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Offenbach: an arrest warrant street for the city? Renaming of Bismarckstrasse questionable

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  • fromFabian Scheuermann

    conclude

Because of its role in colonialism, the street name of Bismarckstrasse will soon be the subject of a working group of city councilors in Offenbach. The renaming of Hugo-Eberhardt-Weg at the Ring Center is also under discussion.

  • If there is a petition, it should Bismarckstraße in Offenbach be renamed
  • The suggestion: name change to Arrest warrant street based on the well-known German rapper
  • But one renaming is questionable

Offenbach – The online petition of a student who because of Otto von Bismarcks Role in colonialism a renaming of Bismarckstrasse Offenbach demands, makes waves in local politics. Left and Greens want to put the topic on the agenda of the working group street names. This consists of city councils from several factions and will meet again in mid-July. The CDU is also in favor of advising the topic at the next AG meeting.

Offenbach: Petition Bismarckstrasse to name arrest warrant after rapper sparked discussion

The foray of 29-year-old Offenbacher Felix Sauer has led to many discussions in the past two weeks, including on the Internet – including on fr.de. Sauer had proposed the Offenbach rapper Aykut Anhan aka arrest warrant as an alternative name for Bismarckstrasse, which is prominently located at the main train station. “As a cosmopolitan society, we should also honor important figures with migration experience in public,” one of the 1300 supporters of Sauer’s petition so far explained his approval. Offenbach AfD, however, warned of a loss of identity if the Bismarckstraße disappear.

One thing is clear: one Arrest warrant street will not exist – because streets are not named after living people. Sauer had brought the rapper into play as a suggestion to get the debate going, he says. Now that there is talk of racism everywhere in the course of the Black Lives Matter protests, a debate about Bismarck is also possible. Because it was by no means the case that the Chancellor was always a critic of colonialism, as many claimed in the current debate. According to Hamburg historian and African scientist Jürgen Zimmerer, a speech could be made Bismarcks at the opening of a conference on the division of Africa in 1884 even as a “prime example of a colonial worldview”.

No “arrest warrant” street for Offenbach

Felix Schwenke (SPD) had suggested that a “professionally competent historical commission” should deal with the topic. But whether there is a renaming of the Bismarckstraße coming is questionable. Firstly, because the coalition partners CDU, FDP and free voters – unlike the Greens – are critical of this. On the other hand, because many people live in the street, for whom a renaming would mean effort – there are almost 2200.

The discussions in the case of Hugo Eberhardt, after which a service road behind the Ring Center is named, have continued to thrive. The founder of the German Leather Museum was also the director of the School of Applied Arts in Offenbach, the predecessor institution of the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG).

Offenbach: Head of city council wants discussion about Hugo-Eberhardt-Weg

Research by the Frankfurt historian Andreas Hansert showed in 2019, among other things, that Eberhardt used his “discretionary maximum in favor of the National Socialists” and that the school’s teaching and production program was early and consistently geared to the NSDAP’s propaganda needs.

A discussion of the Hugo-Eberhardt-Weg he sees “as pending”, says city councilor Stephan Färber, who heads the street name group. One has a list of many “outstanding women from the Offenbacher History ”, after which the path can be named. The leather museum, in the foyer of which is a bust of Eberhardt, also creates facts: On Wednesday, the Museum Senate decided to add a text by architectural historian Winfried Nerdinger next to the bust, which illuminates Eberhardt’s dark past.

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