History of the city of Hanover

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Coat of arms of Hanover
A Merian copper engraving shows the city of Hanover around 1650, in the foreground the windmill on Lindener Berg
City map 1731

The history of the city of Hanover describes the development of the city of Hanover , which was initially a trading center on a leash and became a residential city ​​via a medieval city . As the state capital of Lower Saxony , Hanover is one of the leading cities in Germany today .


Archaeological excavations show that the region around Hanover was settled early on. In the gravel banks leash at Arnum , Döhren , Koldingen and Rethen were hand axes and knife-like blades from the Paleolithic to 120,000 v. Found. Hardly any traces can be found from the following millennia.

It was not until the 8th millennium BC that flint tools were mainly found near Misburg . At Koldingen and Rethen antler hooks were found from the same time, which were used for tillage. They prove that a sedentary arable population lived here. From the Neolithic Age , clay vessels from three different geographical groups of pottery were found. Devices obtained from afar also testify to a dense network of extensive relationships with other cultures from the Bronze Age .

Early history

According to evaluations of the original of a map of Germania Magna drawn by the geographer Claudius Ptolemäus around 150 AD by the Institute for Geodesy of the Technical University of Berlin , there was already a settlement called Tulifurdum on the site of today's Hanover . According to Klaus Mlynek , this can be interpreted in terms of linguistic history from the combination of the Latin “tuli” (= “I carried”) and “furdum” (= “ford”), which indicates the crossing of the leash. Helmut Plath , long-time head of the Historical Museum , wrote about the previously unnamed place in his city's history: “During the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, in the Roman Empire, there was no settlement on the soil of the later old and new town small extent. ”Remains of clay pots from this period were found in the underground of the Aegidienkirche. The residents belonged to the Cheruscan tribe . A Roman coin of Emperor Alexander Severus (222–232) was even found in a linen arm . This allows the conclusion that the settlement at the Leine crossing at the time had trade relations with the Romans. Based on the archaeological finds, it is assumed that there were no major upheavals in the Hanover area due to the migration of peoples . In the Merovingian period (550-700) a large skeleton cemetery was created near Anderten .

Hanover in the Middle Ages


City map of Hanover as a sketch "Hanover in the Middle Ages ";
1924 by Karl Friedrich Leonhardt in his article "Streets and houses in old Hanover" in the Hanover history sheets

Hanover was created at the point of the low mountain range threshold , where the Lindener Berg, the last foothill of the Lower Saxon mountainous region, narrowed the difficult-to-pass and swampy Leineaue to 500 m. A Werder in the middle of the river valley made it easier to pass a ford . At the point a crossed trade route long-distance trade of Goettingen the river and met the distance means of Hildesheim to Bremen .

City description

The population in the region around today's Hanover has belonged to the Saxon tribe since the early Middle Ages, which was forcibly incorporated into the Frankish Empire by Charlemagne at the end of the 8th century . The old town area belonged to the then Saxon province of Engern , the Marstemgau and the diocese of Minden . Broken pieces show that the medieval settlement of the later old town area already existed in the 11th century. This was initially along today's Leinstrasse, which was on the banks of the Leine part of the trunk road from Hildesheim to Bremen . At the level of Burgstrasse there was a lane leading there ( Roßmühle ). Here, near the Hohen Ufer , the first settlement and a mansion that controlled the river crossing were formed (see also: City archaeological studies on Hohen Ufer 2013 ). This line crossing also formed the shortest route between Minden and Lüneburg . At the beginning of the 11th century the power centers of the Billunger , who also held the count's rights in the Marstemgau, were located there. Therefore, the Leine crossing near Hanover gained importance among the Billungers during this time. After the Billunger died out with the death of Duke Magnus in 1106, Count Widukind von Schwalenburg exercised the count's rights in Marstemgau and held court in Linden between 1113 and 1119. On this court day, the Billunger's successor as Duke of Saxony, the later Emperor Lothar III. , part and confirmed the Schwalenberg rights.

The city was founded under the Counts of Rhodes

Around 1150 a girl from the "vicus honovere" is said to have prayed at the grave of Bishop Bernward von Hildesheim ;
Relief by Werner Hantelmann in the historical
frieze on the New Town Hall of Hanover

In 1124 at the latest, Hildebold von Rhoden , whose family owned many estates in the area between Hanover and Wunstorf, was enfeoffed with the dignity of a count in Marstemgau. Under Hildebold, the manor at the Leine crossing moved into the middle of what was then the Rhodian domain. He had a church consecrated to Saint George and a market square built southeast of it. The place initially only consisted of the market settlement around the Georgskirche, the Uferstraße coming from the southeast and the Herrenhof located at the Leine crossing. At the latest by Hildebold's death around 1141, the establishment of the market place, which was first referred to in the Hildesheim Miracula Bernwardi in 1150 as "Hanovere", was completed. The meaning of the name is controversial.


Hohes Ufer der Leine (right) on the edge of the old town

In general, “ high bank ” is named as eponymous, as was already mentioned by Leibniz .

At first glance, this contradicted the situation at a river crossing, because a ford marks a particularly flat spot. The height of the banks of the Leine was about three meters below today's level. Therefore, the historian and name researcher Bodo Dringenberg suggested a different interpretation in 2002: Although -overe would undisputedly stand for a “recessed, raised edge”, the prefix han- but for a “fenced in place” after the Old High German “hagan” or “hagen” for "enclosure". This original Hag (en) - is neither handed down nor can be inferred from the local sound development; this would have led to Hain- , but not to the traditional parallel forms with Hon- . "Hahnenufer", "Swampufer" and "Schilfufer" were also mentioned as further possible interpretations.

In fact, the traditional interpretation of "Hohenufer" is supported by the fact that the first known settlement arose away from the ford, namely protected from floods and annual spring floods on a bank that was already relatively high at the time, which allows the course of the Leine to turn west. This interpretation is supported by the onomast Jürgen Udolph with numerous parallels: For example, there are similar forms of names that can most plausibly be interpreted as "(Am) Hohen Ufer", so that it is still most likely that this also applies to the city of Hanover applies. The emphasis on -over also speaks in favor of an adjective-noun composition and thus against the other previous attempts at interpretation.

Heinrich the Lion as sovereign

Henry the Lion with his second wife Mathilde of England (1188)

In 1142 the Welf Heinrich the Lion , the grandson Lothar III, was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Saxony . He had Hanover expanded and fortified. Presumably he also founded the Aegidienkirche to the south after 1149 . Between 1160 and 1168 Heinrich enfeoffed Hildebold's son, Conrad I of Rhoden, with the county of Engern. Probably at the same time Konrad assigned the Hanover estate to the Duke and received it back as a fiefdom, enlarged by the Aegidienkirchspiel. From now on, the Welfs regarded Hanover as their hereditary property. In 1163 Heinrich held a court day in Hanover. Presumably the present Bishop of Minden consecrated the Aegidienkirche. In the following years, the city was expanded. The trade in the market took on a larger scope, so that it was worthwhile for Duke Heinrich to have cross bracteates (hollow pennies) minted in Hanover in 1180 .

At the Reichstag in Würzburg in 1180 the Guelph- Staufer dispute reached its climax: Heinrich the Lion was deposed as Duke of Saxony by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa and had to go into exile . The title Duke of Saxony was given to Bernhard von Anhalt . But it was mainly only able to establish itself in the eastern regions. Therefore, the Duchy of Saxony soon no longer meant the area of ​​today's Lower Saxony and Westphalia, but the areas upstream of the Elbe .

Conrad I von Rhoden, who was a close follower of Heinrich and now remained loyal to him, faced stormy times in the now looming Imperial War . In the years to come he built a small, but easily defendable moated castle in the Leinen lowlands near Limmer . When Heinrich returned prematurely from exile in 1189, King Heinrich VI besieged him . , the son of Barbarossa, in front of Braunschweig, which he could not take. The withdrawing troops set fire to Hanover and besieged Limmer Castle in vain. After Conrad I's death, his sons Konrad II and Hildebold II initially managed the inheritance together, but by 1215 at the latest they shared the inheritance: Hildebold II moved to Limmer Castle and Konrad II to the newly built Lauenrode Castle on the western side Bank across from Hanover. From then on he called himself "von Lauenrode". The castle was built within an old defense system on the Werder . It formed the core of the later Calenberger Neustadt on the western bank of the Leine. The former nucleus of the city, the manor, now lost its function and was assigned to the St. Galli castle chapel with the associated property. Konrad received the eastern fiefs of the family with Hanover and Lauenrode Castle as the center, while Hildebold II exercised the feudal rights more in the west .

Acquisition of self-employment

The old City Hall

The sons of Heinrich the Lion (Count Palatine) Heinrich , Wilhelm and Otto also shared the remaining inheritance in 1202, which also included Hanover. Since Otto was crowned German king and in 1209 German emperor and he had to worry more about imperial politics, it was mainly Heinrich's responsibility to administer the Brunswick property. After the deaths of Wilhelm and Otto, Heinrich again had sole control of the Guelph allodies from 1219 . Konrad II von Lauenrode remained loyal to the Guelphs and Heinrich exercised the right to mint in Hanover during his lifetime. In his will, Count Palatine Heinrich appointed his nephew Otto , known as “the child”, to inherit the rule of Braunschweig and his fiefdom in 1223 . After Heinrich's death in 1227 Otto's inheritance was initially disputed by Emperor Friedrich II , as Heinrich had passed over the inheritance claims of his two daughters. During the following disputes Otto was only able to get hold of Braunschweig . At first he was not yet recognized as an imperial prince . The heir to Konrad II von Lauenrode, Konrad III, was almost independent in Hanover. Hanover completed the process of becoming a city during his reign and became a city no later than the death of Konrad III. 1239 to a city in the legal sense. For lack of money Konrad had probably sold the city's right to self-government. The result was the construction of the first (old) town hall .

In 1235 Otto the child was made Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and obtained the undisputed possession of the entire Welf heritage in Saxony. After the death of Konrad III. von Lauenrode in August 1239, Otto conducted negotiations with his heirs, his brothers Heinrich II and Conrad IV von Lauenrode. As a result, the duke managed to take possession of the city. The Counts of Lauenrode remained in possession of Lauenrode Castle . This also included the Engerschen Grafschaft associated with it in the area around Hanover, the current Lauenröder Grafschaft. They became vassals of the duke and thus advanced to the status of the imperial ministries . However, the family died out in 1274. As early as 1248, Henry II had transferred all his own property and all fiefs that he owned to the duke.

Special postage stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost from 1991 for the 750th anniversary

The city of Hanover was granted a privilege by Otto in 1241. The Duke confirmed the old rights and granted new ones. In particular, he promised not to give the city again as a fief . This privilege was confirmed by two not identical, but also not contradicting, documents. Both documents were sealed and represent the oldest representation of Hanover city ​​law .

After Otto's death in 1252, his sons Albrecht and Johannes ruled together over the Braunschweig-Lüneburg hereditary lands and often resided at Lauenrode Castle. After their inheritance, Hanover belonged to the Principality of Lüneburg . However, the city largely succeeded in gradually wresting sovereignty from the sovereign. By 1357 the Hanoverians had the sole right to fortify the city and built their own school, over which the council was in charge of school supervision. Likewise, the city gradually acquired a number of economic privileges that resulted in the city becoming an economic and political power in the region. As an independent political factor, the city was drawn into the Lüneburg War of Succession (1371-1388). The city initially supported the Ascanians and obtained their consent to demolish Lauenrode Castle in front of the city gates and to keep the place on which it stands. The city ultimately paid homage to the victorious dukes Bernhard and Heinrich von Braunschweig-Lüneburg in 1388, but emerged politically stronger from the war and was able to obtain further concessions from the sovereign.

City and society in the late Middle Ages

The Guelph country divisions and the constant financial shortage of the sovereigns meant that the city was able to assert itself as an independent political entity.

From 1350 onwards, an eight-meter-high city ​​wall with 34 towers contributed to its own protection, replacing the original fortification of palisade-lined walls and ditches. For fortification Hannover counted from the mid- 14th century , a militia that secured the city's advance. From the earlier Hanoverian Landwehr with ramparts, hedges, waiting houses and towers, there are still facilities such as the tower on the Lindener Berg , the Döhrener tower , the horse tower , the Lister tower and others. At this time the city experienced its first economic boom and joined the Hanseatic League , the population rose to 4,000.

After Otto had already granted the child far-reaching privileges to the city and the city received further economic privileges in the years that followed, Hanover had enough freedom to develop into a wealthy merchant town. The city formed an important gathering point for east-west traffic at the river crossing over the Leine. Also due to the simultaneous location on the important north-south trade route between Upper Germany and the North Sea, Hanover developed into an important intersection of important trade routes. In addition, the craft industry became an important branch of the economy. Nevertheless, despite its extensive long-distance trade, the city remained relatively insignificant compared to the metropolises of Hamburg , Bremen , Lübeck and Braunschweig . Broyhan beer has only been mentioned as a separate export item since the 16th century . The city also joined the Hanseatic League , but its own commercial interests took precedence over those of the Hanseatic League.

The merchants were the unrestricted ruling class in the city until the Reformation . Up until 1533 they provided almost every mayor and had secured some privileges and monopolies in the city. Overall, the elite that dominated the city before the Reformation consisted of a few related or related merchant families. This group also dominated the city economically. Many other guilds were excluded from political participation. Only those who owned land and houses in the city could usually become citizens . The citizens also had to bear the duties of tax, security and entrenchment service. The nobility , clergy and Jews were subject to a different right . Without civil rights, but also without civic duties, the members of "dishonest professions" were; but these were also subject to the city law system. The various classes were strictly separated by dress codes.

The council was the dominant organ in the city's political life . By the time of the Reformation he had reached the highest level of power and, in the words of a contemporary, could "do whatever he wanted". He was also in charge of the school and the hospitals and exercised jurisdiction over lower jurisdiction. Only high and blood jurisdiction remained formally in the hands of the sovereign. Legally, the city belonged to the Minden city legal circle and turned to Minden when there was any doubt.

The city has belonged to the diocese of Minden since its foundation. In addition to the market church, it had two parish churches, the Kreuzkirche and the Aegidienkirche , all of which grew between 1330 and 1360. The Kreuzkirche was a new building that had its own parish from 1284. The market church, built in north German brick Gothic, replaced a previous Romanesque building . There were also three chapels in the city, namely the Holy Spirit Chapel, the Liebfrauenkapelle and the Nikolaikapelle . From 1291, the Franciscans , also known as "Minorites" or "Minor Brothers" ( ordo fratrum minorum ), settled in the city and founded the Minorite Monastery on the site of the later Leineschloss . The clergy made up around two percent of the city's population and, to a certain extent, formed a foreign body in city life. He largely evaded the integration efforts of the Council. However, the council took measures to prevent the transfer of real estate and other civil property into clerical hands.

Hanover in the age of the Reformation

Autonomy under Erich I.

Erich I with his second wife Elisabeth around 1530

In 1495, after several inheritance divisions, Hanover and the Principality of Calenberg -Göttingen fell to Erich I. At that time, the city had around 5,000 inhabitants and had achieved independence, which meant that the city was constitutionally only loosely related to sovereigns, but politically one tight. Not least because of his frequent absence from the principality, Erich I had to come to terms with autonomy. Erich I also had similar problems with Göttingen , the other larger city under his rule. There Erich I even obtained the imperial ban against Göttingen because she refused to pay homage. In Hanover, however, the privileges of the city were confirmed by mutual agreement. As part of the Hildesheim collegiate feud , the city stood by the prince and even provided part of the ransom to get him released after his capture by the Hildesheim bishop. In return, Erich promoted the economic privileges and the political reputation of the city, he designated Hanover as the place of jurisdiction for the ducal court and in 1529 allowed the Hanoverians to shoot parrots , the forerunner of the shooting festival , which is still popular today , on the site of the former Lauenrode Castle his predecessor Wilhelm the Elder complained to the citizens in 1468.

Implementation of the Reformation in Hanover

The Martin Luther statue in front of the market church

The good relationship between the city and the sovereign was to be overshadowed by the Reformation . The city council initially tried to oppose the Reformation movement. In this endeavor he received support from Erich I, who was loyal to Catholicism . There was a growing tendency among the population to accept Protestant teaching . On June 26, 1533, a meeting in the market square swore to stand by Luther's word. Since the leading circles of the city did not join the Reformation, it was enforced by the opposition of the citizens who did not hold political offices. The city council finally had to flee to the catholic Hildesheim . With the escape of the council, the old believing clergy lost their support in the population, as did the citizens who remained old believers. Now there was also an open dispute with the sovereign, who, as a party member of the emperor, was loyal to the Catholic Church. He took advantage of the fact that the city was like an island in his territory and had all supply routes blocked. The city ran out of food and the city constitution was nearing a state of anarchy. With the support of Hanover's city partners, there was finally a settlement through which a new city constitution was introduced and a new council election took place in April 1534. The first mayor after the Reformation was Antonius von Berckhusen . The city also concluded a contract with the sovereign, in which the latter undertook not to hinder the Reformation in the city any further in return for a payment of 4,000 guilders. However, Hanover joined the Schmalkaldic League in 1536 . The aim of this military alliance of Protestant princes and cities was to repel a possible attack against the Lutheran imperial estates. In the battle of Mühlberg in 1547 the imperial-catholic side won. By participating in this alliance, Hanover had fallen into deep disapproval with its sovereign, who belonged to the opposing party, and his son, Erich II . But by a further payment of 8,000 guilders, Erich II released the city from the consequences of membership in the Schmalkaldic League.

Calenberg under Elisabeth and Erich II.

Elisabeth, woodcut around 1542
Around 1585: View of the
city from the west, with the outer and inner Leintor ;
Woodcut from the Chronicle of Henry Bünting

In the Principality of Calenberg , after Erich I's death in 1540, his second wife, Elisabeth of Brandenburg , who had converted to evangelical teaching in 1535, took over the government for her underage son Erich II and, together with the state superintendent Antonius Corvinus appointed by her, pushed through the Reformation in the Principality . Erich II, however, converted to Catholicism in 1547, although he was raised Protestant by his mother. However, he did not succeed in reversing the Reformation in the principality. He, too, was rarely present in the principality and had to be satisfied with the autonomy of the city and confirmed its privileges.

Erich II died in 1584 without a male heir. The Principality of Calenberg-Göttingen then fell back to the Wolfenbüttel line of the Welfs. During this time, the Principality of Calenberg with Hanover was more on the fringes of Guelph interests. Duke Julius von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel tried, however, to pay off the principality's debts and tried to take an absolute position, which the city naturally did not agree to. His son Heinrich Julius also followed his father on his way and made himself unpopular in the city with his measures. After his death, Duke Friedrich Ulrich von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel took over the government. The government initially left this to its state councils. Later, his brother Christian , the bishop of Halberstadt, and his mother Elisabeth, the sister of the Danish king Christian IV, ruled de facto .

In Hanover from 1514 to 1657 at least 30 people were indicted in witch trials , 27 of them were executed at the stake or died in prison. The last victim of the witch hunt was Alheit Snur in 1648.

Thirty Years' War

In honor of General Obentraut , a memorial was erected in Seelze on the spot where he fell in 1625

During the Thirty Years' War , Friedrich Ulrich's brother Christian, who was now also called the “great Halberstadt”, brought the war into the country together with the Danes. The Catholic League under General Tilly advanced into the Principality of Calenberg in 1625 and occupied all of Calenberg's cities except Hanover. A Danish equestrian department under Michael Obentraut was completely wiped out at Seelze by Tilly. Michael Obentraut went down in history as the " German Michel " and is still buried today in Hanover's market church. The Danish troops under King Christian IV , who was then commander-in-chief of the Lower Saxon Empire , were completely defeated by Tilly in the battle of Lutter am Barenberge in 1626. This also broke the Guelph power in northern Germany. Hanover was not captured any longer, but had to buy itself out with large payments to the league troops, and the land around Hanover was largely devastated. The trade contacts vital for Hanover were also down.

Georg von Calenberg

The Leineschloss was built for Georg von Calenberg as a residential palace and, after several renovations, now houses the Lower Saxony state parliament
1636: Hanover and the Calenberger Neustadt, seen from the Ihmebrücke ;
Engraving by Elias Holwein

When Duke Friedrich Ulrich died childless in 1634, the line of the Guelphs called the Middle House of Wolfenbüttel went out with him . Georg from the Middle House of Lüneburg was granted rule in Calenberg-Göttingen in 1636. He was successful as a general on the Swedish side in the Thirty Years' War, which was to rage in Germany until 1648, and he also succeeded, initially with Swedish troops, until 1637 to recapture the country and especially the cities for the Guelphs. Georg initially resided in Hildesheim to secure the area he had conquered as a general . On February 16, 1636, however, he moved into Hanover, which had been unconquered during the war. As usual, the council and citizens paid homage to the new sovereign. Georg then revealed to them that Hanover should become his royal seat . The citizens of Hanover were at first anything but pleased; To be a royal seat meant losing extensive political freedoms. The city had no choice but to submit after allowing the militarily successful general into the city and paying homage to him. Georg also had his troops camped in front of the city and later quartered in the city without hesitation.

Finally, Georg also brought the administration of Hildesheim to Hanover, expanded the city into a fortress, in which he also united the now planned Calenberger Neustadt on the left bank of the Leine, and had the former Minorite monastery on the Leine converted into a castle, the Leineschloss , today's state parliament building . The castle was completed in 1640. Georg could only live there for a short time, he died in 1641.

Hanover as a residential city

After the death of Georg von Calenberg, his four sons ruled the Principality of Calenberg one after the other and resided in Hanover. Georg's youngest son, Ernst August , who ruled from 1679, continued the successful policy of his father and his brothers. He switched to the imperial side and, contrary to his father's regulations, introduced the right of birthright, which enabled the line, now also known as “ House of Hanover ”, to collect all Guelph possessions with the exception of Wolfenbüttel . In 1705 the Principality of Calenberg was united with the Principality of Lüneburg by inheritance . After a long struggle, Ernst August was awarded the ninth electoral title in 1692 for his service to the emperor . Officially he was now called Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , but unofficially one spoke mostly of the Electorate of Hanover or Electorate of Hanover.

Under Georg's successors, the expansion of the residential town was pushed ahead and absolutism was introduced. Little by little the city lost its privileges and was less and less able to assert itself against the sovereign. The court and the number of people belonging to the administration grew steadily, the former citizen town was transformed more and more from the residence. As the only citizen personality of this time, Johann Duve treaded an independent path between the interests of the citizens and those of the court. As a building contractor and financier, he is one of the early capitalists in the history of Hanover. While the bourgeoisie was otherwise able to set less and less emphasis in the city, the sovereign had further new buildings built in the city through Duve or used, and the Great Garden in Herrenhausen was also laid out during this time as a symbol of absolutist court keeping. With the castle destroyed in the Second World War , Herrenhausen became the political and cultural center of the principality.

Kurhannover was a political “middle power” in Germany after attaining the ninth electoral dignity at the latest, which is why high-ranking guests from Germany and abroad now often stayed in Hanover. The universal genius Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz also lived and worked from 1676 to 1714 as a councilor and librarian in Hanover. In particular, the Electress Sophie von der Pfalz , Ernst August's wife, knew how to lead a spirited and festive court life. In 1701 Sophie was given the Act of Succession, making her the only surviving Protestant descendant of the Stuarts to be appointed to the British throne .

Residence without elector

Sophie von der Pfalz has been the ancestor of the
British monarchs since 1701
Around 1730: View from the southwest over the Ihme to Hanover;
Engraving by Friedrich Bernhard Werner

Electress Sophie died on June 8, 1714, shortly before she could have ascended the British throne after the death of Queen Anna on August 12, 1714. Therefore, her son Georg Ludwig, the elector of Hanover, became the British King as George I , thus establishing the personal union between Great Britain and Hanover , which existed until 1837 . On September 11, 1714, he left Hanover for London; he was gradually followed by family and court staff. The electorate was now ruled from the German Chancellery in London . In Hanover, a circle of noble and civil servant families was now consolidated in the internal administration, who were left behind to join the government. These so-called “pretty families” were largely able to take charge of the reins, especially since the successors of George I were rarely seen in their home countries. The royal seat, which has been heavily dependent on the court in recent years, became more and more deserted. The palace and garden in Herrenhausen were also soon no longer used. It is thanks to this fact that the garden was no longer rebuilt in a contemporary way and was preserved in its original baroque state.

The new town suffered most from the change, and was shaped more than the old town by the residence. In the old town, on the other hand, there were also new open spaces. Christian Ulrich Grupen , from 1719 city counsel and from 1725 mayor, stands out as a formative personality of this time . He remained mayor until his death in 1767, with the first and second position of mayor changing every year, but groups always represented the dominant personality. The city regulations of 1699 had already strengthened the position of the mayor, groups used the freedom that the court's departure afforded and at the same time mediated between the sovereign and citizens. He thus became the undisputed leader in the old town and behaved towards the citizens almost like an absolutist ruler. In 1747 he obtained permission from King George II to build a suburb in front of the Aegidientor, which was to be included in the urban wall that was to be enlarged. The settlement was planned as an industrial estate, but as early as 1762 46% of the residents were court officials and public servants. Even if the king held court mostly in Great Britain, the economic and political potential of the city continued to be shaped by the residential and administrative function. Despite all of Grupen's attempts to raise the economic position of the old town by promoting trade, this failed not least because of the resistance of the old guilds .

Hanover in the Seven Years War

Due to the fact that Kurhannover had to share its politics through the personal union of its sovereigns with Great Britain, Kurhannover was included in the Seven Years War after more than a hundred years of peace . As early as 1755, when the harbingers of this European war appeared, King George II left Herrenhausen in a hurry and went to protected Great Britain. Great Britain's ally Prussia , who started war with the preventive attack on Saxony in 1757 , should also protect Hanover and hit France. By occupying the Electorate of Hanover, France sought to damage Great Britain, with which it had been in conflict for a long time. After the Battle of Hastenbeck on July 27, 1757, Hanover was open to the victorious French troops and had to accommodate the troops and a hospital as a garrison. The troops withdrew from the city in the spring of 1758 to give way to the Prussian troops. In the following years the French moved to the city more often, but could not take it again. Despite all the setbacks, Frederick II of Prussia was finally victorious and visited the city in 1763.

French period

The plan published by John Stockdale in 1800 shows the old town of Hanover within the city fortifications with the Calenberger Neustadt . Still outside the city: The village of Linden , and - as a size comparison - the Great Garden .

The Kurhannover, which is closely linked to Great Britain, once again saw itself isolated as a British mainland deposit during the Napoleonic Wars . In 1803, French troops occupied the electorate again with almost no resistance and marched into Hanover. Hanover was to remain occupied by foreign troops for ten years. The French troops quartered themselves mainly in the capital, whereby the citizens had to pay for their food. In 1805 2289 people and 374 horses had to be looked after at the city's expense. The city had to bear the debts it had entered into until well into the 1850s. The French tried to get in contact with the residents, but they held back and only came reluctantly to the celebrations that had been arranged. The ban on the shooting festival , which was ordered in 1804, also aroused displeasure among the population.

Johann Egestorff , called "Kalkjohann", one of the first modern entrepreneurs in the Hanover area

In 1805/06 the Prussian lords were in the city for a short time , but after the defeat in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt they soon had to give the city back to the French. The city was now all the more affected by billeting and contributions; the population declined and the economy stagnated, not least due to the consequences of the continental blockade , which paralyzed trade. From 1810 Hanover belonged to the Kingdom of Westphalia founded in 1807 for Napoleon's brother Jérôme , but its capital remained Cassel . At that time Hanover was the administrative seat ( prefecture ) of the Allerdepartment . In 1809, at the instigation of the French occupying power, the Hanover Police Department was established .

Most of the city suffered from the high taxes and duties during the French era and benefited little from the liberal rights that the French brought with them. Only Johann Egestorff succeeded during this time of foreign rule in laying the foundation for a flourishing business out of nowhere without large capital and thus becoming the first industrialist in Hanover. In 1803 he leased a lime distillery on Lindener Berg . To burn the lime, he had coal mined in the Deister . In order to transport lime and coal by ship to Bremen , he also operated a storage area on his own at the Lindener Ihme bridge. Until 1816, Egestorff, soon to be called "Kalkjohann", operated 32 lime kilns in Linden and the neighboring villages. Such a company would not have been possible without the freedom of trade imposed by the French . The French did not leave the city until 1813 after the defeat in the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig and on November 4th Ernst-August, Duke of Cumberland , was able to replace his father, King George III. , Take possession of the city and the principality again. George's youngest son, Adolphus Frederick, 1st Duke of Cambridge , was later appointed military governor and was very popular in the city.

Elevation to the kingdom

The lava house was built by the court architect Laves for himself as a residence
Waterlooplatz with military buildings (green) around 1896

The Congress of Vienna brought in 1815 for electoral Hanover by the considerable negotiating skills of Cabinet Minister of Hanoverian affairs at the London court Count Ernst zu Münster a considerable territorial expansion and elevation to the Kingdom of Hanover . But in Hanover this made little impression at first. The population was terrified by the return of the exiled Napoleon from the island of Elba . His attempt to turn the tide again failed in the Battle of Waterloo , in which Hanoverian troops under General von Alten were involved, who were able to move into Hanover in triumph after the battle. As a result of the constant presence in Hanover of Adolphus Frederick, 1st Duke of Cambridge , who was appointed viceroy in 1831, the state capital benefited from the now expanded court. In 1816 Georg Ludwig Friedrich Laves was appointed Hanoverian court architect and shaped the cityscape with his classicist buildings. First he expanded the Leineschloss , further representative buildings followed. He later created Waterlooplatz , which was inaugurated together with the Waterloo Column on June 18, 1832, the anniversary of Napoleon's defeat. The Waterlooplatz, used as a parade ground and military parade ground, developed into the military center of Hanover in the first half of the 19th century with its newly built military buildings. When King George IV visited the city in 1821, 66 years after the last monarch's visit, Laves wanted to build a stone triumphal arch, but the magistrate contented himself with a wooden, painted gate of honor.

With the Statute from 1824 until then independent, but for a long time with the old town interwoven Calenberger Neustadt connected to the old town and separated the judiciary from the general administration. Even before gas lighting was introduced in Berlin, the Hanover city administration concluded a supply contract with the London Imperial Continental Gas Association for the supply of coal gas , which then built Germany's first gas works in the city in 1825. During this time, more and more wealthy Hanoverians settled in the garden communities in front of the city walls and the old town threatened to degenerate into a slum area. The neighboring village of Linden gradually developed into an industrial town. When the lime entrepreneur Johann Egestorff died in 1834, 400 of the 2500 inhabitants in Linden were employed in his factories. His son Georg Egestorff built a saltworks in Badenstedt in 1831 and in 1835 created the iron foundry and machine factory Georg Egestorff , the predecessor of the Hannoversche Maschinenbau Actien-Gesellschaft (Hanomag) founded in 1871 . In order to strengthen the trade in the Kingdom of Hanover, the Higher Trade School began operations in 1831, and Karl Karmarsch was appointed its first director . One handicap for the economic upswing was that there was no bank in Hanover. The Hannoversche Bank was only founded in 1857 .

Politically, times were rather calm. The unrest triggered by the July Revolution in Paris in 1830/31 affected Göttingen and Osterode, but Hanover remained largely unaffected. King Wilhelm IV succeeded George IV in 1830 to the royal throne. With two large pieces of legislation he brought the bourgeois liberalism of Vormärz to effect in Hanover. In 1833 a liberal constitution for the Kingdom of Hanover came into force and the farmers' basic burdens were replaced by agricultural reform laws.

Under Ernst-August and Georg V.

The Ernst August monument inaugurated in 1861 on the forecourt of the main train station
Bronze sculpture of the " Göttinger Sieben " in Hanover near the state parliament in the Leineschloss

Wilhelm IV died in 1837 without leaving any descendants. In Great Britain his niece Victoria took office, but in Hanover female heirs to the throne were excluded from the line of succession as long as there were still males. Therefore, Wilhelm's younger brother Ernst-August, Duke of Cumberland , was able to ascend the throne in Hanover . This ended the personal union with Great Britain. The joy that Hanover finally became a residential city again after 123 years was also mixed with doubts. Ernst-August was considered to be extremely conservative and uncompromising. This was soon to come true: on November 1st, he declared the liberal constitution of 1833 invalid, at the same time dissolved the assembly of estates and reintroduced the old constitution of 1819. This act was perceived as a coup and provoked a storm of indignation. The protesting professors from Göttingen, the Göttingen Seven , among them the Brothers Grimm , were even dismissed and had to leave the country. The magistrate of the city of Hanover also protested, whereupon the popular mayor Wilhelm Rumann was suspended from office and criminal proceedings were initiated against the other magistrate members for insulting majesty. In 1840 a new state constitutional law came into force, which corresponded to the conservative attitude of the king but also took up demands of the opposition.

Hanover around 1850: in the foreground Waterlooplatz with Waterloo Column , behind the Leineschloss , Marktkirche and the "Central-Bahnhof" (today: Hauptbahnhof ) completed in 1847

During the reign of Ernst-August I, the "Railway Direction in the residential city of Hanover" was created, which opened the railway era in October 1843 with the first line to Lehrte . The conservative monarch was initially skeptical of this innovation and was only later convinced of the benefits. Initially, a board shed served as the station , which in 1847 was replaced by a representative “Central Station”. It was built east of the old town . After the ramparts in between had been razed after the Seven Years' War , master builder Laves developed a development plan for the new district between Georgstrasse and the railway line, which was called Ernst-August-Stadt and was formally incorporated into the city in 1847. Numerous hotels settled near the train station and wanted to benefit from the flow of travelers. Away from the old town, in the direction of Ernst-August-Stadt with Georgstraße and the “Café Robby”, later known as “ Café Kröpcke ”, the focus of the city area later shifted almost as a sure-fire success until the First World War .

The connection to the railroad also brought benefits to Hanoverian industry. The machine factory Georg Egestorff , later Hanomag , benefited particularly from this and began building steam locomotives in 1846 . In 1856 the factory had 660 workers. In 1853, the Hannoversche cotton spinning mill was founded as one of the first stock corporations in the Kingdom of Hanover and by 1858 had over 1000 workers.

Georg V of Hanover was the last king of the Kingdom of Hanover

The March Revolution of 1848 also led to riots and riots in Hanover. A people's assembly in the Ballhof passed "Twelve demands of the people on the king". Ernst-August also partially responded to this and granted the lifting of censorship , freedom of association and amnesty for political prisoners. A vigilante group emerged from an armed corps made up of students from the Polytechnic School . The importance of the vigilante group dwindled in the years following the reaction to the failed revolution and as early as 1854 the vigilante groups were deprived of their weapons.

The city's population appreciated Ernst-August's willingness to compromise during the critical days of the March Revolution and so he was popular with the people until his death in 1851. His son Georg V , who was blind at the age of 13, promised to adhere to the liberal “ Paulskirchenverfassungs ” of 1848 when he took office . However, contrary to his promises, he tried to turn back the wheel and in 1855 cleared the 48 constitution of its liberal and democratic content. Many citizens now switched to the opposition and Georg tried to suppress all political movements with the help of Police President Dieterich Wermuth . In August 1862 there were riots in the city against the king's catechism decree ( Hanover Catechism Controversy ). The Prussian civil commissioner Hans von Hardenberg claimed in 1866 that nowhere else had so much politics been carried out by the police as in Hanover under Georg V. However, Georg did not succeed in preventing the spread of the democratic opposition.

Hanover becomes the Prussian provincial capital

Hanover around 1895

The rigid stance of George V was also evident in the conflict over Holstein, which led Hanover on the side of Austria in the war against Prussia. The army of Hanover was able to achieve a respectable success in the battle of Langensalza , but had to capitulate after a short time. The Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia in 1866 and became the Province of Hanover . George V went into exile in Vienna. Queen Marie followed later.

Hanover had now become a Prussian provincial capital. Cultural life, which under George V had soared through the generous support of opera, theater and concerts, suffered a noticeable setback as a result. Although there were many legitimate complaints under the government of George V, some of the population of the provincial capital remained extremely hostile to Prussia; Resistance was out of the question, as Hanover remained occupied by Prussian troops and their military presence was omnipresent. The fierce and sometimes tumultuous election campaign for the elections to the Reichstag of the North German Confederation in 1867 was hyped up to a vote for or against Prussia. The German-Hanoverian party , loyal to the welf , won a triumph in the constituency of the city and district of Hanover. The Minister of State a. D. Alexander von Münchhausen won against the national liberal Rudolf von Bennigsen . Bennigsen was the former leader of the opposition in the Hanoverian Estates Assembly and for the Guelphs the most hated man after Bismarck . The Social Democrats achieved their first respectable success in the 1867 elections with 11% and were even able to win 48% of the votes in the workers' village of Linden. It was not until the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, which sparked a wave of national enthusiasm through the victory at Sedan , that the rigid fronts between pro-Prussian national liberals and Welfare supporters could be loosened. The Welf German-Hanover party has been faced with declining election results since the establishment of the Reich.

Founding period

Dense old town quarter on the Leine around 1896
Kröpcke and Georgstraße in the splendid new town center around 1895

For the Hanoverian industry the connection to Prussia meant an improvement of the framework conditions. The abolition of compulsory guilds and the introduction of trade freedom promoted economic growth and also led to the upswing of the early days in Hanover . The impetus that the connection to the railroad traffic had given in 1845 continued to develop and Hanover soon became one of the leading major German cities. After the population had been around 42,500 in 1850, the value doubled to 87,600 in the almost 20 years until the founding of the German Empire and rose to 313,400 by 1912. With the Continental-Caoutchouc- & Gutta-Percha Compagnie , the capital of the province of Hanover became the seat of another large company in 1871.

The economic upswing fell in the era of city director Heinrich Tramm . He was elected to this office in 1891 and provided it for 27 years, during which he was the dominant figure in the city's politics and administration. Another personality to be mentioned is the architect and entrepreneur Ferdinand Wallbrecht , who left his mark on the structural development of the city in the last quarter of the 19th century. The expansion of the areas between the train station and Eilenriede suffered from the level crossings, which had to be closed by barriers each time the train passed. In order to move the railway line higher and the streets below it, the station had to be demolished and rebuilt in 1872. In order to also connect Linden directly with the train station, Ferdinand Wallbrecht made a breakthrough through the old town and extended Bahnhofstrasse with the newly created Karmarschstrasse. Because of these renovations, numerous buildings in the old town had to be demolished. To cope with the traffic a rail-bound horse-drawn tram was operated from 1872 . This resulted in the Hanover Tram Company in 1892 , which converted the entire network to electrical operation between 1893 and 1903.

There was extensive building activity all over the city at the turn of the century. Due to the strong population growth, residential buildings in particular had to be built in large numbers. But the city administration, which had grown considerably, also needed a larger central building. After an architectural competition, the construction of the New Town Hall began in 1901 according to the plans of the Berlin-based Herrmann Egert. Construction was not completed until 1913.

Linden , the "largest village in Prussia", located at the gates of the city , had over 20,000 inhabitants in 1875. The village constitution of Linden was no longer appropriate to the circumstances. Hanover shied away from incorporation due to the social and structural problems with which Linden had to struggle. In 1884 Linden was therefore raised to an independent city; The Hanoverian Senator Georg Lichtenberg was appointed the first city director . The period of unregulated growth came to an end, and the further expansion of Linden followed regular urban planning. By 1913 the population here grew to 86,500. The industrial development in Linden stagnated around 1890 and around 1900 every fourth Lindener had his job in the larger neighboring town. In addition, the supply of commercial space in Linden was exhausted, so that other Hanover suburbs such as the List now benefited from it and industry and commerce were attracted.

Apart from Linden there were a number of larger incorporations in Hanover. In 1891 Hanover reached north and encompassed Hainholz , List, Vahrenwald and Herrenhausen . Stöcken , Groß-Buchholz and Klein-Buchholz , Bothfeld , Lahe , Kirchrode , Döhren and Wülfel followed in 1907 . Marienwerder was incorporated in 1928. After Linden, Limmer , Davenstedt , Badenstedt , Bornum and four years later Ricklingen were incorporated.

The population development of Hanover shows a significant increase in the imperial era around 1870

The social structure of Hanover and Linden was seriously changed by industrialization. The workforce became by far the strongest social group. The military retained its numerical strength in the garrison town of Hanover, but proportionally fell behind.

After the leash had lost its importance as a shipping route, it was important for Hanover to be connected to the Mittelland Canal as an east-west shipping route. In 1906, construction work began on it. The expansion of the Lindener Hafen , which connected the industrial areas of Linden to the canal via the Hanover-Linden canal, began in 1914. In 1916 the section of canal from Minden to Hanover was completed. From 1907 an airfield was put into operation on the Vahrenwalder Heide , on which Karl Jatho carried out flight tests around 1900 .

Due to the strong population growth, numerous new schools had to be built during the founding period. In 1879 the Polytechnic School became the Royal Technical University with its new headquarters in the Welfenschloss . The Royal Veterinary School, which was founded in 1778 in the tradition of the "Roßarzney School", became the Veterinary College in 1887 .

Hanover in the First World War

Hanover remained an important garrison town in the Prussian Empire. Paul von Hindenburg , who was stationed in Hanover in the 1870s as a Prussian occupation officer, chose Hanover as a retired man in 1911. At the beginning of the First World War it was reactivated. The city's population, who had euphorically celebrated the start of the war in 1914 (see also August experience ), paid homage to him and his wife. As elsewhere, more volunteers registered in Hanover than were initially needed. Among them was the 48-year-old writer Hermann Löns , who died near Reims in September 1914 . The boom that started at the beginning of the war caused a severe labor shortage. As an armaments manufacturer, Hanomag in particular doubled its workforce at the start of the war.

The initial euphoria soon gave way to disenchantment. Serious supply problems arose, and food costs rose by over 100 percent by 1916. Collections were made to extract non - ferrous and precious metals , church bells were confiscated and the copper roof of the town hall , which was only completed in 1914, was dismantled.

Weimar Republic

The Anzeigerhochhaus was built in 1927/28 as one of the first high-rise buildings in Germany

Due to its convenient location, Hanover was quickly affected by the November Revolution of 1918. In the early morning of November 7th, 1,000 men, mainly marines who had arrived, moved from the train station in the direction of the city center and first freed the prisoners from the prison in Alte Celler Heerstrasse . As a result, power in the city fell to the insurgent soldiers almost without a fight. Together with the local SPD , they formed the Provisional Workers 'and Soldiers' Council. Since their program was not very radical, the “Independent Soldiers' Council” soon formed as a kind of “counter-council”, which made much more radical demands, some of which were then adopted in a joint paper. The long-time conservative city director Tramm left for Berlin on November 7th. In the course of the November riots , the Social Democrat Robert Leinert became mayor, otherwise the city's magistrate remained unchanged. With that the war in Hanover was practically over on November 13th. In the elections for the National Assembly and the Prussian Manor House, the now established SPD was able to win an absolute majority in Hanover and Linden.

The end of the war was not seen as a redemption, the armistice in 1918 continued to mean hunger, hardship and privation. Even more than anywhere else in Germany, there was a serious housing shortage in Hanover after the war: in 1919 there were 1251 homeless people in Hanover , in 1921 there were 7,768 and in 1923 even 28,727. This contrasted with an increase of just 445 apartments between 1919 and 1922. The unemployment was initially risen through the demobilization and the conversion from wartime to peacetime economy, but declined due to the increased demand of industrial goods as a result of pent-up demand in Germany soon almost at full employment back. The first post-war boom was replaced by a deep depression due to hyperinflation in 1922/23 . When money was losing value faster and faster, Hannover was a center of barter, slide and black market businesses due to its favorable traffic situation .

The early years of the Weimar Republic remained politically uneasy in Hanover. In July 1920, the railroad workers went on strike for better wages. The situation escalated when the railway administration used students from the technical college as strike breakers. There were shootings; The state of siege was imposed on Hanover, Linden and Leinhausen , where the railway repair shop was located.

On January 1, 1920, Linden was incorporated into the municipality , where a large part of the Hanover workforce lived. Linden was located near the Hanover city center and had been connected to the Hanover waterworks since 1899. The incorporation happened against the bitter resistance of the conservative mayor and could only be enforced through the events of 1918/19 and the departure of the conservative senior city director Tramm, a strict opponent of the incorporation. The population of “Greater Hanover” rose suddenly by 83,000 to 411,500, making the city ninth on the list of the largest German cities .

The Kapp Putsch of March 13, 1920 was answered in Hanover by calling a general strike. Parts of the workforce fought street battles with the Reichswehr. The “Action Committee” formed by the workers was at odds between the moderate SPD and the more radical parties USPD and KPD . After the Kapp Putsch collapsed across the empire on March 17th, work in the factories resumed in Hanover on March 19th. The next major tram strike in the summer and autumn of 1920 was one of the longest labor disputes that Hanover had experienced during the Weimar Republic. It began on July 30th and ended on October 6th by an arbitration award from the Reich Labor Ministry.

After the Kapp Putsch, the SPD partially lost the favor of the voters, and suffered defeat in the 1924 local elections. In 1925, the Social Democrat Leinert was voted out of office in the new mayor elections and replaced by Heinrich Tramm's political foster son, Arthur Quantity . He belonged to the conservative "regulatory bloc" and often uttered his motto "Politics does not belong in the town hall".

The “ Kommissbrot ”: the Hanomag 2/10 PS small car was produced on the assembly line by Hanomag from 1925 onwards.

In the Roaring Twenties between 1924 and 1928, Hanoverian industry took off again. There was a concentration of capital and production. The turnover of Hanoverian companies increased and they brought new products such as the Hanomag small car onto the market. For many residents, however, the economic situation remained catastrophic after 1923. The housing shortage was still severe and there was hardly any new housing construction. Emergency shelters were built in the barracks on Welfenplatz and a primitive settlement made up of discarded railway wagons was built on Tönniesberg . In this chaos, it was initially not noticed that the serial killer Fritz Haarmann was up to mischief in the city. He was arrested by chance on June 23, 1924 and executed on April 15, 1925. A total of 27 murders could be proven to him.

In terms of culture, Hanover was a “suburb of modernity” in the 1920s, particularly because of Kurt Schwitters . The Dadaism he pursued , the magazine “MERZ” he published and the group he founded “die abstract hannover” had a worldwide reputation. The Kestner Society , founded in 1916, took a stand against the conservative cultural scene and the museum man Alexander Dorner set up a highly regarded picture gallery.

Hanover was severely affected by the decline in the economy during the global economic crisis . Hanomag fired its 1,300 employees on Christmas Eve 1931 after filing an application for a settlement on December 17th . The Lindener steel mills and Körting AG applied for early 1932 also a comparison. The resulting mass unemployment in Hanover meant that at the height of the crisis every third person was unemployed .

Nazi era and World War II

From 1921 a local NSDAP group existed in Hanover , which had 341 members in May 1923. After the failed Hitler putsch in Munich on 8/9 On November 16 , 1923 (“March on the Feldherrnhalle ”), 200 NSDAP supporters demonstrated in Hanover shortly afterwards, cheering on Hitler and Ludendorff . After 1930 the number of members in the NSDAP- Gau Südhannover-Braunschweig increased . In 1929 he had 3,210 party members and in 1932 already 40,365. Approval for the NSDAP varied within the Gau district. In the Reichstag elections in 1930 , the party received 24.3% of the vote there, with 37.5% in Göttingen and 20.7% in Hanover.

For the seizure of power on January 30, 1933, around 5,000 NSDAP supporters gathered for a torchlight procession on Welfenplatz . On February 19, they stormed the stronghold of the left, the "Rote Linden" for the first time. After their departure, 45,000 people gathered on the Klagesmarkt after a call by the “ Iron Front ” to demonstrate that Hanover would stay red. At an election rally on February 21, the National Socialists shot at an unarmed Reichsbann troop near the Lister Tower , killing 19 people and killing two. On the basis of the Reichstag Fire Ordinance of February 28, 1933, 140 KPD members were arrested in Hanover the next day and, after being imprisoned in the police barracks, brought to the Moringen concentration camp near Northeim.

The persecution of SPD supporters was also intensified. On April 1, 1933, an SS standard stormed the “ Tiedthof ” building complex , where many SPD and trade union secretariats were located. Soon afterwards the SPD, KPD and other parties were dissolved. On May 10, 1933, the Bismarck Column in Hanover saw the book burning in Hanover , which was organized according to a similar pattern as the other book burnings in Germany , but was less tightly organized. After the incorporation of the “ Stahlhelm ” into the SA , Hitler came to Hanover on September 24, 1933 for the Reichsführer meeting of the Stahlhelm.

In terms of local politics, not too much changed in the capital of the province of Hanover . Arthur Quantity was one of the few German Lord Mayors who politically survived the Nazi takeover. The social democrat Lindemann was the only member of the magistrate who had to leave. The SA leader Viktor Lutze , from February 16, 1933, initially the police president of Hanover, became President of the Province of Hanover in March 1933 after the Social Democrat Gustav Noske was removed . Since Arthur Quantity - he was later one of the conspirators of July 20, 1944 - continued to refuse to become a member of the NSDAP ("party comrade "), he gradually became unpopular with the Nazi leadership. He was initially able to hold on and was only replaced by the NSDAP member Henricus Halthoff after his twelve-year term in office had expired on August 15, 1937 .

To a certain extent, Hanover still benefits today from the job creation measures of the 1930s. The section of today's A 2 , completed in 1938, was to be linked with the planned north-south motorway ( HaFraBa ) in the Hanover area . Even if the A 7 was only built after the Second World War and linked to the A 2 at the Hanover-East motorway junction , the planning ensured the city's convenient location. The most important job creation measure that still shapes the cityscape today was the construction of the Maschsee . As early as the 19th century there had been plans to make the floodplains of Leine and Ihme south of the city center usable. But only the design by TH professor Otto Franzius turned out to be viable and affordable. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 21, 1934; the official inauguration was on May 21, 1936. Under the direction of city ​​building officer Karl Elkart , other major projects such as the renovation of the old town were to follow during the Nazi era, which were ultimately useless as a result of the air raids in 1943 . A redesign of the city center according to the ideas of the National Socialists, in which the city in the Waterlooplatz / Maschsee area should receive a new structural center, was planned long and hard. Because of the later focus on the war economy , the plans were not implemented.

At the latest when the armed forces began to arm themselves, unemployment also fell noticeably in Hanover. The turnover of Hanomag , which developed into “Armory No. 1” in Hanover, rose from 10.9 million Reichsmarks (RM) in 1932 to 120.3 million RM in 1936. Also “ Conti ”, the city's largest industrial company , increased its sales by 400% between 1933 and 1938. Hanomag and a subsidiary of Eisenwerk Wülfel , Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen Hannover (MNH), manufactured guns and tracked vehicles, while the main focus at Conti was on tire production. In its factory in Stöcken , which was completed in 1938 , the AFA (Accumulatoren Fabrik Aktiengesellschaft - later VARTA ) produced batteries exclusively for the submarines and torpedoes of the Navy from 1940 .

Persecution of Jewish Citizens

New synagogue from 1870, destroyed during the Reichspogromnacht in 1938

Of the 4800 or so Jews that Hanover counted in 1938, many quickly decided to emigrate . 484 Jews of Polish origin were rounded up in Hanover in October 1938 and expelled across the Polish border during the Poland campaign . Among them was the Grünspan family. The second oldest son in the family, Herschel Grünspan , was in Paris at the time. When he found out that his family had been expelled, he bought a revolver on November 7, 1938, drove to the German embassy in Paris and killed the Legation Councilor Ernst Eduard vom Rath, who happened to be there, with several shots. This was hyped up by the National Socialists as an "attack on world Jewry " and served as a pretext for "spontaneous actions of popular anger" throughout the empire. During the November pogroms of 1938 , over 1,600 synagogues across Germany went up on fire. In Hanover, the New Synagogue on Bergstrasse in Calenberger Neustadt was destroyed. At the beginning of the war there were still 2,000 Jews living in Hanover. In September 1941, NS Gauleiter Hartmann Lauterbacher ordered the ghettoization of Jewish families in the "Lauterbacher Action" named after him . More than 1000 Jews had to leave their homes and were crammed into 15 Jewish houses under catastrophic living conditions . The expulsion from the apartments prepared for the deportation , which began shortly afterwards . Even before the Wannsee Conference on 15 December 1941, the first 1,001 Jews were from the Israelite School of Horticulture Ahlem as a central collection point of Jews in the administrative districts of Hannover and Hildesheim from Bahnhof Hannover-Linden from the Riga ghetto deported. A total of 2,400 people were deported, few of whom survived. When American troops occupied Hanover on April 10, 1945, fewer than 100 Jews lived here. Today a memorial on Opernplatz commemorates the persecution of Jews in Hanover. The memory of Jewish citizens is also served by stumbling blocks laid in the pavement at their former homes.

Persecution of Sinti and Roma

A decree issued in 1938 by Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler to combat the gypsy plague resulted in a nationwide registration of Sinti and Roma . In 1939, the Reich Security Main Office ordered them to be placed in assembly camps. A camp for Sinti had already been set up near Altwarmbüchen in 1938 in order to deport them from Hanover. When the community resisted, the camp was moved to the Altwarmbüchener Moor in the city of Hanover. It consisted of railroad cars with no water and no sanitary facilities. In 1943, 80 members of Sinti families were deported from here to the gypsy camp Auschwitz , where they probably perished. A memorial plaque in the form of a gate, which was set up in 1997 at the site of the former camp on Moorwaldweg, reminds of this.

Between 1941 and 1945, Jews as well as Sinti and Roma from the areas of the Hanover and Hildesheim administrative districts were deported from the Hannover-Linden train station to various ghettos and concentration camps.

In 1996 the Lower Saxony Association of German Sinti e. V. the memorial at the Fischerhof train station “For all those persecuted by National Socialism”. Only two years later did the same association erect the memorial for the Sinti in the Altwarmbüchener Moor in 1998 .

A well-known Sinti from Hanover was the boxer Johann Wilhelm Trollmann , who was killed in the Wittenberge subcamp in 1944 . In 2004, the small Tiefental footpath between the Kreuzkirche and Burgstrasse was renamed Johann-Trollmann-Weg after him in the Kreuzkirchenviertel in the old town . In 2008, a stumbling block was laid for him in front of his former home , as well as for his brother Heinrich, called Stabeli, who was murdered in 1943 in Auschwitz at the age of 27. Stumbling blocks were also laid at their former homes for other persecuted Sinti and Roma.

Second World War

The destroyed Deurag and Nerag refineries after the end of the war

The basic mood at the beginning of the Second World War in September 1939 was depressed in Hanover; Life began to normalize only when the first reports of victory came in of the attack on Poland . The 19th Infantry Division was received with jubilation on September 30, 1940 when they returned victorious to Hanover from the western campaign against France .

The air war in World War II began for the city with the first attack by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) on the night of May 19, 1940. It was aimed at the two refineries Deurag and Nerag located in Misburg . On February 10, 1941, Hanover was the target of the largest air attack to date by the RAF Bomber Command on a German city, which caused devastation above all in the eastern part of the city and killed 101 people. As a result of the “ immediate Führer program ” issued four months earlier , a total of 64 public air raid shelters were built, many of which have been preserved to this day.

The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) first attacked the city on July 26, 1943 at noon with 92 aircraft from the US 8th Air Force , killing 273 people. The main objective was the tire production of Conti in Vahrenwald. In the city center were u. a. destroyed: Central Station , Old Market Hall , Leineschloss , Café Kröpcke , Market Church and Opera House . In two further attacks by the RAF at the end of September 1943, over 400 people were killed and around 25,000 people were left homeless.

On the night of October 9, 1943, on Hanover's “Black Day”, a major raid by the RAF with 540 planes finally completely destroyed the city center, killing 1245 people. 250,000 residents were left homeless. Nine days later, another 157 victims were to be mourned when a new British attack with 332 bombers burned out the previously undamaged Herrenhausen Palace . Up to the last bombing of Hanover on March 28, 1945 with 249 victims, a total of 88 air raids were counted, in which 6782 people were killed, of which 4748 were residents.

Model of the destroyed city center. In front the burned-out main train station , half to the left of it the ruins of the opera house , above on the edge of the picture the New Town Hall on the Maschteich

However, the defense industry in the city was hardly affected by the attacks. Production stoppages were mainly caused by a lack of material due to stoppages in the freight traffic of the Reichsbahn . Because of the numerous drafts, there was a labor shortage, which was made up by forced labor . 60,000 forced laborers were housed in 500 camps in the city area. There were also seven satellite camps of Neuengamme concentration camp : Ahlem , Langenhagen , Limmer , Misburg , Mühlenberg , AFA Stöcken and Conti Stöcken . Several thousand inmates lived there under inhumane conditions. 3,300 forced laborers were interned in the Mühlenberg camp, most of whom had to work for Hanomag . In Misburg there was a labor camp for around 1000 prisoners who worked in the two refineries Deurag and Nerag and repaired bomb damage. On the site of the former Jewish horticultural school Ahlem one was Gestapo -Außenstelle set up, was responsible for supervision of the interned in Hanover forced laborers. The slave laborers were taken to the Ahlem police substitute prison for the slightest misconduct. There were frequent executions. Currently (2011) the history of the deserters in Hanover is also being processed.

On April 10, 1945, the US Army finally occupied Hanover. Elsewhere in Germany, the war continued until the beginning of May. The Second World War finally ended on May 8th with the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht .

post war period

Ruins of the Aegidienkirche with the peace
bell donated by Hanover's twin city Hiroshima as a memorial against war and violence

About two weeks before the capture by US Army troops , the last heavy air raids took place on March 25 and 28, 1945, each with up to 600 aircraft from the British RAF and the US USAAF. For the residents of Hanover, the Second World War ended on April 10, 1945, when American units marched in from the northwest with almost no fighting. Previously, the Allied troops had been fought in the western apron of the city.

10,998 Hanoverians had died as members of the Wehrmacht, around 6,000 were missing. 4,748 inhabitants were killed in the air raids - another 750 were missing. Over 200,000 were evacuated or fled to the surrounding areas, so that at the end of the war, of the 472,000 inhabitants in 1939, only 217,000 were still living in the city. Of the 147,222 apartments available at the end of 1939, 51.2% were completely destroyed or severely damaged, 43.6% moderately or slightly damaged and only 7489 apartments (5.2%) were completely intact. The number of operational telephone connections fell from 24,000 (1939) to 200 - only eleven percent of households still had a functioning water supply. When the city was handed over to the British Army , they were appalled that there was little room for them to stay overnight. The primary objective of the military administration in the British Zone of Occupation was initially to restore law and order. In the confusing situation after the war, public order had collapsed, looting and acts of violence were the order of the day. The liberated Russian forced laborers ( Displaced Persons ) in particular were outraged after the violence perpetrated by members of the Secret State Police in the last days of the war - over 500 murdered Soviet citizens were found in mass graves - and vented their aggression on the civilian population.

The restoration of public order was made more difficult by the fact that in February 1946 there was a devastating flood in Hanover . 20,000 residents were partially cut off from the outside world. The hard hungry winter of 1946/47 exposed the population to further suffering with almost 100 days of frost.

In the aftermath of the floods in 1946, there was “uncontrolled removal of historical documents that were used for heating purposes in the cold winter” in the rooms of the Hanover City Archives ; "These losses have caused that the tradition of the city history of the 19th century has been lost to 80%."

Famine caused major demonstrations and riots in 1948. Furthermore, almost 43,000 refugees and displaced persons had arrived in Hanover by November 1946 , almost half of them (45%) from Silesia . 7.5 million cubic meters of rubble had to be cleared away in the city. The necessary manpower was lacking for this; the rubble women to be found in other cities hardly existed there. The oval of the spectator stands of the Lower Saxony Stadium ( HDI-Arena since 2014 ) was heaped up from 2.5 million cubic meters of rubble .

Model of today's Hanover

In order to stimulate the national economy , especially exports , and to replace the traditional trade fair location Leipzig, which was in the Soviet occupation zone , the first " export fair " was opened on August 18, 1947 in the halls of the former metal works in Hanover in Laatzen . Hanover was chosen not least because of its convenient location for the trade fair, which was to shape the city in the following decades and which helped to ensure the city's economic upswing in the post-war period .

Gustav Bratke was appointed first mayor of the post-war period by the Allies and he quickly restarted the city's administration. Even before the state of Lower Saxony was founded, Hanover was given a central and capital function in the area of ​​the British occupation zone. One of the most important goals of the occupation policy was the so-called “ denazification ” of people. Associated with this was the renaming of around 30 NS-shaped street names in Hanover: " Adolf-Hitler-Strasse " became Bahnhofstrasse again, " Strasse der SA " became Langen Laube and " Horst-Wessel-Platz " got its own old name Königsworther Platz again.

The former member of parliament Kurt Schumacher , a member of the banned from June 1933 SPD had, on sickle found -Werken in Limmer work and also established in September 1945 in the Jacob Street 10 in Linden for the reconstruction of German Social Democracy, the so-called " Office Dr. Schumacher ”. From there he organized the first “Reich Conference” of the SPD after the war in Wennigsen am Deister, about 15 km away . At the " Wennigs Conference ", which met from October 5 to 7, 1945, Schumacher was entrusted with the management of the rebuilding of the party organization, which in May 1946 at the party congress in the Hanomag building with his election as chairman of the Western Zones (later Trizone ) limited new SPD was provisionally concluded. (→  History of German Social Democracy ). In the first local election in Lower Saxony on October 13, 1946, the SPD was the strongest party in Hanover with 42 percent of the vote. The social democrat Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf became Prime Minister of the State of Hanover on August 23, 1946 and first Prime Minister of the State of Lower Saxony, formed on November 1, 1946 with the capital Hanover, on December 9, 1946 . The Lower Saxony state parliament met from 1947 to 1962 in a side wing of the town hall .


In the 1950s, today's government district with the State Chancellery and ministries was laid out in the area of Waterlooplatz ; to this was u. a. from 1957 to 1962 the destroyed Leineschloss was converted into a state parliament building with a plenary hall .

While the city had a population of 448,200 in 1935, only 320,400 people lived in Hanover at the end of the war in 1945. By 1955 the population grew to 530,400. In 1960 it had reached its highest value of 575,900, which fell to 510,019 by 1973. Due to the incorporation of Vinnhorst, Anderten, Misburg, Bemerode, Wülferode, Wettbergen and Ahlem as well as parts of Isernhagen, Rethen and Laatzen with the exhibition area in the 1970s, the population increased again. In the 1960s and 1970s, new large housing estates were built on the outskirts near Garbsen and on Mühlenberg.

In the style of brutalism : The
Ihme Center, completed in 1975

City planning officer Rudolf Hillebrecht was responsible for the reconstruction of the largely destroyed city center, which he furnished with broad streets and green spaces close to residential areas. He designed a city ​​suitable for cars and had numerous preserved historical buildings demolished. The area around Georgstraße and Bahnhofsstraße with the Kröpcke as its center developed into a center of retail trade.

The streets of the old town were completely abandoned in their Kleinmaßstäbigkeit and in cross Kirchenviertel by not a new development to anger like redesigned street spaces. Scattered elsewhere existing timber-framed buildings were among those at Kramer Street and Castle Road still existing buildings implemented , thus near the Market Church newly created an Old Town area as a traditional island. A characteristic of the reconstruction of Hanover is the emergence of urban spaces that deviate completely from the historical structure and established the city's reputation for urban planning. Solitary buildings for government, administration and industry form a lightly dense, green and optimally connected urban landscape , which represents a rejection of the outdated notion of corridor streets and symmetrical plazas.

The trend of postmodernism contributed to the abandonment of urban development values ​​during the reconstruction : From then on, the streets and squares that had shaped them in the 19th century had the model character for urban districts, and not the modern urban planning, the car-friendly planning of which was based on North American experience. Approaches to such planning ideas were implemented at the Kronsberg , where a completely new district was built in block development for the EXPO.

The demolition of undamaged, historical buildings during the war, which went hand in hand with reconstruction planning, is often viewed critically. (→  List of abandoned buildings in Hanover ) The river water art at the Leineschloss was demolished to ensure a clear view of the Leineschloss. The neo-classical Friederikenschlösschen had to give way to the planned new building for the Lower Saxony State Chancellery and the Villa Willmer (an important building of the Hanover School of Architecture ) for a housing project. Both plans were never implemented, so that there is now a green area or a parking lot.

The loss of historical buildings due to the war and reconstruction sometimes leads to the desire to reconstruct historical buildings. In 1983 the Leibnizhaus was reconstructed elsewhere. In June 2011, the reconstruction of the Herrenhausen Castle began, which was completed in early 2013.

Traffic development

A new traffic concept should keep through traffic out of the city center. The inner city was bypassed with multi-lane streets (Lavesallee, Leibnizufer , Hamburger Allee and Berliner Allee ); the connection of these streets was made by roundabouts . In this context, the external tangents, for which the name Schnellwege became established, were created. The road network in the wider urban area was completely reorganized and adapted to the requirements of a car-friendly city postulated at the time . The construction of four-lane car routes led to further destruction after the aftermath of the war. The wide streets still separate entire parts of the city and, with their architecture of singular buildings, look like foreign bodies in the otherwise dense development of the inner city.

For the Messeschnellweg a lane was cut through the middle of the Eilenriede city ​​forest . Preparations began as early as 1949 and were part of the concept that long-distance traffic should be guided around the city center. Through this traffic planning, which was related to the urban planning of the reconstruction after the Second World War, Hanover gained national fame in the 1950s. The historical city plan remained only superficially, as the remaining, coarse-meshed network of streets only roughly traces the main lines of the historical streets.

On June 23, 1965, the city council decided to build a subway . After the start of construction on November 16, 1965 at Waterlooplatz , construction work on the tunnel network followed for decades, which was essentially completed in 1993 with the opening of the C-North route in the northern part of the city. Tunnels were built in the inner city area and connected to the existing tram routes, creating the Hanover city railway . After the construction work was completed, pedestrian zones were set up in the city center around the Kröpcke and in the Lister Meile , which significantly enhanced these areas.

To the present day

Exhibition site at CeBIT in Hanover (2005)
Herbert Schmalstieg shaped the city as Lord Mayor for many years
Lord Mayor Stefan Schostok announced the title of Hanover as UNESCO City of Music
on December 1st, 2014 in front of the Friends of Hanover

Before the Second World War, the junction at Kröpcke was a means of transport for motor vehicles and trams. From 1975 onwards, the urban railway concept was implemented as a combination of underground and tram and the rails in the city center were laid underground. Several sections of the city center have been redesigned as a pedestrian zone. In 1975 city planning officer Hanns Adrian succeeded Hillebrecht and led the expansion into a consolidation phase. His aim was to make Hanover a city “where it is good to live”.

The city's transport links were supplemented by the construction of the new Hannover-Langenhagen airport in 1952. Hanover's economy entered a phase of expansion. The VW plant was built on the Mittelland Canal in Stöcken , where the VW Transporter has been built since 1956 . The industrial focus of the city shifted from Linden to the north of the city, where new industrial areas were created around Vahrenwalder Straße.

In June 1969 there were demonstrations as well as tram and bus blockades in the course of the red dot campaign. The protests, which were ultimately successful, were directed against fare increases and led to the creation of the Greater Hanover Transport Association .

The decline of Hanomag began at the end of the 1960s , other traditional companies such as Portland Cement in Misburg and the Deurag-Nerag refineries there either disappeared or merged. Instead, a new service center was formed in Roderbruch in the Groß-Buchholz district with the Hanover Medical School and the TUI administration building . In addition, Hanover has developed into an important insurance center, with Talanx , one of the largest German insurance groups , having its headquarters in Hanover. The Hanover Fair continued to expand - after a crisis in the 1970s, CeBIT brought new success numbers in the mid-1980s , which was held independently alongside the Hanover Fair Industry from 1986 until it was closed in 2018 . In 2000, the Expo 2000 took place on the expanded exhibition grounds , which led to infrastructure measures such as the creation of the Hanover S-Bahn and the construction of the Kronsbergviertel .

In terms of local politics, Hanover was shaped from the 1970s on by Herbert Schmalstieg's term of office , who was mayor from 1972 to 2006, as honorary chairman of the council until 1996, and from 1996 as a full-time mayor, directly elected by the citizens. Since 2001, Hanover has been part of the Hanover Region , a special kind of local authority association .

Hanover has been a UNESCO City of Music since December 1, 2014 .

See also


Web links

Commons : History of the City of Hanover  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Kleineberg u. a .: Germania and the island of Thule. Verlag der Wissenschaftlichen Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2010, page 47
  2. a b Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter , Vol. 53
  3. a b Hannover much older than expected. In: Neue Presse from September 30, 2010 ( online )
  4. Hanover Lexicon: City Name
  5. ^ The place names of the district of Hanover and the city of Hanover. Bielefeld 1998, p. 196
  6. Gas history ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.gasgeschichte.de
  7. Information on the First World War according to: Dieter Brosius, Die Industriestadt. From the beginning of the 19th century to the end of the First World War. In: Brosius, Mlynek, Röhrbein, Geschichte Hannovers, Vol. 2, pp. 273–403, here 396–399.
  8. Note: For the Lindener Stahlwerke "the end" is shown, whereby it remains unclear whether the Lindener Eisen- & Stahlwerke or another company is meant. Source : Waldemar R. Röhrbein , Klaus Mlynek (Ed.): History of the City of Hanover: From the beginning of the 19th century to the present ... , p. 447 ( online )
  9. ^ Rainer Hoffschildt: The book burning on May 10, 1933
  10. ^ Burkhard Nadolny , Wilhelm Treue : VARTA - A company of the Quandt Group 1888–1963 , Verlag Mensch und Arbeit, Munich 1964
  11. Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (eds.) And a .: City Lexicon Hanover . From the beginning to the present. Schlütersche, Hannover 2009, ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9 , p. 17, action Lauterbacher
  12. Network Remembrance and Future Region Hannover: Places of Remembrance: Memorial stone at the Fischerhof train station , online
  13. Network Remembrance and Future Region Hannover: Places of Remembrance: Memorial for the Sinti , online ( Memento of the original from October 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.erinnerungundzukunft.de
  14. Patrick Hoffmann: 13 more stumbling blocks laid. In: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung of March 23, 2010, p. 15
  15. Ralf Buchterkirchen (2011): “… and if they put me against the wall” - desertion, disintegration of military strength and “war betrayal” by soldiers in and from Hanover 1933–1945. Edition Region + History. ISBN 978-3-930726-16-5 .
  16. Also: www.deserteure-hannover.de
  17. End and beginning: The Liberation of Hanover , dated: April 9, 2015, accessed on: May 19, 2018
  18. a b c d Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (ed.): Hanover Chronicle: From the beginnings to the present , figures • data • facts, Schlütersche, Hanover 1991
  19. hannover.de: archive history
  20. a b Hartwig Beseler, Niels Gutschow: War fates of German architecture - losses, damage, reconstruction. Volume 1, Panorama, Wiesbaden 2000, ISBN 3-926642-22-X
  21. ^ Paulhans Peters: Learning from Hanover. In: Friedrich Lindau: Hannover Reconstruction and Destruction - the city in dealing with its architectural identity. 2nd edition, Hannover 2001, pp. 9-12, ISBN 3-87706-659-3
  22. ^ Friedrich Lindau: Hannover Reconstruction and Destruction - the city in dealing with its architectural identity. 2nd edition, Hannover 2001, pp. 9-12, ISBN 3-87706-659-3
  23. Das Wunder von Hannover , Der Spiegel 23/1959 of June 3, 1959, p. 56 f.
  24. Simon Benne: This is where the music plays ; as well as: The city has really good grades / Hanover is awarded the title City of Music by Unesco - and must now live up to it. In: Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung , December 2, 2014, pp. 1, 13.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on January 11, 2007 .