Everyday people rarely appear in history books. Here at our museum things are different. We bring ordinary people back to life, allowing visitors to experience what they experienced. Our living history re-enactors wear authentic reproductions of period clothing and perform everyday rural and domestic tasks, such as threshing, breaking flax, cooking and washing. They present three different eras. Firstly, how farmers, farmers' wives, elderly people, labourers and maids lived the early 19th century. Secondly they take visitors back to the early 20th century, demonstrating how a fisherman and his family lived. Finally they recreate the lives of a refugee family in the post-war era. All of the re-enactors talk to visitors, telling them about rural life in these eras.
Visit a farmer and his family living in the Lüneburg Heath area in 1804. Life on a heath farm was governed by a strict hierarchy. The ‘buur’ (farmer) ruled over the family, the farm hands and the maids. Volunteers ranging in age from adults to children present a simple rural way of life, far removed from court festivities, Goethe and international politics. Visitors can take part in these lives, discovering how people cooked, did washing and worked. Chat to the re-enactors and look over their shoulders. We offer a number of opportunities to do so from the end of January to October.
Travel back over 100 years to find out how a fisherman's family lived in the fertile marshes around the Elbe river, which have always provided the inhabitants with a good income. We tell the story in a fisherman's house which originally stood in Drage. The year is 1904, Germany's industrial revolution is full swing. Several generations of one family live together in the house. The building is light and bright; the cast iron range is safer and more economical than the earlier open fire. And has also improved the air in the house so that you can enjoy the wonderful smell of fish coming from the smoking oven. Although fishing is an important source of income it is not sufficient to meet all the family's needs. Vegetable growing, basket weaving and other handicrafts are also important sources of income.
Living history also brings Germany's most recent history from 1945 to 1965 back to life on ‘Königsberger Strasse’. The post-war era was a time of great hardship and uncertainty. Almost everything was in short supply and improvisation skills were a necessity. Many people lived in Nissen huts, emergency housing which had been built all over Germany to house people who had lost their homes and refugees, all living in extremely close quarters. As a result of the cramped conditions life took place outdoors as much as was possible. See a refugee family fighting to survive in the post-war era. The oven is outdoors and the family grows staple vegetables in the garden - as well as tobacco for the black market.