President Friedrich Ebert Memorial
The President Friedrich Ebert Memorial (Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte) in Heidelberg remembers the life and work of Friedrich Ebert, who was born there on 4 February 1871. From humble origins, he became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and was finally elected as the first German democratic head of state in 1919. Faced with extreme internal and external pressures, he prepared the way for parliamentary democracy in Germany after the end of World War I. In these years he preserved national unity and made a vital contribution to a social republic.
A small exhibition remembering the life of Friedrich Ebet was first opened in his birthplace in 1960. In the 1980s the memorial was enlarged. At the same time, a library and a record office, with documents written by Ebert and some personal belongings, were added to the institution. In 2007, the exhibition underwent a general refurbishment program.
A core piece of the memorial place is the small apartment, where Friedrich Ebert was born as son of a master tailor. He spent his childhood and youth with his parents and five brothers and sisters, in three rooms totalling 46 sq. m. The tiny apartment was also used by his father as workshop.
A permanent exhibition, which consists of ten rooms, follows the political stations of Ebert's life, and portrays the contemporary background to each section. On a round tour, visitors are informed of Germany's first president, and also receive insights into the history of the German labour movement and the general political history from the "Kaiserreich" up to the early years of the Weimar Republic.
In addition to the permanent displays, at regular intervals, special exhibitions are presented which are organised by the staff of the memorial place or brought in from other institutions.
There is a library, which offers more than 7,000 books, magazines and brochures, concerning the history of the labour movement in Germany and Friedrich Ebert's time in general.
Currently, the President Friedrich Ebert Memorial is visited by about 50,000 people every year.