One in every of my private highlights throughout our go to to Büdingen was a museum devoted to the 1950’s, the 50er-Jahre-Museum, curated by Else & Walter Arbeiter. It’s a smaller museum within the rooms of a former bakery, however holds many issues I’ve seen in my grandparents dwelling or in previous footage of our household. All the higher that Denise and I visited with my Oma, Opa, and my mother and father, as all of them had a number of tales to inform as we toured.
The 1950’s was a decade of change for Germany. The Germans had misplaced WWII, began rebuilding the bombed cities, and had been launched to rock & roll music by the American GI’s that had been now stationed all through southeast Germany. Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Nat King Cole not solely influenced listeners in the US, but in addition listeners abroad once they turned their radio to the American Forces Community channel.
Gathering and Sharing Historical past
The museum opened in 1999, however the ardour for accumulating objects from the 50’s began when Walter Arbeiter visited a flea market within the 1970’s and located a mannequin practice set in unique packaging, much like the one his mother and father purchased for him in his childhood. He continued his seek for objects from that period, starting from books to home items, filling up a show cupboard… then filling the entire room… and at last the entire residence. In line with Arbeiter solely 10% of his assortment is on this museum, they’re merely operating out of area.
Museum of the 50’s Reveals
Upon getting into the museum you (fittingly) stroll into the music room, the place you could find a TV set with an built-in vinyl disk participant and an unique, working jukebox that wants Deutsche Mark foreign money to play. After paying our entrance price, we had been provided an opportunity to alternate our Euro foreign money into Deutsche Mark foreign money, which was the official foreign money of Germany from 1948 till 2002 as a way to expertise making a variety on the jukebox. There was already good rock & roll music popping out of the museum audio system, so we opted to not take them up on their supply.
Strolling previous the money register, we entered a room devoted to German toys from the 50’s with many well-preserved board video games and mannequin trains. My Mother was flabbergasted to see a doll toy rest room identical to she used to have as somewhat woman. There was additionally a recreated Mother and Pop grocery retailer with objects packaged of their 1950 wrappers. Nowadays, it’s commonplace for us to stroll right into a grocery retailer, discover precisely what we had been in search of, and buy the merchandise. Not so after the warfare when small enterprise nook shops struggled to inventory the necessities, and slowly added an increasing number of merchandise as they turned out there. Every inch of the museum is full of objects and appropriately adorned, forcing you to decelerate to take all of it in.
Entering into the following room one can find your self in the course of a typical kitchen for that period. I noticed one of many first dishwashers and a humongous fridge made by Bosch, all of them in creamy pastel colours. The subsequent room is a lounge, stuffed to the brim with inviting memorabilia. All in all, it appears like you’re strolling by way of somebody’s residence within the 1950’s, whereas being allowed to look in all of the drawers and cupboard doorways. Don’t be shy, there are much more objects in there and it was lots of enjoyable!
Cease by on a summer season weekend and the milk bar at the back of the museum is open for enterprise too. Also called a dairy bar, no alcohol is served right here, however you may get your milkshake and ice cream repair. The signal advised us that there have been over 1,500 milk bars in Germany at one level, however I don’t bear in mind ever being in a single. Will need to have been a pattern that turned extinct earlier than I got here round.
German Jazz Legend, Paul Kuhn
On the wall subsequent to the milk bar I spot an image of Paul Kuhn, a German jazz musician, entertainer and piano participant, of whom I had the pleasure assembly a number of instances earlier than he handed away in 2013. He advised me that he discovered his love for jazz by listening to BBC jazz broadcasts throughout his youth. Jazz music was exhausting to come back by throughout the Nazi regime in Germany, since so-called fremdländisch (alien) music needed to be eradicated, and prohibited to be performed on German radio stations.
After WWII was over, Paul Kuhn was employed by the American Forces Community radio station in Wiesbaden and had probability to hearken to information of his idol Glenn Miller and play at American music golf equipment at evening. Though he was solely paid in cigarettes and low, Paul Kuhn continued enjoying the piano and even toured whereas being effectively over 80 years previous and slowly dropping his eyesight. You may see considered one of his TV appearances right here:
Seeing an awesome entertainer honored by the museum made me smile. If you wish to go down reminiscence lane to Germany within the 50’s, I extremely advocate spending an hour or two on the great Museum of the 50’s in Büdingen. For extra info go to their web site: www.50er-jahre-museum.de
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