Morsleben information centre: Suitable location for new historical exhibition?
On the debate about the "right" place
- Some people voiced their dissatisfaction that the location of the exhibition on the colourful history of the Morsleben mine, i.e. the BfS information centre in Morsleben, was not suitable.
- A number of aspects were decisive for the selection of the Morsleben information centre as exhibition location, which are again listed below.
The exhibition on the colourful history of the Morsleben mine, which opened at the end of January, has evoked mainly positive resonance.
Some people voiced their dissatisfaction that the location of the exhibition, i.e. the information centre of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) in Morsleben, was not suitable. In particular, the reason given was that the KZ external camp was located in the neighbouring village of Beendorf and not in Morsleben. The exhibition also provides information about this camp since it is part of the history. Thus, Beendorf was the actual spot, in particular since the mine where the forced labourers had to produce armament is located there, too. The mine has two different workings. One is located in Morsleben (Bartensleben mine), one in Beendorf (Marie mine).
The BfS had also discussed the issue of location when it planned and designed the exhibition. A number of aspects were decisive for the selection of the Morsleben information centre as exhibition location, which are again listed below.
The exhibition is no special memorial site commemorating the victims of fascism
Whilst such an exhibition concept would not be consistent with the BfS tasks, the task and goal is to place the entire historical development of the Marie and Bartensleben mines, from construction until today, in the context of the current task of safely closing the facility.
Naturally this includes the inhuman living and working conditions during National Socialism but also the use in the GDR era and the use as repository for radioactive waste. This is underlined by the fact that the exhibition was opened by the BfS President together with the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the Former GDR.
Exhibition extends the existing information centre
The exhibition opened at the end of January is an extension to the BfS exhibition that has already existed for 10 years. This extension was not associated with a decision about a new location.
The wish expressed to hand over the administration building, which is currently used as a school and requires remediation, to the BfS is not justifiable, either with regard to budget or need.
Two mines, one facility
The BfS operates the Bartensleben and Marie mines as one unit. They are connected underground and are to be considered one facility in the nuclear plan-approval procedure because of their safety-related interactions.
The number of interested citizens visiting the information centre is limited and mainly requested in connection with a visit to the underground facility. These visits take place in the Morsleben mine with an introduction into the topic at the BfS information centre.
Thus it is not helpful to relocate the exhibition to Beendorf; the same applies to a separation of the exhibition, since the goal is to display the entire developments.
Advisory board supports concept and orientation of the exhibition
The advisory board commissioned by the BfS has been monitoring and supporting the concept and orientation of the exhibition.
In the scope of the further development it is planned to integrate indications of the places of commemoration located in Beendorf. The BfS has already started the implementation, together with community representatives.
State of 2016.02.03