History of Hamburg

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Replica of the oldest known city seal from 1241

The history of Hamburg deals with the formation and development of the German city and the state of Hamburg and goes back to the 8th century AD. The city emerged from a fortification, the Hammaburg , which was used for trade. In the Middle Ages , Hamburg became one of the most important trading centers in Europe .

In addition to the favorable location of the Port of Hamburg, centuries of political independence as a Free and Hanseatic City strengthened Hamburg's development into the second largest city in Germany after Berlin .


After the melting of the ice sheet, which covered the area around today's Hamburg during the last cold period of the current Ice Age , hunters and gatherers presumably nomadic hunters and gatherers followed around 17,000 years ago and settled in the glacial valley of the Elbe . There are numerous archaeological finds of tools from the Stone Age , for example the Ahrensburg and Hamburg culture from the Stellmoorer tunnel valley on the border of Rahlstedt and Ahrensburg, as well as finds from the Fischbeker Heide southwest of Harburg , which prove nomadic settlement in the area. The oldest evidence of permanent settlement was dated to the 4th century BC. Megalithic tombs in the Sachsenwald also bear witness to an early settlement.


The advance of Roman expedition troops into the Hamburg area is not archaeologically proven and probably belongs to the area of ​​legend. The Romans, however, knew a place at the mouth of the Alster, which they called Treva and which may be on the site of the present-day city. However, there are numerous material evidence from the Hamburg area that testify to lively trade contacts with the Roman sphere of influence, such as Roman gold coins from Eppendorf or Lokstedt . From the 1st to 5th century there was evidence of intensive settlement activity for Hamburg-Farmsen-Berne , where traces of numerous houses and iron smelting sites were excavated.

The northern Albingian Saxons settled in the northern Elbe region since the 4th century . Are occupied settlements on the ridge of at Alster mouth and a Saxon burial in Hamburg-Schnelsen , with the tab of grave Schnelsen as one of the outstanding burials there. The influx continued into the 6th century.

middle Ages

Sturmflut 1962 Operation Gomorrha Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz Hamburger Brand Hamburger Franzosenzeit Klaus Störtebeker Leuchtturm Neuwerk Hammaburg

Early Middle Ages - Hamburg as a mission center

The Hammaburg was built in the 8th century. In 810, after his Franks had conquered the area from the Saxons with the support of the Slavic Abodrites , Charlemagne had a baptistery built between the rivers Bille and Alster . The main task of Priest Heridag, to whom the church was subordinate, was the Christianization of the pagan north, which included Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark and Scandinavia. The Hammaburg offered refuge for 40 to 50 people, was about 130 mx 130 m in size, the walls were 5 to 6 m high and 15 m wide. It served as protection against hostile Saxons and Slavs . The name "Hammaburg" was first documented by name in 832. The exact origin of the name is not clear. One version traces the name back to the fact that the castle was built on the ruins of the Saxon village of Hamm. The latest research results, however, also allow the conclusion that the name is derived from the old German "Hamme". Hamme stands for a protected geest slope surrounded by impassable terrain (moor). In the case of the first Hamburg settlement, this geest slope was so well protected by natural conditions that the residents referred to it as "Hammaburg". An actual castle would not have existed at all at first.

In 831 Ludwig the Pious founded a diocese in the Hammaburg , which was raised to an archbishopric in 832 by Pope Gregory IV . The deed of foundation was awarded on May 15, 834 by the Frankish Emperor Ludwig the Pious . The first coins were minted in Hamburg in 834 . First bishop was the Benedictine monk Ansgar of Bremen , who built the mother church for the mission, a St. Mary's Church, which was a simple timber and yet the very beginning of the great Hamburg Cathedral should be (Dom). There were also schools and monasteries - it is disputed whether there was even a library for collecting handwritten books. The income from the Turholt Abbey in Flanders was available to him to cover the not inconsiderable expenses, but after the division of Verdun in 843 it had to be ceded to the West Franconian King Charles the Bald. This division of the empire, which was a sign of the dwindling power of the Carolingians , meant that Danish Vikings and Normans destroyed the German settlements at the mouth of the Elbe in 845 and did not stop at Hamburg, the religious buildings went up in flames and the Hammaburg itself Leveled the ground.

Ansgar fled to Ramelsloh (about 30 km south of the Hammaburg). After the death of Bishop Leuderich von Bremen, it was decided at a synod in 848 to return the northern Elbe, previously ceded to Verden, to Bremen with the ore seat in Hamburg. The Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen was created. As a result, Bremen was separated from the Metropolitan Association of Cologne . This led to the protest of the newly elected Archbishop Gunthar of Cologne in 850, who, however, tolerated the practical regulation while maintaining his claims. This initially led to a standstill. But when Gunthar was excommunicated because of his divorce Lothar II , Pope Nicholas I issued the founding bull for the Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen on May 31, 864 . However, he wrote to the king that the Bremen bishop and his successor in Bremen should have the power and honor of an archbishop over the Danes and Swedes.

As early as 915, the settlement was reduced to rubble during the first documented attack by the Slavic Abodrites . In the following years, Archbishop Adaldag restored the archbishopric, had a new castle built, the settlement inhabited by craftsmen and small traders expanded, gave Hamburg market rights and thus laid the foundation for Hamburg's later status as a trading city. Various dioceses were subordinate to him: Schleswig, Ripen , Aarhus and Oldenburg . From 964 onwards, Pope Benedict V spent his twilight years in exile in Hamburg after he was expelled from Rome. After his death in 966 his bones were buried in the Cathedral of Mary until they were transferred to Rome in 999. Also in 966 the Roman-German Emperor and Saxon Duke Otto I transferred secular rule to his deputy and Prince of Saxony, Hermann Billung . Nevertheless, Adaldag was able to work independently, also because he took part in Otto I's coronation as emperor (962). After Otto II's defeat in Calabria and the ensuing military weakening, there was a general uprising of changes and attacks by the Danes. The Abodrite Prince Mistui razed Hamburg to the ground in 983.

High Middle Ages - from mission center to trading city

Billunger time

The reconstruction of the old town lasted until the beginning of the 11th century. Archbishop Bezelin Alebrand had the construction of St. Mary's Church, the monastery and the archbishop's palace from ashlars begin in 1037 - the first stone buildings in the region. The city was fortified by a curtain wall with twelve defense towers. A permanent castle was built on the south side of the cathedral, the Wiedenburg (= Weidenburg), then from 1024 to 1025 the Billunger Bernhard II built the so-called Wasserburg, also called New Castle , in the area of ​​today's Nikolai ruins / Hopfenmarkt. The market square, the center of life at that time, was located opposite today's Petri Church. During the tenure of Archbishop Adalbert , who was not only a friend of Heinrich III , but also the educator and advisor of his son Heinrich IV and, according to a rumor, rejected the papal office, Hamburg flourished between 1043 and 1072. Around 1060, Hamburg was divided into the archbishop's old town and the ducal new town, as the city recorded enormous growth. Hamburg again became the central starting point for the missionary work of the Scandinavian countries and the first trade relations to the north and east were established, which reached as far as Iceland, Greenland and Finland. An expansion of the fortifications was planned, but Archbishop Adalbert (a glass mosaic picture was on the Kaiser-Karls-Brunnen) was overthrown at the Reichstag in Tribur in 1065. Due to the power struggles for the succession, the Obodrites saw a chance under their prince Kruto and invaded northern Albingia. In 1066 and 1072 Hamburg was again attacked by the Obodrites, which is why the archbishops left Hamburg and resided in Bremen from then on; Hamburg lost its ecclesiastical supremacy in the north.

Schauenburg time

Hamburg 1150, reconstruction of the 19th century; Engraving by Chr. And P. Suhr

In 1106 the Billunger dynasty died out and Adolf I von Schauenburg was appointed by the Saxon Duke Lothar as the successor to Gottfried, who was slain by the Abodrites , as Count of the Counties Stormarn and Holstengau , thereby also of the ducal part of Hamburg. He had Elbe marshes and islands dyed, drained and settled. In 1124, under Adolf I, the Alster was dammed for a grain mill on the Great Burstah for the first time . His son and successor Adolf II hardly set any accents in Hamburg himself, but enabled a period of calm growth, although he was in conflict with the emperor over the counties and also founded Lübeck . Under Adolf III. (Term of office 1164–1203) the new town for merchants, who were under the influence of the count , was built in the area of ​​the Neue Burg . The Count's commissioner for the organization of this new city was Wirad von Boizenburg .

In 1189, Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa is said to have given the city the license , allegedly in gratitude for Hamburg's support in the crusade in the Holy Land. The charter contained four important points for Hamburg: Hamburg no longer had to pay any tariffs up to the North Sea , the military obligation was lifted, Hamburg citizens were only obliged to protect Hamburg, no further castle was allowed to be built around Hamburg within 15 kilometers, and hamburgers were allowed to raise cattle, catch fish and clear trees. In the absence of an authentic document, the still existing Barbarossa license, which was probably also falsified in terms of content, was issued around 1265. Another reading is that the license was deliberately forged from Hamburg merchants from the start. In 1190 the episcopal old town and the count's new town elected an aristocratic council, favored by the absence of Adolf III, who was taking part in the Third Crusade . This freedom resulted in the construction of two town halls (1200). In the 13th century Hamburg was marked by wars. In 1201 Duke Waldemar II attacked Hamburg, occupied the city and region and took Adolf III. captured. Friedrich II. King of Staufen ceded the lands north of the Elbe to the Kingdom of Denmark in 1214 in order to secure an alliance against the Guelphs . Hamburg was administered by a Danish governor. The foreign occupiers let both parts of the city grow closer together. Hamburg was united under a town hall, council and court.

On July 22, 1227, a north German coalition of princes with the participation of Hamburg citizens defeated the Danes in the battle of Bornhöved . The city submitted to Adolf IV von Schauenburg , who ruled the entire city from 1228. Even before he ruled the city (1227), he founded Hamburg's first monastery, the St. Maria Magdalenen Franciscan Monastery (on the site of today's stock exchange, was demolished in 1837). Adolf IV left Hamburg almost to itself and its positive development. Due to the privileges of the charter, trade and commerce (especially the brewery ) could develop freely. Merchants' guilds and foreign trading houses were established. In 1239 Adolf IV withdrew to the monastery he had founded and was later ordained a priest in Rome (1244).

From 1240 a new line of fortifications was laid out, which surrounded most of Hamburg's old town as early as 1250 and whose layouts and names still shape the cityscape today (Lange Mühren, Kurz Mühren, Steintor , Millerntor , Alstertor). In this phase of construction, a number of monasteries and hospitals were built.

In 1270 the “Ordeelbook” (judgment book) written by Jordan von Boizenburg came into force with its provisions for civil, criminal and procedural law. The term "free city" used in it was at least unusual at the time.

On August 5, 1284, Hamburg was struck by a devastating fire that hit the population at the time (approx. 5,000) hard.

In 1286 the Duke of Saxony-Lauenburg gave the city of Hamburg half of the island "O" off the north-western tip of Hadeln . There, in 1299, the people of Hamburg built a defense tower , the "New Plant", after which the island was renamed Neuwerk . The tower, built on Neuwerk in 1367, was important to secure the mouth of the Lower Elbe against Hamburg's enemies. Around 1388 Neuwerk also conquered the neighboring Ritzebüttel Castle and kept it permanently occupied by Hamburg. In 1394, Hamburg established the Ritzebüttel office and moved the headquarters of the captain from Neuwerk to Ritzebüttel.

From 1292 the council of Hamburg had legislative power.

In 1350 the “ Black Death ”, the great European pandemic of the plague , reached Hamburg and claimed 6,000 lives.

A wooden Roland statue existed in Hamburg from the middle of the 14th century, but it was destroyed in 1389 when it was sunk into the Elbe.

Late Middle Ages - one of the most important partners of the Hanseatic League

Hamburg's way into the Hanseatic League

In the 12th and 13th centuries, trade in northern Germany was networked and strengthened, and newly founded port cities on the Baltic coast flourished (see Lübeck , Rostock , Wismar , Stralsund ). Merchants from these cities as well as from Hamburg and Lüneburg increasingly often represented their interests together outside of northern Germany (e.g. in the Stalhof in London, in Bruges or in Bryggen in Bergen ), the Hanseatic League came into being. Hamburg's stops on the way to the Hanseatic League were the adoption of the Luebian law in 1188, a treaty to secure the land route between Lübeck and Hamburg in 1241, the acquisition of trade privileges in Flanders in 1252, England in 1266, Sweden in 1261, Norway in 1283 and France in 1294, and one common currency with Lübeck from 1255. Low German replaced Latin as Hamburg's official language, a land register and a debt register were introduced, and some merchants began their own bookkeeping (“Handlungsbuch”). In the course of time, merchants 'interests and council policy were also identified in Hamburg, and the Hanseatic League as a whole changed from merchants' to cities.

The period of prosperity and the fight against piracy

With the strengthening of maritime trade, there was a boom in piracy. Hamburg initially suffered (from 1265) particularly under the Dithmarschers , who regularly brought up and plundered ships on the Elbe. Only a contract between the Count of Holstein and the Dithmarschers defused the situation in 1323. From 1390, attacks by former Vitalien brothers on Hamburg ships in the North Sea are documented. After heavy losses through capture, Hamburg and Lübeck armored warships against the Likedeelers in 1400 and in 1401 brought in first the fleet of Klaus Störtebeker , and later that of Gödeke Michels . After the execution, the pirates' heads were nailed to stakes and displayed. It was not until 1525 that Claus Kniphoff, the last North Sea pirate, was caught.

The Hanseatic League brought Hamburg previously unheard of prosperity. Among other things, it was used to acquire important properties for Hamburg from people and institutions from the surrounding area, for example the Alster in three transactions in 1306, 1309 and 1310, 23 villages on the Alster and five on the Elbe. In addition, all important sacred and secular buildings were (re) built, expanded or completed. Including the Mariendom (until 1329) and the churches of St. Petri (1342–1418), St. Katharinen (until 1450), St. Jacobi (until approx. 1400) and St. Nikolai (from 1335). In addition, a new town hall and a city fortification made of bricks were built. Bourgeois, representative residential buildings were built. Elbe islands were acquired and / or diked.

15th century

Hamburg city and country around 1465 (schematic)

The rise of the territorial princes began in the 15th century. They increasingly threatened the privileges of the Hanseatic cities. In Germany, the volume of maritime trade also shrank, while land trade increased, and so the Hanseatic League increasingly lacked the financial means for an independent policy. In addition, the Dutch and British successfully participated in the emerging overseas trade. The decline of the Hanseatic League had begun. Trade with Iceland began at the beginning of the century. The first boat trip was mentioned in 1423. These seafarers were initially members of the Englandfahrergesellschaft and later, when they had become separate companies, went to Iceland, the Shetlands and the Faroe Islands.

After political unrest in Lübeck, Hamburg led the Hanseatic League from 1410–1416. In 1410 the council in Hamburg issued a recess for each parish in which the rights of the citizens are documented. However, this first Hamburg constitution was only in force for seven years. In 1420, troops from Hamburg and Lübeck conquered Bergedorf Castle to secure the land route between the two cities and, according to the Treaty of Perleberg , placed the village under "two-city administration". The holk began to replace the cog as the most common design for merchant ships. In 1450 the council had the Elbe fairway marked with barrels for the first time . With the death of the last Schauenburg count in 1459, a long time began for Hamburg in which the privileges gained had to be regularly defended against the neighboring territorial princes. The city experienced internal political unrest in 1458 and 1483, but these were settled by concessions from the council in the second and third recesses. In 1479, Germany's first public library was established in Hamburg from an estate . 14 years later, the first Hamburgers started printing. According to tradition, the library was hardly used and the printers had to give up their business in Hamburg under pressure from the clergy. In 1500, Hamburg became part of the Lower Saxony Imperial Circle as part of the Imperial Reform .

Modern times

Reformation and its consequences

  • 1503 papal legate in Hamburg

After various currents of the Reformation had initially prevented an unification, mayor Johann Wetken († 1538) asked Luther in 1528 to send Bugenhagen , under whose leadership a church constitution was drawn up. In 1529 Hamburg became Protestant. With the Hamburg religious reversal against Pietism , the Lutheran ministry tried for the last time in 1690 to enforce the denominational unity of the city.

In 1567 and 1611 the Merchant Adventurers came to Hamburg with a wide range of trading privileges. After severe persecution in the course of the Counter-Reformation in the Spanish Netherlands, the first Dutch emigrants arrived in Hamburg and Altona in 1567. Sephardic Jews came to Hamburg around 1600 . They were first expelled from Spain and later from Portugal. See also: History of the Jews in Hamburg .

There was a brotherhood of the Skåne drivers and in 1500 the St. Anna Brotherhood of Iceland drivers was formed at the Dominican monastery of St. Johannis.

This strong Portuguese presence or the 'natio lusitana', as it was called in the documents of the time, was the largest community of foreigners in Hamburg with around 600 souls, which then had 30,000 inhabitants. With two percent of the total population, the Portuguese of the 17th century were even proportionally more represented than the approximately 7,000 Portuguese who live in Hamburg today.

Today the 'Hamburger Portugaleser ', medals of honor for deserving Hanseatic people, remember these refugee Portuguese Jews. The Hamburgers were very fascinated by the large pieces of gold at the time, so that the city's treasury soon had similar large gold commemorative coins minted.

  • 1529, 1548, 1562, 1570, 1579, 1582 fourth to ninth recesses
Hamburg 1588

Witch persecutions in Hamburg

Memorial stone in the women's garden for the victims of the witch trials

In the witch persecutions in Hamburg and its districts from 1444 to 1738 at least 101 proceedings against suspected witches , magicians and fortune tellers were carried out in accordance with Hamburg city law . Since the files on witch persecution in Hamburg are not good, far more cases must be assumed. At least 81 of the witch trials (80%) resulted in the death of the accused. Only 14 of the cases found ended with a release. Almost all witch trials in Hamburg were carried out after the Reformation entered Hamburg and a new church order was introduced in 1529 with the help of Johannes Bugenhagen . As the first victim of the witch hunt, Katharina Hanen was burned as a sorceress ( incantatrix ) in 1444 . There were waves of witch trials in the years 1544–1545 (11 defendants), 1555–1556 (17 defendants), 1575–1583 (23 defendants) and 1610 (5 defendants in Harburg ), most of which were executed. One of the last witch trials in Hamburg took place in 1642: Cillie Hemels was burned for apostasy from God, her sorcery and murder committed against her own husband . In Hamburg-Bergedorf , Margareth Uhler, wife of Sven Uhler, was imprisoned in 1676 on charges of sorcery. She was in custody (temporarily in chains) for 21 months. The acquittal did not take place until 1678, it was the last witch trial in Hamburg. On June 7, 2015, the Association of Women’s Garden in the presence of the second mayor of Hamburg, Ms. Katharina Fegebank , inaugurated a memorial stone in the Ohlsdorf cemetery for all those women who were victims of the early modern witch hunt in Hamburg. See also: witch hunt in Hamburg .

17th century

Hamburg and the surrounding area (Map Stormarn 1650 by Johannes Mejer )

Between 1600 and 1700 the strengthening of the territorial powers against the free cities continued; the Hanseatic League became meaningless and Hamburg had to position itself repeatedly between the new great powers from Scandinavia and the German Empire in terms of foreign policy for decades.

Through profitable trade with the emerging colonial powers Spain and Portugal, the city is able to buy itself out regularly with payments from access attempts by the neighbors in the north (1632, 1679 substantial payments to Sweden, 1694 to Denmark), a recognition of the status as a free city of the German empire through the northern neighbor was not reached.

Unlike most German cities, Hamburg experienced neither devastation nor permanent economic decline during the Thirty Years' War. On the contrary, Hamburg benefited from the immigration of Dutch people on the one hand and from the modern Danish reign in the nearby Altona on the other. The unpopular settlement in the west outside the gates of Hamburg grew extremely in the beginning of the Enlightenment and gave Hamburg new economic impetus. In Hamburg itself, a prudent and open policy was required to prevent companies from moving to the Freedom District (from 1611) of Altona, for example . In Elbmarschen and Vierlanden a flourishing agriculture developed in the second half of the century.


Dr. med. J. Jungius, Rector of the Hamburg School of Academics 1628–1657

At the beginning of the century, the 11th Recess in 1603 restored trust between the citizens of Hamburg and the authorities. Six years later, a delegation from the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg, Lübeck and Danzig was in Madrid for 19 months, where a commercial agreement was successfully concluded. From 1616 to 1625, the Hamburg city council had Dutch master builders built massive ramparts to protect the city from the ravages of the Thirty Years' War . In December 1641, the so-called Hamburg Preliminaries laid down the conditions for a peace congress with the participation of all warring powers in Münster and Osnabrück. For some time, Hamburg and Lübeck were also discussed as congress locations.

Christian IV of Denmark founded and expanded Glückstadt from 1616 to compete with Hamburg. In 1618 the Reich Chamber Court ruled in the long-pending legal dispute over the status of Hamburg as a Free Imperial City , in which the court confirmed Hamburg's status as the “Free City” of the German Empire. This saying was not recognized by Denmark, which continued to regard Hamburg as part of Holstein. The appeal against the judgment, later filed by the Duchy of Holstein, was not allowed by the Reich Chamber of Commerce. The Duke of Celle and the Elector of Brandenburg tried in 1661 to establish Harburg as a competitor to Hamburg. Eight years later, the last Hanseatic Day was held in Lübeck . In addition to Hamburg and Lübeck: Bremen, Danzig, Rostock, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Osnabrück and Cologne were represented.

Towards the end of the century the citizens' displeasure with the behavior of the council increased. The main allegations were nepotism and creeping curtailment of civil rights. In 1684 Mayor Heinrich Meurer (1643–1690) was arrested because he had campaigned for the suspended councilor Krull with the emperor. Meurer fled to Lüneburg-Celle and the spokesmen for the citizenship Cord Jastram (1634–1686) and Hieronymus Snitger (1648–1686) de facto ruled the city for two years. When they asked the Danish King Christian V for assistance against the cellic threat, he demanded an immediate tribute, 400,000 Reichstaler contribution, the handover of the city keys and tolerance of a 2,000-strong Danish crew. As a result, the mood in the city turned overnight in favor of an alliance with Lüneburg-Celle, and with their help the attack by the Danes on August 26, 1686 was repelled. Jastram and Snitger were charged and executed for alleged treason. Meurer returned to the mayor's chair on November 10th. The domestic political crisis was only finally resolved through a recession 13 years later. Since then the council has been dependent on the citizenry.

Hamburg 1682. Large church towers from left to right: Sankt Michaelis , Sankt Nicolai , Sankt Katharinen , Sankt Petri , Alter Mariendom , Sankt Jacobi .


In 1619 the Hamburger Bank was founded purely as a giro bank for merchants. Deposits in silver and similar values ​​could be made in order to be able to conduct cashless business with one another. The Mark Banco was created as the unit of account . With this, the council and citizens reacted to the devaluation of cash in the course of the war economy.

On the recommendation of the merchants, the Admiralty College was founded in 1623 to pursue pirates. In the course of time, the college also grew to oversee the port and pilotage, as well as judicial powers in shipping and insurance matters. The Hamburg consuls abroad were also appointed by the college. In 1639 the compulsory pilotage was introduced on the Elbe. In the second half of the 17th century, Hamburg and the neighboring Altona developed into the center of German whaling . In 1665 the Commerzdeputation (from 1867 Chamber of Commerce) was founded to represent the interests of sea merchants. The Friedrich Wilhelm Canal in Brandenburg was opened in 1668 ; it enabled shipping to Silesia and played an important role in long-distance trade.

Schematic parishes around 1700


On the initiative of Dutch immigrants, the city's first orphanage was founded on Rödingsmarkt in 1604 and the first factory and penitentiary at Alstertor in 1620 . From 1611 on there was freedom of religion and trade in neighboring Altona in the " Freiheit " district , craftsmen were able to settle here regardless of guilds , as was the case with the Reepschläger from St. Pauli in 1626 . With the publication of the first regular newspaper from 1618, Hamburg began to develop into a media city.

At that time the city had around 40,000 inhabitants and, along with Cologne , Nuremberg , Augsburg and Vienna, was one of the largest cities in Germany. The parish of St. Michaelis was built in the 17th century on the meadows, which have been enclosed by the new ramparts since 1625 . It was not until 1685 that the Michaelites were put on an equal footing with members of the four older parishes. The parish verse comes from this time: " St. Petri de Rieken - Nikolai desglieken, Kathrinen de Sturen - Jacobi de Buren, Michaeli de Armen - that may want to have mercy on God" ( St. Petri the rich, Nikolai likewise, Kathrinen the noble , Jacob the farmers, Michael the poor ).

The Academic Gymnasium (founded in 1613) accepted the first students in 1615. Joachim Jungius taught here from 1628 to 1657 . In 1665 the Jungfernstieg was converted into a promenade. Eight years later, the first public street lighting with 400 Tran lamps was introduced. On November 30, 1676, the world's first fire insurance , the Hamburger Feuerkasse, was founded as an insurance against fire damage by the city council and the city council. It still exists today. Two years later, Germany's first citizens' opera opened on Gänsemarkt . Around 1678 Admiral Karpfanger was at the height of his fame. In 1693 Arp Schnitger completed his St. Jakobi organ .

18th century

City center around 1735 (copper engraving by Christian Fritzsch)

In the so-called " main recession " in 1712, the council and the citizenship agreed on a fundamental constitutional reform. In 1716 a Hamburg-French trade agreement was concluded. In 1725, the Hamburg Courantbank was founded. In 1731 the Hamburgische Correspondent appeared for the first time , a newspaper that was respected far beyond Germany. From 1736, the commerce deputation gave the weekly price Courant True in factions out a goods price tag , which recorded the prices of traded goods.

In 1737 the first German Masonic lodge "Loge d'Hambourg" (later: Absalom to the three nettles ) was founded. In 1740 the last Hamburg convoy ship, the " Wapen von Hamburg ", was launched. The first navigation school in Hamburg was founded in 1749 by the math and drawing teacher Gerlof Hiddinga. In 1750 the Michaeliskirche was destroyed by a lightning strike. On February 28, 1751, a peace treaty was signed between Hamburg and the Bey of Algiers, which, however, was lifted a year later - under pressure from Spain. In 1762 the ceremonial inauguration of the new Michaeliskirche took place. The reconstruction was carried out according to plans by the architect Ernst Georg Sonnin .

In 1765, the founding meeting of the Hamburg Society for the Promotion of the Arts and Useful Trades (Patriotic Society) took place. The first members include the architect Ernst Georg Sonnin , who later became head of the commercial academy Johann Georg Büsch, and the doctor and author Johann Albert Heinrich Reimarus . In 1768 the commercial academy was founded; Johann Georg Büsch took over management from 1771. Also in 1768 the Gottorp Treaty was signed , in which Denmark recognized the imperial immediacy of Hamburg and independence from the Duchy of Holstein in return for a cash payment or debt relief . In addition, several former Danish Elbe islands (including Finkenwerder , Veddel , Peute ) fell to Hamburg as a result of the contract. In 1769 Hamburg became a free imperial city now also recognized by Denmark (which had already been confirmed by the Imperial Court of Justice in 1618). In the same year a trade agreement was signed between Hamburg and France.

In 1770 the taxable citizens of Hamburg were classified in the so-called "Reglement because of the head money". In 1771 the poet Matthias Claudius took over the publication of the Wandsbeck Bothen . In 1785 the Hamburg Edict of Tolerance was passed, in which the rights of religious minorities are strengthened. In 1785 the merchant Caspar Voght acquired an estate in Klein-Flottbek, which he later expanded into a model estate based on the English model. On July 23, 1786, Jean-Pierre Blanchard undertook his second balloon ride in Germany over the rooftops of Hamburg. In 1787 Hamburg had over 100,000 inhabitants for the first time. In 1788 Caspar Voght reformed the Hamburg poor system by founding a general poor institution.

The successful businessman and admirer of the French Revolution, Georg Heinrich Sieveking , initiated a “ freedom festival ” in 1790 on the anniversary of the storm on the Bastille. The following year, the strike of the Hamburg journeyman craftsmen led to the first major (but ultimately unsuccessful) uprising by supporters of the revolution in Germany.

Settlement schematically around 1800

French Revolution to the establishment of an empire

The period from the French Revolution to the founding of the Empire led Hamburg slowly at first, then faster and faster from the Middle Ages to the modern age. The class-based, absolutely sovereign and neutral city-state from 1800 made way for a booming federal state with separation of powers, freedom of religion and a new constitution by 1871. As in no century before, people poured into the city from the countryside to participate in the newly burgeoning prosperity through industrialization and economic liberalism after the Napoleonic wars . However, only a few became rich; most of them lived in miserable conditions. Hamburg was already a big city in 1806 with 130,000 inhabitants, but by 1860 the population had already grown to 300,000. The public infrastructure, which - mostly on private initiative - had been built since the French Revolution, was further expanded; numerous aid associations were founded. New political currents such as the labor movement emerged in Hamburg and both the democracy movement and nationalism grew stronger. In the booming city, there were more frequent strikes or hourly riots on the streets, while the council and the citizenry struggled to modernize the state. Hamburg's foreign policy had to take note of the increasing political dominance of Otto von Bismarck , who successfully promoted German unity under the leadership of Prussia. Hamburg first became an ally of Prussia, then a member of the German Confederation , a federal state in the North German Confederation and finally a federal state in the German Empire . On the way from the Middle Ages to the modern age, Hamburg had arrived “in the middle of Germany”. But even in 1871 there were still enough tasks: the political currents were neither reconciled by equal, free and secret suffrage, nor was an end to massive immigration and the social problems associated with it in sight.


View of Hamburg at the time of the French occupation (1811)

As proof of its neutrality in the coalition wars , the Hamburg council had the fortifications of Hamburg torn down in 1804. Because of the strategic importance of the city for the implementation of the continental blockade , Napoleon had the city occupied in the fourth coalition war . On November 19, 1806, French troops marched into Hamburg and held the city until 1814 (see Hamburg's French period ). As the capital of the newly created department of the Elbe estuaries , Hamburg (French: Hambourg ) was part of the French Empire. On the orders of Louis XVIII. handed over to Marshal Davout - almost two months after Napoleon's abdication - on May 29, 1814, as his armed forces were decimated by disease and shortage. Davout left town with 25,000 soldiers and 5,000 horses. Russian troops were celebrated as liberators by the population. The Congress of Vienna guaranteed Hamburg's sovereignty in 1815. Hamburg joined the German Confederation and called itself Freye and Hanseatic City from the end of 1819 .

The occupation triggered a deep hatred of the French among many hamburgers. In the period of reorganization after the withdrawal of the French, only a few, like Abendroth, advocated maintaining some modernization of administration such as the separation of powers and the separation of church and state . The council and inherited citizens put the constitution of 1712 back into force, and individual reforms were carried out step by step (such as the religious equality of all citizens in 1819). In 1820 the city began to be de-fortified and continued until 1880 (see also Hamburger Wallanlagen ).

Population development in Hamburg 1200–2000 (logarithmic scale)

In the 1840s, Hamburg's population became politicized too. Countless associations with democratic - sometimes socialist - tendencies were founded. After the unrest of March 1848 (see March Revolution ), which had also occurred in Hamburg, a proposal for a reformed constitution was drawn up, but it only came into force in 1860 after years of political tug-of-war. According to this, over 40 percent of the citizenship was elected directly by (male, tax-paying) citizens, and the council was now officially called the Senate. In addition, the new constitution (the so-called Nine Constitution ) granted the separation of powers , the separation of church and state, freedom of the press, and the right to organize and assemble.

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Hanseatic cities of Bremen , Hamburg and Lübeck initially remained jointly neutral. (The sympathies of the citizens of Hamburg were more likely to be on the part of the Austrians, because Austria , unlike Prussia, had given Hamburg generous financial aid during the economic crisis of 1857. ) Prussia submitted alliance offers and at the same time signaled its will to occupy the cities if they should become clear take the side of Austria. Finally all three cities agreed to the alliance with Prussia.

After Prussia had successfully ended the war, it expanded its territory to include Hanover and Schleswig-Holstein, so that Hamburg was now completely surrounded by its powerful neighbor. With the allies from the war, Prussia formed the North German Confederation - a federal state whose new constitution was submitted to the Hamburg citizenship for a vote in 1867. The constitution was approved on May 15 with 136 against one vote (and with four abstentions), although Hamburg significantly lost its sovereignty as a result. However, Hamburg temporarily retained its customs and jurisdiction as well as a free port area that included the districts north of the Elbe and the cities of Altona and Wandsbek (the suburbs of the three cities were not part of the free area). As a last defense measure against the dominant neighbor, Hamburg bought the remaining shares in Bergedorf from Lübeck in 1868 after rumors had spread that Prussia was also interested.


The " Hanseatic Legion " was a volunteer group founded in 1813 in the Napoleonic Wars by Colonel Tettenborn (1778-1854) parallel to the forerunners of the civilian military. They do not last fought because of the (justified) fear of the Hamburg Senate before the returning French under Russian flag to give no pretext for retaliation against the city and sat down in the wake not only of hamburgers, but also from residents of Bremen and Lübeck together .

From 1815, the military Hamburg continued from the civil military ( militia ) and the standing army as a quota for Armed Forces of the German Bundestag together: the Hamburg Citizen Militia , also "Hanseatische Civil Guard" called, was a 1814 founded and until 1868 the existing bourgeois military formation of the outdoors and Hanseatic city of Hamburg , from conscript citizens was formed and city dwellers. In addition, there was the Hamburg contingent to the armed forces of the German Confederation with the Hamburg garrison (city military). When Hamburg joined the North German Confederation in 1867, Hamburg gave up its military sovereignty and initially had to take on 2 battalions of the Prussian Army . The teams and NCOs of the city military were transferred to the new infantry regiment "Hamburg" (2nd Hanseatic) No. 76 .


Hamburg citizen oath, 19th century, signed by the founder of the Baptist congregations, Johann Gerhard Oncken

The end of the North American War of Independence in 1783 brought Hamburg an enormous economic boom. Whereas the Hamburg merchants had previously been excluded from direct overseas trade due to the navigation file, goods such as tobacco , rice and indigo now came directly from the ports of the American east coast to the Hanseatic city. Merchants such as John Parish , Georg Heinrich Sieveking or Caspar Voght , who recognized the opportunities of the new retail sector early on, achieved high profits.

With the outbreak of the First Coalition War in 1793, the French Republic imposed a trade embargo on Hamburg. This measure hit the city-state hard, because France was Hamburg's largest economic partner at the time. It was not until three years later that Georg Heinrich Sieveking managed, with personal commitment, to sign a new Hamburg-French trade agreement. In the following year, the resident marine insurers joined forces in the Hamburg Assecuradeure Association.

In a short but violent economic crisis in the Second Coalition War in 1799, 152 trading houses in the city went bankrupt. During the French occupation, the economic decline continued because trade with England was not possible at the time. After the Napoleonic Wars, Latin America became increasingly important for the Hanseatic city's trading activities. However, it was not possible to build on the economic heyday of the late 18th century. Among other things, through government bonds for the reconstruction after the great fire Hamburg became - per head of the population - the most indebted state in Germany.


At the Zollenbrücke in 1842
Drawing of the Hamburg fire; published in the Illustrated London News in 1842

The problems caused by massive immigration were countered, among other things, by founding the general hospital St. Georg (1823), the Hamburger Sparkasse (1827 by Abendroth ) and the Rauhe Haus (1833). In addition, a local public transport system was built (from 1824). First, a cab line to Altona was offered, followed by other lines in 1830 and 1840. From 1842 it was also possible to travel to Bergedorf by train. Lines to Lübeck, Altona and Berlin were added until 1871 (see rail transport in Hamburg ).

From 1814 to 1819 the young Heinrich Heine learned the trade of a businessman in Hamburg. In 1819 and 1830 there were riots hostile to Jews. On behalf of the council and the citizenship, the hammonial song was composed as the Hamburg anthem in 1828 . Johann Gerhard Oncken and six other people founded the first German Baptist congregation in 1834 , which became the nucleus of many continental European Baptist churches. In 1835 the Bundestag of the German Confederation banned the writings of Junge Deutschland , whose most important publisher was Julius Campe in Hamburg. In 1841 the song of the Germans was sung in public for the first time on Jungfernstieg .

The great fire of 1842 destroyed a quarter of the city center, around 4,000 apartments, and around 10% of the population became homeless. After the disaster, work began on building a central water supply and sewage system . In 1846 a street was lit up with gas lamps for the first time at night. A short time after the new constitution was passed, Gabriel Riesser became the first German chief judge of the Jewish faith. On January 1, 1861, the gate lock was lifted, four years later the guild obligation . In May 1849 Karl Marx came to Hamburg and met members of the Communist League. During this time, Hamburg became an important transfer point for emigrants , especially to the United States . In 1869 the first international horticultural exhibition took place in the old Elbpark .

Younger story

German Empire

After the founding of the empire , Hamburg's population growth accelerated again from just under 300,000 when it entered the empire to around 1,000,000 when the First World War began. The economic as well as the social needs of the immigrants were met steadily better and on a larger scale (through construction and consumer cooperatives, trade unions, workers' parties, civic social initiatives such as the Patriotic Society and sports clubs), but the immigrants neither had nor recognized the right to vote the Senate fully the importance and extent of the political, social and urban planning tasks.

Structure of Hamburg around 1875, projected onto today's borders:
  • City of Hamburg with St. Georg (since 1868)
  • Suburb of St. Pauli and 15 other "suburbs"
  • Land rulership of the Geestlande
  • Landlordship of the Marshlands
  • Land rulership Bergedorf
  • not in the picture: Landherrschaft Ritzebüttel (Hamburg exclave at the mouth of the Elbe)

    On June 12, 1871, the Hamburg citizenship passed a rural community ordinance that declared 15 places around the center of Hamburg and belonging to the city to be suburbs in order to withdraw them from the previous rural area and place them under direct city administration. The 15 suburbs were Rotherbaum , Harvestehude , Eimsbüttel , Eppendorf , Winterhude , Barmbek , Eilbek , Uhlenhorst , Hohenfelde , Borgfelde , Hamm , Horn , Billwerder Ausschlag , Steinwerder and Kleiner Grasbrook . The architecture of the Wilhelminian era still dominates entire streets there today . The economy also continued to develop rapidly; the need for new space for offices, factories and warehouses in the city center grew steadily. The redesign process of the city intensified again. The handling of goods shifted from the city center to the newly created port area between the North and South Elbe. Grown urban quarters, which were characterized by small businesses and work-related living, disappeared and gave way to the division into purely residential and purely commercial areas, as they still characterize the cityscape today. The port expansion with the new free port and the Speicherstadt is an example of this development. It is at the same time the economic and urban development core project of Hamburg of those years.

    In addition, Hamburg's overseas trade benefited from the incipient colonialism of the German Empire and the shipyards from the Imperial Navy and the advent of steamships. Despite the rapidly developing economy, the broad population lived in economic misery and social hardship. The cholera raged in the crowded Gängeviertel . Strikes and riots (reunions) claimed dead and injured. The Senate focused on promoting the economy and neglected modernizing the political system. So it came to the situation that from 1890 on the one hand the executive committee of the German trade unions had its seat in the city (and 25 of the 58 individual associations of the trade unions), on the other hand the Senate according to the constitution of 1860 was dominated by traders and shipowners. In terms of political direction, the Senate therefore remained upper-class , while the Hamburg direct mandates to the Reichstag were consistently represented by Social Democrats from 1890 (including 20 years by August Bebel , who called the city the capital of socialist Germany ).

    During that time, Albert Ballin ( HAPAG ) also managed to increase the flow of people who emigrated via the Port of Hamburg (over 90 percent of them to the United States). The term gateway to the world for the port of Hamburg took on a new meaning during this time: It was the gateway for the import and export of goods and for a new life on another continent. From 1815 to 1934 50 million people left Europe, 5 million of them via Hamburg (only exceeded by Bremen ).

    Sailing ship harbor on Asia-Quai around 1895

    During the First World War 1914–1918, the economy in Hamburg largely came to a standstill due to the sea blockade. Tens of thousands of hamburgers were killed as soldiers; despite all efforts, there was hunger and shortage at home. During the subsequent November Revolution of 1918/1919, Hamburg was temporarily ruled by a workers 'and soldiers' council. He resolved a free, equal and secret right to vote and ordered new elections to the citizenship for March 16, 1919 .

    Emigration using the example of Schleswig-Holstein 1870–1940 (schematic)
    Dutch Brook around 1895


    In 1871 Hamburg became a federal state of the German Empire, but initially remained independent under customs law. Hamburg was still abroad for customs purposes. In the Bundesrat it was like Bremen and Lübeck one vote.

    Bismarck wanted to complete the unity of the state and negotiated with the city (initially stubbornly resisting customs integration) to join it on October 15, 1888. In addition to the seven-year period, Hamburg received 16 km² of land on both sides of the Elbe as compensation for Prussia for the construction of a new free port outside the city center.

    While the Socialist Law was in force, Hamburg and Altona were one of the six siege areas in the Reich. Forty percent of all people banned during the period from 1880 to 1890 came from Hamburg and its surroundings. As a result of state repression, the SPD and the trade unions also grew closely together in Hamburg and gained new supporters, among other things through immigration from other parts of the Reich.

    Since 1890, all three Hamburg mandates in the Reichstag have been exercised by Social Democrats. In contrast, the old state suffrage prevented the Social Democrats from entering the citizenship. The politically less organized bourgeoisie dominated state politics. Hamburg merchants like Adolph Woermann and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce played a major role in the colonial activities of the empire; Today one suspects more business than colonial political motives.

    Hamburg received with pomp on June 19, 1895, during one of the so-called Imperial Days , Kaiser Wilhelm II. On October 26, 1897, after 44 years of planning and 11 years of construction, the Hamburg City Hall , which is still in use today, was inaugurated. In the following two years, representatives of the anti - Semitic German Social Reform Party moved into the citizenship for the first time .

    In 1906 the first general political strike in Germany took place in Hamburg , when the citizenship changed the electoral law in favor of the better-off . After rallies by the SPD on January 17, 1906 (“Red Wednesday”) tens of thousands of people streamed into the city center. A strong police force was ready. There were serious riots lasting several hours (one fatality and many injured). The extent to which the significant part of Hamburg's population now identified with the German Reich is exemplified by the construction of the 35 m high Bismarck monument in the Old Elbe Park (Helgoländer Allee) in the same year. The question of whether the desired by the government burgfriedenspolitik should agree or whether to act against the war, split in the First World War , the labor movement in the majority SPD and the Independent SPD (USPD) and also in Hamburg Spartakusbund ( later KPD). The SPD tried (together with the commoners) to manage the shortage in the war; USPD and leftists took in Hamburg at the November revolution actively and presented the workers' and soldiers , which was in fact recognized on 6 November 1918 by the Senate as the highest organ of government. After two days of rioting with ten dead, the bloodshed ended; the Workers 'and Soldiers' Council ruled for four months until the first free, equal and secret citizenship elections.

    Settlement, transport network 1910


    The time in the German Reich was characterized by great technical progress, expansion of industry (in Hamburg especially steamship construction and operation by Blohm & Voss and HAPAG under Albert Ballin ) and ongoing labor disputes for better working, living and training conditions. In 1872 the Hamburg-Venloer Bahn was completed with the inauguration of the Elbe bridges, creating a continuous connection between Hamburg and Paris. Nine years later, when the first exchange went into operation on April 16, 1881, with initially 206 subscribers, the telephone network found its way into the Hanseatic city. As one of the first cities in the German Empire , Hamburg began electrification in 1882 with the installation of carbon arc lamps for street lighting . The Hamburger Luftschiffhallen GmbH (HLG) 1911 opened an airship port from which the present-day Hamburg airport emerged. The port expansion agreed with the Kingdom of Prussia experienced its most important phase in 1885–1888 with the construction of the Speicherstadt . Both simple quarters and merchant's villas were demolished for the project and 20,000 people were relocated to new development areas on the outskirts (Ottensen, Eimsbüttel, Barmbek). Interrupted by small downturns, Hamburg's economy and trade continued to grow, also due to the armament of the navy forced by Kaiser Wilhelm II , and ensured confidence and self-confidence in the dawning 20th century. This mood came to an end in World War I, when the British naval blockade severely hampered trade in Hamburg.


    Many of the localities that are still well-known in the city today were founded during this time, such as Carl Hagenbeck's zoo (1874), the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof (1877), Santa Fu , the prison in Fuhlsbüttel (1879), the main train station (1906), the Laeiszhalle (1908) , the courthouse at Sievekingplatz (1882–1912), the (old) Elbtunnel (1911) and St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken (1909), the Hamburg U-Bahn (1912), the Tropical Institute at the port and the Stadtpark (1914), the Curiohaus (1911) and others. In addition, from 1906 onwards, Fritz Schumacher , as the city's building director , shaped the traditionalist clinker brick style that still characterizes the cityscape. Examples are office buildings such as the Chilehaus (1924) and entire residential districts such as the Jarrestadt (1929) and the Dulsberg settlement (1930). The canals (“Fleete”) were also prepared in the shape they still have today. After a fire in 1906, the Michaeliskirche (the Michel ) was rebuilt by 1912. In 1880 the Hamburg Theological Seminary of the Baptists was founded.

    In 1892, 16,956 residents fell ill during the cholera epidemic , 8,605 of whom died. Hamburg was temporarily isolated from the surrounding area for security reasons. The dirt, poverty and poor hygienic conditions in the Gängeviertel horrify visitors to the city, so that the city administration decided to have large parts of them demolished. Instead, prestigious buildings such as the Hamburg City Hall and Mönckebergstrasse were built .

    The largest strike of the period occurred in 1896, when a strike by dockworkers escalated into a general strike that was attended by up to 16,000 people and lasted eleven weeks. In 1910 Emil Nolde worked in Hamburg for four weeks. 34,519 Hamburgers were killed as soldiers in the First World War. In 1920 the Senate founded the Hamburg workshop for the disabled (also in the interests of employing disabled people ) . 23,000 war orphans were registered in Hamburg after the end of the war.

    Weimar Republic

    Unemployed dock workers, 1931

    On March 16, 1919, the first free democratic citizenship elections took place. The SPD received 50.5% of the vote. Werner von Melle was elected First Mayor and President of the Senate. On March 28, the new citizenship decided to found a community college and the university . The lecture building for the traditional general lecture system , which was already completed in 1911, became the seat of the educational institution. The Hanseatic city had two votes in the new Reichsrat . In June 1919 the brawn riots occurred , in October 1923 the Hamburg uprising took place. Unlike in the Reich, the Hamburg state government was stable during the Weimar period, which is attributed to the fact that, on the one hand, the bourgeois parties were always involved in government by the SPD, and on the other hand, the Hamburg SPD was more pragmatic due to its close contact with the unions in Hamburg as radically oriented. In the township elections on September 27, 1931, the NSDAP received 26.3% of the vote and became the second strongest force behind the SPD with only 27.8%. After the defeat, the Senate announced its resignation, but remained in office until March 1933, as, despite another election in 1932, no government coalition was formed.

    Results of the citizenship elections in the Weimar Republic

    1919 8.07%
    13 seats
    - 50.46%
    82 seats
    33 seats
    13 seats
    2 seats
    - 2.86%
    4 seats
    - - 5.60%
    9 seats
    4 seats
    - - - - -
    1921 1.43%
    2 seats
    17 seats
    67 seats
    23 seats
    23 seats
    2 seats
    - 11.27%
    18 seats
    - - 3.51%
    5 seats
    3 seats
    - - - - -
    1924 - 14.70%
    24 seats
    53 seats
    21 seats
    23 seats
    2 seats
    - 16.96%
    28 seats
    4 seats
    - - - 1.27%
    2 seats
    - 0.65%
    1 seat
    2 seats
    1927 - 16.99%
    27 seats
    63 seats
    16 seats
    18 seats
    2 seats
    - 15.23%
    25 seats
    - 1.50%
    2 seats
    - - - 4.19%
    6 seats
    - - 1.20%
    1 seat
    1928 16.65%
    27 seats
    60 seats
    21 seats
    20 seats
    2 seats
    - 13.70%
    22 seats
    - 2.15%
    3 seats
    - - - 2.93%
    4 seats
    - - 0.82%
    1 seat
    1931 21.86%
    35 seats
    46 seats
    14 seats
    7 seats
    2 seats
    2 seats
    9 seats
    - 26.25%
    43 seats
    - - - 1.47%
    2 seats
    - - -
    1932 15.97%
    26 seats
    49 seats
    18 seats
    5 seats
    2 seats
    1 seat
    7 seats
    - 31.23%
    51 seats
    - - - 0.65%
    1 seat
    - - -

    time of the nationalsocialism

    Takeover of power in Hamburg and synchronization

    Coat of arms of Hamburg during National Socialism

    After Potsdam Day and their victory in the semi-free Reichstag election in March 1933 , the National Socialist German Workers' Party with the German National People's Party and the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten , put pressure on the federal states to bring down the democratic governments there. This was also the case in Hamburg, where on March 3 the three SPD senators resigned in protest against the pressure exerted by Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick . Two days later, the seriously ill mayor Carl Wilhelm Petersen of the German State Party announced his resignation, followed on March 6 by Senator Paul de Chapeaurouge ( German People's Party ). The citizenship elected a new National Socialist Senate on March 8th with the participation of DNVP, DVP and DStP . The Senate elected the NSDAP member Carl Vincent Krogmann as First Mayor , who held this office until April 1, 1938, on which date the Senate was dissolved and the office of First Mayor abolished. The last session of the citizenship took place on June 28, 1933.

    Hamburg was placed under a Reich governor, to whom Karl Kaufmann was appointed on May 16 , who was also Gauleiter of the NSDAP district in Hamburg. These party districts subordinate to the Gauleiters corresponded to the earlier Reichstag constituencies. In what is now the city of Hamburg, the offices of the Gauleitungen Schleswig-Holstein (in the city of Altona ) and East Hanover (in the city of Harburg-Wilhelmsburg ) were initially located , the area of ​​which roughly corresponded to the former Lower Saxony administrative district of Lüneburg. However, they were later moved to Kiel and Lüneburg.

    Persecution of minorities and opponents of the regime

    Hamburg citizens were also captured, disenfranchised, expelled, killed or driven to suicide in the course of implementing the National Socialist racial ideological concepts in cooperation with numerous regional and central government authorities. The number of Jews living in Hamburg fell from around 22,000 in the mid-1920s to around 19,400 at the beginning of 1933. As in numerous other places in Germany, they were victims of exclusion, disenfranchisement and direct persecution in Hamburg: the boycott of Jews and the law on civil servants in April In 1933 the Nuremberg Race Laws followed in September 1935 and the Reichspogromnacht in November 1938. Kurt Juster was one of the Jews living in Hamburg who managed to emigrate from Germany after 1938 .

    In 1939 Jewish citizens were forced by law to sell their silver and jewelry. In Hamburg, 20 tons were confiscated and melted down at a tenth of the value. Only antiques have been preserved. In the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg appropriate artifacts are made as loot identified. A restitution is sought through provenance research. Starting in October 1941, 5,296 Jewish citizens were deported in 17 transports; others committed suicide , were deported from Western European refugee countries or fell victim to other persecution measures such as Operation T4 . With the participation of the local reserve police battalion 101 and local offices of the police and financial authorities, the following major "actions" took place: On October 25, 1,034 Hamburgers were deported as Jews to the Litzmannstadt ghetto. On November 8th, another 990 Hamburgers were deported on a train to Minsk. Finally, on November 18, 408 citizens along with 500 Jews from Bremen were also brought to Minsk, and on December 4, 1941, 808 Hamburg Jews were "transported" to Riga. A total of 8,877 Hamburg Jews lost their lives. After the liberation in 1945 there were still 647 Jews in Hamburg. In Hamburg, too, numerous Roma were victims of the National Socialist Gypsy persecution for reasons of race.

    Furthermore, political and other ideological opponents and deviants, different groups of "anti-social" and homosexuals for reasons of race hygiene and population sanitation, were persecuted, imprisoned and, in many cases, murdered. Among the 1,417 victims of political persecution were 20 MPs. Not only Hamburgers were murdered in the urban area, in the Neuengamme concentration camp alone around 55,000 people died violently between 1938 and 1945. After the collapse of the regime, around 8,500 murdered Hamburgers were recognized as victims of National Socialism .

    For Neuengamme concentration camp included some sub-camps in the city.

    Thousands of stumbling blocks in Hamburg remind of the victims of the National Socialists.

    Education of Greater Hamburg

    Area of ​​Hamburg after the Greater Hamburg Law came into force :
  • previous city of Hamburg
  • previous city of Bergedorf (to the state of Hamburg since 1868)
  • previous, remaining Hamburg rural areas
  • added city of Altona
  • added city of Wandsbek
  • added city of Harburg-Wilhelmsburg
  • added rural communities
  • Film recordings by the US Army of the bombing of Hamburg
    Destroyed Hamburg
    Schoolgirls listen to a school radio broadcast in 1949

    The Greater Hamburg Act of January 26, 1937, which came into force on April 1, 1937 , resulted in major territorial changes for the Hanseatic city that are still in force today. Many different versions of the Greater Hamburg Act had already been proposed in the 1920s, but implementation always failed due to the diverging interests of those affected. In 1937, the districts of Altona, Wandsbeck (Wandsbek) and Harburg-Wilhelmsburg as well as numerous communities were transferred from Prussia to Hamburg. Despite the loss of former Hamburg areas (including Cuxhaven , Geesthacht ), the city now had a contiguous total area of ​​755 km² instead of the previous 415 km². With effect from April 1, 1937, all cities and municipalities transferred to Hamburg were merged with the City of Hamburg to form a single municipality, Hanseatic City of Hamburg . With the stroke of a pen, Adolf Hitler had turned the city into a metropolis . The National Socialist leadership of Hamburg made Hitler and Hermann Göring honorary citizens. The Greater Hamburg Law also regulated a number of other territorial changes. Particularly noteworthy is that the city of Lübeck lost its 711 year old territorial independence and was assigned to the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein . The part of Lübeck belonging to the Free State of Oldenburg became the district of Eutin in the province of Schleswig-Holstein.

    Second World War

    On September 1, 1939, the Wehrmacht began the attack on Poland . In the Second World War that followed, Hamburg was badly hit by air raids . The attacks - mainly by the Royal Air Force - in July / August 1943 ( Operation Gomorrah ) destroyed around a third of all buildings, injured around 125,000 and killed 40,000 to 50,000 people. Some of the injured became disabled . By the end of the war, around 17,000 aircraft dropped around 101,000 high explosive bombs and 1.6 million incendiary bombs on the city in 213 air strikes . Of the almost 564,000 apartments in Hamburg before the war began, only around 20 percent remained undamaged. 900,000 people were left homeless. The port facilities were also largely destroyed. Since Germany did not capitulate, the Allies conquered Germany.

    On April 29, Hermann Burchard as a division doctor, Albert Schäfer (entrepreneur) as director of the Phoenix works and Lieutenant Otto von Laun as an interpreter contacted the British armed forces south of Harburg in order to ensure that the Phoenix works no longer fired at would. They were legitimized as members of the parliamentary commission by identification of the combat commander of Hamburg Alwin Wolz . The Phönix-Werke served as a hospital for German soldiers and British prisoners of war. The parliamentarians walked 1.5 to 2 kilometers along the B 75 through no man's land to the British positions with a white flag. On the British side, Captain P. Martin Lindsay agreed not to bombard the Phönix-Werke any more and handed Albert Schäfer two letters to General Alwin Wolz with the request for the unconditional surrender of Hamburg. Schäfer delivered the letters to Wolz on April 30th at the combat headquarters on Rothenbaum.

    At the beginning of May 1945, the combat commandant Alwin Wolz and the Gauleiter Karl Kaufmann agreed on the hopeless situation of Hamburg. Even Reich President Karl Doenitz , which deals with the last imperial government of Flensburg - Mürwik had settled, agreed to a bloodless transfer of Hamburg. On May 3, Wolz accompanied the German delegation led by Hans Georg von Friedeburg to the British headquarters near Lüneburg . At Villa Möllering , Wolz immediately signed the conditions for handing over the city. Only on the following day was the partial surrender authorized by Karl Dönitz for the German armed forces in northwest Germany , Holland , Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein signed by the German delegation on the Timeloberg south of Lüneburg. On the afternoon of May 3, 1945, the British soldiers marched into Hamburg. Karl Kaufmann was arrested on May 4th, as was Wolz, and Mayor Krogmann a week later. The British began to control all areas of public life. The first city commandant of Hamburg was Harry William Hugh Armytage . Radio Hamburg was created on May 4, 1945 at the instigation of the British military government . This went on September 22, 1945 on the Northwest German Radio .

    State of the Federal Republic of Germany

    The city belonged to the British zone of occupation and received citizenship appointed by the British . This had the task of working out a constitution for Hamburg . On May 15, 1945, the British occupying power appointed Rudolf Petersen, who was not bound by party politics, as First Mayor after the end of the Nazi regime . In order to alleviate the plight of the people after the war, Petersen founded the German Aid Community . Immediately after the end of the Second World War, more than 30,000 war invalids lived in Hamburg.

    The Hamburg University remained closed in the summer semester of 1945. In the winter semester 1945/46 it reopened with fewer than 3000 students. The rector was the Anglist Emil Wolff, appointed by the British occupying forces .

    The first free elections after the end of World War II took place on October 13, 1946 . With the majority vote, the SPD clearly won; she also provided the First Mayor of Hamburg with Max Brauer . On October 16, 1949 , he was re-elected after a mixture of majority and proportional representation. In the same year Hamburg became a federal state of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. In 1952, the city council passed the Hamburg constitution, which has been in effect since then.

    The following years were marked by the rapid rise of the city in several respects: the port quickly became the largest German goods transshipment point, numerous residents found work in the Hamburg shipyards and with the NWDR , Hamburg became the seat of the most important radio and soon also television station of the post-war years. In addition there were the influential publications Die Zeit and later Der Spiegel .

    In the 1962 storm surge in the night of 16 on February 17 killed more than 300 hamburgers. Helmut Schmidt was a senator for the police authority and gained great popularity nationwide as a crisis manager .

    Flooded area in Hamburg during the storm surge

    Since the 1970s, Hamburg has developed into a stronghold of the autonomous scene . Squatting , such as the one in Hafenstrasse , the Rote Flora or the evacuation of the Bambule site in 2002 caused a stir nationwide.

    Significant urban development measures after the war were: The twelve high-rise buildings (1950–1956), the Hamburg State Opera (1955), the Audimax (1958) and the Philosophenturm of the University of Hamburg, the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY, 1960–1964) and the Unilever House (1964). The television tower was completed in 1968.

    Typical representatives of the 1970s are: The business town Nord ( City Nord , since 1967), the shopping centers Hamburger Straße and Alstertal , the Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH, 1970–1973), the housing estates Osdorfer Born , Steilshoop and Mümmelmannsberg . The following were also inaugurated: in 1973 the Alsterschwimmhalle ("swimming opera"), in 1974 the Köhlbrand Bridge and in 1975 the new Elbe tunnel .

    In 1977 the poetry festival , which was planned to be continued, took place for the first time and once.

    With the increased use of containers in cargo shipping (=> container shipping ), the structures of the Port of Hamburg changed, which had shaped the city for centuries: numerous jobs for dock workers disappeared; four large, high-tech container terminals were built:

    The expansion of the Port of Hamburg into a container port is closely linked to the name of the Senator for Economics and Transport at the time, Helmuth Kern .

    Since the late 1990s, Hamburg has been building HafenCity , a new district in the inner city port area.

    See also: Politics in Hamburg

    Hamburg in reunified Germany

    The Theological Seminary of the Federation of Evangelical Free Churches moved in 1997 its location of Hamburg-Horn to Wustermark -Elstal in Berlin. It was located in the Hanseatic city for 117 years.

    Significant building projects are the Volksparkstadion , the Barclaycard Arena , the HafenCity and the Elbphilharmonie .

    Privatization and austerity policies were committed as a way out of the cost trap caused by demographic change , structural unemployment and tax reduction policies.

    Hamburg received the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea . He started work in 1996.

    New districts have been built in the last few decades: HafenCity and Neuallermöhe .

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were partly planned and carried out by the Hamburg terrorist cell .

    In December 2013, hurricane Xaver hit the city and flooded several areas of the city. The newly built Hafencity was partially under water.

    The G20 summit took place in Hamburg on July 7th and 8th, 2017 . Numerous people demonstrated; some violent criminals set cars on fire and looted shops (details here ).

    Since March 2020, Hamburg has been part of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany in relation to the number of inhabitants with the most severely affected federal states .

    See also


    • Uwe Bahnsen , Kerstin von Stürmer: The city that rose. Hamburg's reconstruction 1948–1960 , Convent, Hamburg 2005.
    • Joachim W. Frank, Gerd Hoffmann: "Hamburg - The Metropolitan Region in Historical Maps", Sutton Verlag GmbH Erfurt, 2017, ISBN 978-3-95400-825-4 .
    • Werner Jochmann , Hans-Dieter Loose : Hamburg. History of the city and its inhabitants.
      • Volume 1: From the beginnings to the founding of the Empire , Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1986, ISBN 3-455-08709-4 .
      • Volume 2: From the Empire to the Present , Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1986, ISBN 3-455-08255-6 .
    • Eckart Kleßmann : History of the city of Hamburg. New edition, Die Hanse, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-434-52596-3 .
    • Friederike Christiane Koch: Icelanders in Hamburg 1520–1662. Hamburg 1995.
    • Jorun Poettering: Commerce, Nation and Religion. Merchants between Hamburg and Portugal in the 17th century. Göttingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-525-31022-9 .
    • Ernst Christian Schütt u. a .: The Chronicle of Hamburg. Dortmund 1991, ISBN 3-611-00194-5 .
    • Reinhard Schindler : The soil antiquities of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (= publications of the Museum for Hamburg History, Department of Soil Monument Preservation. Vol. 1). Christians, Hamburg 1960.
    • Clemens Wischermann : Living in Hamburg before the First World War . Coppenrath, Münster 1983, ISBN 3-88547-276-7 (= studies on the history of everyday life, vol. 2).

    Web links

    Wikisource: Hamburg  - sources and full texts
    Commons : History of Hamburg  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


    Hamburg museums with exhibits on Hamburg's history:

    State Archives


    Individual evidence

    1. Sensation: Scientists find Hamburg's germ cell , accessed on September 3, 2016.
    2. ^ Gerhard Theuerkauf: Jordan von Boizenburg . In: Franklin Kopitzsch, Dirk Brietzke (Hrsg.): Hamburgische Biographie . tape 1 . Christians, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7672-1364-8 , pp. 153-154 .
    3. German legal dictionary . In: Hamburg legal antiquities . JM Lappenberg. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
    4. ^ Johann Martin Lappenberg : Hamburgisches Urkundenbuch . tape 1 , no. 821, 918 . Voss, 1842, p. 677-678, 762 ( No. 821 No. 918 ).
    5. ^ W. Nasemann History and Constitution, in: Hamburg und seine Bauten Vol. 1, 1914, pp. 3, 5 ( digitized version )
    6. Rita Bake: A new memorial stone in the women's garden . In: OHLSDORF - magazine for mourning culture.
    7. Fegebank dedicates stone in memory of burned witches .
    8. Memorial stone for Abelke Bleken
    9. Speech on the occasion of the inauguration of Hamburg's first memorial stone for the women accused of being witches and burned in Hamburg .
    10. ^ Cypriano Francisco Gaedechens: The Hamburg military up to 1811 and the Hanseatic Legion, Hamburg 1889.
    11. ^ Franklin Kopitzsch , Daniel Tilgner (ed.): Hamburg Lexikon. 2nd, revised edition. Zeiseverlag, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-9805687-9-2 , p. 511.
    12. The election was declared invalid and repeated in 1928.
    13. ^ Frank Bajohr: "Aryanization" in Hamburg. The displacement of Jewish entrepreneurs 1933–45 . (= Hamburg contributions to social and contemporary history 35). Hans Christians Verlag, Hamburg 1997.
    14. Late chance to make amends? In: Hamburger Abendblatt from February 6, 2016, p. 21. Author abbreviation: (eng).
    15. Beate Meyer (Ed.): The persecution and murder of Hamburg's Jews 1933–1945. Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-929728-85-0 , pp. 16/47.
    16. Viviane Wünsche, Uwe Lohalm, Michael Zimmermann, Kathrin Herold, Yvonne Robel: The National Socialist Persecution of Hamburg Roma and Sinti. Hamburg 2006.
    17. DIE ZEIT (April 1, 2012)
    18. S. to preload the Hamburg address book in 1939 in a viewable on the website of the Hamburg State Library digitized version of the Hamburg address book
    19. Matthias Iken: The hours that shaped Hamburg's fate. In: Hamburger Abendblatt , magazine for the weekend, April 25, 2020, pp. 19–21.
    20. ^ FJ Krause: May 3, 1945. The day on which 1000 years ended in Hamburg. In: Senioren Magazin Hamburg, June 2020, pp. 36–38.
    21. ^ Letter to the Citizen. Announcements of the Bürgererverein Lüneburg eV number 75 , from: May 2015; Page 11 f .; accessed on May 1, 2017
    22. Oliver Schirg: By night and fog: Hamburg's surrender. In: Hamburger Abendblatt, April 18, 2015, pp. 20–21 ( online ).
    23. ^ Norddeutscher Rundfunk : On the silk thread: Hamburg's way to surrender , from May 2, 2015; accessed on May 1, 2017
    24. "This box changes everything!" How Helmuth Kern, 84, former Senator for Economic Affairs and HHLA CEO, brought the container to Hamburg , accessed on July 25, 2016.
    25. spiegel.de December 6, 2013: Facts about the hurricane: Hamburg experienced the second highest flood since records began
    26. Archive link ( Memento from June 15, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
    27. FAZ.net March 19, 2020: Why the number of infected people in Hamburg is skyrocketing