The German Parliament has recently pledged a budget of €22 million ($24 million) to create a new museum dedicated to migration; the same amount will be provided by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The City of Cologne is contributing to the project by providing the former “Hall 70” of the engine manufacturer Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz.
The funding for the operation of the future museum, the Haus der Einwanderungsgesellschaft (House of Immigration Society), has not been determined yet, but talks are underway and positive, said Robert Fuchs, managing director of the association Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany (DOMiD).
This was cause for celebration for Fuchs and his association. Meanwhile supported by a team of over 10 people — including museologists, ethnologists and researchers — they have been campaigning for the creation of a Migration Museum for almost 30 years. “At the time, people still believed that Germany’s ‘guest workers’ would eventually return to their home country,” the historian said, “but our group believed in permanent residency of immigrants — and we wanted to document the development.”
The association’s members obtained items from companies and clubs that variously reflect the process of migration — from migrants’ passports and flight tickets to portable radios, with which people heard news from their home countries, and cassettes with recorded messages sent from family members across borders.