"Erinnerungsfluten". The Storm Flood of 1962 in Hamburg's Public Memory

Staatsarchiv Hamburg, 720-1/126 Plankammer, Nr. 08

Fixed in human memory as the “Great Flood,” the storm surge of 1962 represents a focal point of Hamburg’s identity. My research focuses on such patterns of remembrance and explores the heuristic potential of natural disasters for an “envirotechnical” history approach.

Using a wide variety of sources and in close collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, the project aims to identify not only commemorative practices and political instrumentalizations but also engages in interdisciplinary dialogue over current challenges: disaster management, flood control, and the deepening of the River Elbe. Unfolding a multifaceted panorama of Hamburg’s disaster culture at the interface between environmental, technical, and urban history, "Erinnerungsfluten" offers both a unique case study as well as general insights into how societies deal with natural disasters.