ZEITSTROM is the active history project of the Mannheim conversion areas, which was born from citizens’ ideas as part of the white paper process and is intended to competently depict prior history, contemporary history and the future. The aim is to make nature and history in Mannheim tangible to all generations. Three main themes will be highlighted: 1. environmental history, 2. democracy and globalization and 3. US history/Americans in Mannheim.
The MWSP is responsible for the content design and implementation of the third theme – US History/Americans in Mannheim. The Americans spent close to 70 years in Mannheim; more than 500,000 Americans had come to the city between 1945 and 2015 to live and work. With the conversion of the former American military areas into new quarters for the urban community of Mannheim, MWSP is pursuing a future-oriented and, at the same time, history-conscious form of urban development. Historical buildings and relics from the Americans’ time in Mannheim have been preserved on all conversion sites. Important memorabilia are kept in the ZEITSTROM archive. The aim is to develop extensive historical paths and exhibitions that deal with the rich and sometimes conflictive history in the relationship between the US military and Mannheim's communities, contextualizing it with regards to current challenges in urban development.
With the ZEITSTROM-House, MWSP built a public space in the former FRANKLIN preschool building for temporary exhibitions, workshops and the model of the future FRANKLIN district. The ZEITSTROM House is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The FRANKLIN Store also makes it possible to buy a piece of Mannheim history and bring it home.
The Contemporary Witness Tours allows those interested to explore the conversion areas guided by MWSP employees and contemporary witnesses and learn more about the past and future of selected places and buildings in German and English.
ZEITSTROM was developed by the Conversion Office, the Cultural Urban Development Office and the city development company MWSP; the Berlin project office beier + wellach provided curatorial support. In addition, numerous institutions and stakeholders are committed to the project.