Station: [1] Welcome

Hello and welcome to the Vogelsang Red Cross Museum – in the middle of the Eifel national park. Before you begin your tour, we’d like to give you some information about this particular location. Our Red Cross Museum – incidentally the third largest in the world –opened in 2011 to tell the story of the greatest humanitarian movement on earth. In 2019 alone, 17 million people were involved in the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies all over the world, either as full-time employees or as volunteers. Incidentally, the society is called the Red Crescent in countries like Bangladesh, Egypt and Iraq. 

We’re in the grounds of the former “Ordensburg Vogelsang”, a military facility where the Nazis trained their political leaders beginning in 1936. It’s a place with an ugly past, yet now we grapple with human rights issues and international humanitarian law on this site. We have two different exhibitions in two former community houses. Here, in Nordrhein House, we’ll be recounting “The History of an Idea”. At the Humanitarium next door, you can experience “Das Abenteuer Menschlichkeit “ – “The Humanitarian Adventure”.

The historic exhibition entitled “The History of an Idea” explores the foundation and growth of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. It’s a story of exceptional voluntary commitment, of countless operations in wars and disasters, of four Nobel Peace prizes – but it also includes a critical view of how the German Red Cross developed during the Nazi era. 

Have you noticed the stretcher there? It’s from the time of the First World War and is nicknamed a “Handmarie”. In the course of you tour, you’ll come across several wheeled stretchers or gurneys like this one….

… as well as works by the artist Detlef Kellermann from Aachen. He has addressed human rights and the Red Cross as themes in his work. 

The exhibition starts on the upper floor.

Fotos: © Dagmar Trüpschuch