as well as central topics on NS ideology and political rule, such as "violence and fascination", "persecution and resistance" and "inclusion and exclusion". 

Duration: 60 mins

Max. group size: 25. Due to restricted space in the memorial the number of visitors per group is limited to 20. Larger groups will be split up and can normally join guided tours simultaneously.

Charge:
Tuesday to Friday: 30 € for school classes per group; 50 € plus admission for students; 75 € plus admission for adults.
Supplement: weekends/foreign language tour: 10 € each

Tours can be booked hourly from 9.30 am.    

Führung

Guided tour: What happened at the EL-DE-Haus? Guided tour for families

This tour has been specially designed for families with children from 10 years of age.

A child-friendly introductory talk prepares visitors for the tour of the Gestapo-prison memorial. The talk includes information on the history of the EL-DE-Haus, the operational structure of the Gestapo (secret police) and the different groups of prisoners. The graffiti in the prison tract tell the story of their fate.  

 
 

current Exhibition

Albert Speer in West Germany. Dealing with Germany’s past

June 7, 2019 to August 18, 2019

During the Third Reich, Albert Speer was the country’s leading architect and in charge of large-scale projects such as the Nazi party Rally grounds and the radical reconstruction of Berlin. In 1946 he was given a 20-year prison sentence by the Allies at the Nuremberg Trials. When Speer was released from prison in Berlin-Spandau in 1966 he was confronted with thousands of curious bystanders and dozens of microphones and cameras of international reporters.

New Objectivity in the Rhineland and Palestine – Erez Israel: Josef Rings and Erich Mendelsohn

May 17, 2019 to July 14, 2019

Since the UNESCO gave the »White City« in Tel Aviv World Heritage Site status, interest in and awareness of modern architecture from the 1930s and 1940s has constantly increased in Israel. The influence of New Objectivity is illustrated using the examples of Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) and Josef Rings (1878-1957).

Vorschau

Kriegserfahrungen 1939-1945. Kölner und Kölnerinnen an Front und Heimatfront

2. September bis 2. November 2019

Obwohl der Beginn des Zweiten Weltkrieges nun achtzig Jahre entfernt ist, sind dessen Folgen im öffentlichen und privaten Bewusstsein nach wie vor gegenwärtig. Die tiefgreifenden Umbrüche, Gewalt- und Verlusterfahrungen hat die Erlebnisgeneration an die Generationen der Kinder und Enkelkinder weitergegeben. Die Ausstellung widmet sich den Kriegserfahrungen, die Kölner und Kölnerinnen in den Jahren 1939 bis 1945 machten.

Vergiss deinen Namen nicht – Die Kinder von Auschwitz

15. November 2019 bis 19. Januar 2020

Sie wurden mit ihren Familien in das Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Auschwitz-Birkenau verschleppt oder kamen dort unter unvorstellbaren Bedingungen zur Welt. Nur wenige haben überlebt. Sie tragen die Spuren des Erlittenen auf dem Leibe und in ihrer Seele. Auf 56 großformatigen Tafeln werden eindringliche Lebensgeschichten von Kindern und Jugendlichen erzählt, die den Holocaust überlebt haben.

 

Address

Appellhofplatz 23-25
50667 Köln
T +49 221 221 26332
F +49 221 221 25512
nsdok@stadt-koeln.de

Opening hours

Tue to Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat and Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Every 1st Thu of each month: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
closed on Mondays

carnival 2019:
closed 28 February, 3 and 4 March, open 1, 2 and 5 March!

 

Admission

Tickets are valid for one day.

Permanent collection
Adults: 4,50 €
Concession: 2,00 €

Some exhibitions may carry a separate charge.

Free admission for children up to 6 years, for Cologne residents up to 18 years, students (incl. 2 teachers per group), holders of the KölnPass, Cologne residents on their birthday

Free admission to the permanent collection on the 1st Thu of each month (except public holidays): for Cologne residents.

Audioguides

Audio guides in: German, English, French, Spanish, Polish and Russian. € 2

Accessibility

Access to the rooms of the venue is restricted for disabled visitors.

Public transport

Public transport
rail service, local trains (S-Bahn): "Hauptbahnhof" (10 Min walk)
underground: "Appellhofplatz"
Car Parks
Am Dom / DuMont-Carré