International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden 1930

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The International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden 1930 (also II. International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden ), from May 17 to October 12, 1930 and extended from May 6 to October 20, 1931, was a highly regarded and lasting exhibition in Dresden . It was considered to be trend-setting and met with correspondingly fierce criticism in conservative circles.

According to Dresden's annual statistical report, it was a very successful exhibition with 3.0 million visitors in 1930 and 1.7 million visitors in 1931, despite the difficult economic times.


On October 19, 1927, the decision was made in Dresden to hold an international hygiene exhibition in 1930. The proposal went back to the then director of the German Hygiene Museum Georg Seiring.

This exhibition was intended to take into account the legacy of Karl August Lingner , creator and organizer of the 1911 International Hygiene Exhibition in Dresden. It was through him that a comprehensive idea of hygiene was publicly and holistically popularized for the first time . After the exhibition closed, Lingner had stored numerous objects in a building in Dresden Neustadt and thus created a provisional forerunner of the German Hygiene Museum. Long after his death, the city of Dresden planned to build a hygiene museum, the opening of which coincided with the second International Hygiene Exhibition in 1930.

The eye motif that Franz von Stuck used on the exhibition poster from 1911 was picked up by the Dresden designer Willi Petzold and thus - in a more modern form - a symbol of the continuity of the exhibition idea.

The management entrusted a person with extensive experience in this field with the scientific and organizational design. Marta Fraenkel , who holds a doctorate in medicine , had already created the scientific concept of the GeSoLei in Düsseldorf and managed its implementation. Under the overall scientific direction of Karl Süpfle , Director of the Hygiene Institute at the Technical University of Dresden , Marta Fraenkel took on the role of scientific director.

In order to achieve the broadest possible international participation, the management of the exhibition contacted the Foreign Office in Berlin in 1928. In the same year the German Chargé d'Affaires in all states diplomatically connected with Germany were instructed to invite official bodies to participate. 19 countries followed this request with their own presentations.


Postcard from 1930 with advertising stamp for the exhibition

The conceptual preparations for the International Hygiene Exhibition 1930 were accompanied by favorable conditions for three reasons. The first thing to do was to take up the experience of the International Hygiene Exhibition in Dresden in 1911 and to adapt it to the considerable developments that had occurred in the meantime in business, society and science. The second advantage resulted from almost eight years of intensive exhibition practice on a comparable scale ( Annual Show of German Labor Dresden ) . The third advantage was the relatively timely GeSoLei in Düsseldorf and Marta Fraenkel, who was already working there. This paved the way for the project in several respects. These positive factors contrasted with the effects of the global economic crisis , which had already left deep economic, social and cultural marks on society as a whole.

With the concept, the organizers intended to take up the contemporary problems of hygiene and to promote a health-oriented lifestyle on a rational basis, which was only allowed to generate a low economic burden for those affected. It was also intended to present a representative cross-section of the scientific notions of hygiene prevailing at the time. Mutual positive effects between the health sector and the economy as well as an understanding collaboration between artists and scientists were promised. The inclusion of the arts in all previous exhibition themes corresponded to the constant efforts of the Dresden exhibition organizers.

The scientific director of the exhibition, Karl Süpfle, formulated the demands on the overall concept as follows: “The exhibition addresses the knowledge and conscience of every individual; it wants to teach and memorize what every individual must know, do and not know in order to maintain and promote his own health, but also to serve the common good of the people and the health of future generations. [...] that all strata of our people are closely connected and must be in mutual understanding and helping, in feeling, thinking and working together ”.

Special conceptual points

Some of the exhibition items are noteworthy and seem remarkable from today's perspective. For example, basic concepts of climate and weather were explained to the visitors .

In the settlement group there was a model schoolhouse that was designed according to the then modern reform principles. This building had a particularly favorable lighting situation in its rooms and was furnished with tables and chairs in such a way that the lessons could not take place frontally, but in groups.

With the special care of Marta Fraenkel, a subject area developed during the preparations that raised thorough considerations in advance. The intention was to present important issues of women in everyday life in terms of exhibition technology and concept. For this purpose, the topic of women in family and work was created . This combined questions of social hygiene with social aspects. The Federation of German Women's Associations supported this part of the exhibition in terms of content and thereby provided important support. In retrospect, Fraenkel reflected on the need to dissolve the separation of work and household and thereby clearly highlight the additional burden on women. Furthermore, efforts were made to show job profiles for women and it was shown that only 2 percent of the positions held by women in the economy could be replaced by men. From the topics she set it can be seen that she was one of the progressively enlightened personalities in Dresden around 1930.

Part of the exhibition was also the first public presentation of a Transparent Man .

Outline and buildings

Mauxion chocolate drink sales booth

The exhibition took up an area of ​​359,000 square meters. Of this, 46,700 square meters were in buildings. 910 domestic and foreign exhibitors took part.

The exhibition area comprised the area of ​​the City Exhibition Palace , parts of the Great Garden south of Hundert-Brunnen-Straße (today Herkulesallee), the open spaces on the other side of Lennéstraße including the German Hygiene Museum and almost all of the sports facilities.

Content classification

On the basis of their conceptual design, the following exhibition structure resulted in three main groups:

1. Scientific department

A. German Hygiene Museum
B. Specialist groups in the exhibition halls
C. Issuance of corporations

Part C included the areas of the German federal states. Saxony, Prussia, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Free and Hanseatic cities and Hesse were represented. A department of German cities as a collective exhibition of the German Association of Cities as well as the departments of insurance carriers and clubs and associations were also part of the exhibition .

2. Exhibition of Nations
This area was divided into the individual country presentations and the group of international organizations.

The following countries were represented with their own areas: Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Gdansk, Great Britain, Japan, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States from America. For reasons of cost, all states decided on a joint building complex. It enclosed the place of the nations.

Among the international organizations are the hygiene organizations of the League of Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement .

3. Industrial exhibition
In various halls, commercial exhibitors showed exhibition-relevant products from the areas of personal hygiene, hygiene education, children's needs, food, clothing, home, sport, industrial and commercial hygiene.

The special show The Hospital was also part of this main group . It was located in a building that was designed as a town hall and was located to the rear or to the west of the Ilgen arena . Here, 40 originally furnished rooms were shown to the visitors. The hospital laundry and kitchen were to be viewed during operation. The presentation of hospital facilities must have been of particular interest in the run-up to the opening. City Councilor Temper wrote in the official catalog under the heading Why a special show The hospital ...? : “The hygiene exhibition is the right place to present the hospital issues that are closely related to general health problems, something that has not yet happened in such a comprehensive way at any exhibition in the world. ... The time when the unfavorable economic situation has to impose a certain reserve on the further expansion of the hospital system in Germany for some time is the right moment to give a complete overview of the current status of the hospital problems. "


The Kugelhaus shortly after renovation work in 1930

City planning officer Paul Wolf was responsible for the overall development plan for the exhibition . In this capacity he was the chairman of the building committee. This included other well-known people, including Emil Högg , Wilhelm Kreis , Georg Seiring and Carlwalter Straßhausen.

The architecture of the temporary exhibition building was a product of progressive conceptions of forms and shapes in urban planning. The influence of the Spirit of New Objectivity can be clearly felt. Flat roofs, ribbon-like window arrangements and prevailing sobriety everywhere characterize the image of the exhibition. The Place of Nations is a good example of this. The buildings around it, with smooth and unadorned walls, had a walkway that consisted of a column-supported roof.

Outstanding structural elements are the Chlorodont Tower on Lennéstrasse and the Kugelhaus, which opened on the occasion of another exhibition in 1928 .

Visitors with valid tickets were able to enter the exhibition areas on both sides of Lennéstraße via a pedestrian bridge and thus did not have to leave the chargeable area.

A special feature and important for the attractiveness of the exhibition visit was the narrow-gauge exhibition railway (Liliputbahn). In open wagons and pulled by a small steam locomotive, visitors were able to explore the entire exhibition site over a distance of 1,600 meters. The track width was 381 millimeters. This railway has been preserved in parts, but with a completely different track layout, in the Great Garden of Dresden and is known as the former (GDR) pioneer railway or today as the Dresden Park Railway . Special safety measures were required by the staff to cross Lennéstrasse so that there were no collisions with passing automobiles or the tram. The exhibition railway drove with at least six cars and had six other stops in addition to the terminal stations. A trip the entire length of the route cost 50 pfennigs. The concept of the exhibition track was not entirely new. Dresden already had an electric train with a larger gauge in operation on the exhibition grounds once in 1900.

Exhibition organization

The organization of the exhibition was a complicated structure made up of numerous committees and special groups. In principle there was a separation between the full-time employees of the management. This emerged from the staff of the annual shows of German work . Carlwalter Strasshausen, with many years of experience, performed the board function. He was assisted by the commercial director Friedrich Leege, the board member for scientific management Karl Süpfle and the scientific managing director Marta Fraenkel. There were another 30 employees for the various organizational work (without supervisory staff). In this context, it is important to mention that the city of Dresden had been running its own municipal exhibition office since before the First World War, which the Köppen city council had been managing for many years. With this municipal authority, the exhibition policy was coordinated between the city council, other local authorities and state authorities.

Other voluntary bodies supported the extensive preparations and accompanying programs for the International Hygiene Exhibition. The Presidium members - Lord Mayor Bernhard Blüher , City Councilor and Bank Director Krüger, City Bank Director Graupner (Treasurer), City Councilor Clemens Dölitzsch and other personalities - created the necessary social connections from their positions. The former Reich Minister acted as the official representative of the Reich Government . D. Wilhelm Külz , the representatives of the Saxon state were Privy Councilor Klien and Ministerialrat Großmann. The Reich President Paul von Hindenburg , who fulfilled a representative function, had been won as honorary president .

There was also an honorary committee (200 people) and an honorary committee of the foreign states and international organizations (28 people), the honorary presidium headed by Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning , Reich Foreign Minister Julius Curtius , Reichstag President Paul Löbe , Reich Finance Minister Paul Moldenhauer , Reich Post Minister Georg Schätzel , Reich Minister of Labor Adam Stegerwald , Reich Minister of the Interior Joseph Wirth and other high-ranking persons.

For special tasks, there was the economic committee, finance committee, financial board of directors, scientific working committee, scientific committee, building committee, committee for traffic and exterior, press committee, examination committee, horticultural committee, a group of architects and artistic employees as well as the poster jury.


  • Georg Köppen (Red.): The book of the city of Dresden . Dresden (Wilhelm Limpert-Verl.) 1930
  • International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden 1930. Official Guide . Dresden (Verl. D. Intern. Hygiene Exhibition) 1930
  • Georg Seiring (Ed.) / Marta Fraenkel : 10 years of exhibition in Dresden . Dresden (publisher of the International Hygiene Exhibition Dresden 1930/31) 1931
  • Statistical Office of the City of Dresden (Ed.): The Administration of the City of Dresden 1930 . Dresden ( Dr. Güntzsche Foundation ) 1931
  • Statistical Office of the City of Dresden (Ed.): Dresden in figures. Statistical yearbook of the city of Dresden . 29th year, Dresden (1931)

Individual references and comments

  1. The editor of the Deutsches Ärzteblatt , Sanitätsrat Dr. med. Siegmund Vollmann, in his paper, mentioned two social hygienists who had hung a poster in the exhibition that made the connection between tuberculosis mortality and income drastically clear. According to this statistic, 16 times as many people died from the disease if the income was only 1,050 marks per year instead of 27,000. According to the reactionary doctors, such representations only increased "class bitterness". By the way, Vollmann lost all privileges after the National Socialists came to power because he was Jewish. Source: German Reichstag, shorthand protocols, meeting of March 6, 1931. See also: Ärzteblatt