Gründung der Hamburger Polizei | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin
Gründung der Hamburger Polizei | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin

Police Museum Hamburg

How does the Hamburg police force view its own past, including its role during the era of National Socialism? As curators and designers, the chance to probe this question posed an extremely exciting task.

  • Client: Hamburg police force, Polizeiverein Hamburg e. V.
  • Display space: 1,000 m2
  • Completion: 28 February 2014

Collaboration partners: Julia Werner, Bettina Bick, Arnd Criegee, Anat Frumkin, Annrika Kiefer, Anja Mirowski, Juliane Seidl, Mayasari Feradina Zoesmar
Cooperation: Zolghadri GmbH - LICHT Technik Design

  • Detailed scientific concept
  • Design concept
  • Exhibition graphics
  • Implementation planning
  • Construction management
  • Cost control
Ground floor

History of the Hamburg police force from 1814 onwards

Die Hamburger Polizei im Nationalsozialismus | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin
Die Hamburger Polizei im Nationalsozialismus | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin

This exhibition depicts the origins of the Hamburg police force and its close ties to the prevailing political system. The reappraisal of the Hamburg police force’s responsibilities during the time of National Socialism as well as the denazification and reconstruction of the force after 1945 all form a focus of the exhibition. Special emphasis is also given to the history of Hamburg Reserve Police Battalion 101.

Different opinions on controversial police assignments post-1945 are also depicted, such as the Hamburg “kettle” of 1986.

What we found interesting was how the police’s self-perception has shifted over time and how this shift is portrayed both from an insider’s and outsider’s perspective. The idea as to content was the result of a collaboration with an independent scientific advisory board.

Themes and content are organised using a diversified exhibition system which incorporates suspended illuminated displays. They show the development of the Hamburg police force in a rapidly growing 19th century city. Object collections and interactive stations illustrate the day-to-day tasks of the police force.

First floor

Crime scene, preservation of evidence and forensic examination

Tatort, Spurensicherung und kriminaltechnische Untersuchung | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin
Tatort, Spurensicherung und kriminaltechnische Untersuchung | Foto: © Olaf M. Teßmer, Berlin

How is trace evidence preserved at a crime scene and evaluated using forensic examination methods? The methods employed to preserve evidence across a total of eight forensic investigation departments are explained and state-of-the-art procedures displayed alongside select exhibits that relate to their historical development. Films show forensic work being carried out at various crime scenes, following the path of trace evidence from the crime scene to the forensic laboratories.

Visitors can also take on the role of investigator by examining and analysing trace evidence. Children and teenagers can put their policing skills to the test by solving various example cases as part of a mock investigation. Case files show just how much police work is required to solve a case.

The work carried out by the specialist forensic laboratories is demonstrated using laboratory bench models which display exhibits, interactive installations and games. Drawers, trays and hidden cabinets holding vital information are waiting to be explored.

Top floor

The Hamburg Criminal Investigation Department at work

Using eight criminal cases taken from the archives of the Hamburg police force, visitors learn about the inner workings of the criminal investigation department. Every case opens with a different set of circumstances; the course of events is unpredictable and the outcome often surprising.

Both the room imagery and design concept create the perfect setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the work of the criminal investigation department and, step by step, reconstruct and solve the different cases.

Go back


Ika Gerrard
Nina Holsten
Arne Petersen
Michael Teßmer
Simone Wörner


gwf-ausstellungen develops
and designs exhibitions
and museum spaces.


concept & design
Feldstraße 48
20357 Hamburg / GERMANY
Phone +49 40 432 27 36