DSM mourns the loss of founding director Professor Detlev Ellmers
The German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History mourns the loss of its founding director Prof. Dr. Detlev Ellmers, who passed away on December 23, 2022 at the age of 84.
Professor Ellmers had led the house until 2002. "He had a scientific influence on the construction and research of the Bremen Cog," says the current commissioned Managing Director of the DSM, Professor Ruth Schilling. "It is thanks to his diverse and excellent scientific activities that the German Maritime Museum has been accepted into the circle of supra-regional research museums. His collections and research achievements are testimony to his dedicated work. Our deepest sympathy goes to his relatives."
Born in Vegesack in 1938, Detlev Ellmers studied prehistory, early history and art history at the universities of Kiel and Tübingen. In 1968, he received his doctorate in Kiel with a highly regarded thesis on early medieval merchant shipping in Central and Northern Europe. With the signing of the DSM's foundation charter in 1971, the organs of the foundation were also filled, including the three-member board of directors, at the head of which Professor Ellmers was elected as executive director.
His scientific research at the DSM initially focused on the Bremen cog from 1380, which was discovered in 1962 during dredging work in the Weser and whose construction at the DSM started in 1972. In addition, the main task was to design and set up the exhibitions in the museum building designed by Hans Scharoun. This first phase of Professor Ellmers' work was crowned by the opening of exhibition operations by the then German Federal President Walter Scheel on September 5, 1975.
A research concept adopted in the late 1970s paved the way for the greatest science policy success of Ellmers' tenure: in 1980, the DSM became the sixth museum to be included in the so-called Blue List and thus in the joint research funding of the federal and state governments, which was later followed by membership in the Leibniz Association.
On May 17, 2000, after 28 years of reconstruction and conservation, the Bremen cog from 1380 could finally be presented to the public unveiled, and a few days later, on May 31, the DSM's extension was inaugurated to the public by then German Federal President Johannes Rau. Even after his retirement, Professor Ellmers remained connected to the DSM. For his services to the museum, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, the Bremen Senate Medal for Art and Science and the Medal of Merit of the City of Bremerhaven.
German Maritime Museum
Leibniz Institute for Maritime History
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The German Maritime Museum / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History
The German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute for Maritime History in Bremerhaven has set itself the task of researching the changing relationship between man and the sea and bringing it to life in exhibitions. It is one of eight Leibniz research museums in Germany. With its approximately 100 employees and trainees and about 8000 square meters of covered exhibition space, it is one of the largest maritime museums in Europe. Currently, the DSM is undergoing a transformation, combining building renovation with a comprehensive redesign of all exhibition and research areas.
Research projects at the DSM are supported by renowned national and international funding programs. As an attractive place to work for young and experienced talents in maritime research, the DSM maintains diverse cooperations with universities, colleges and non-university research institutions. The museum is supported not least by the approximately 2,000 members of the "Förderverein Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum e.V." This association and the "Kuratorium zur Förderung des Deutschen Schifffahrtsmuseums e.V." (Board of Trustees for the Promotion of the German Maritime Museum) once promoted the opening of the museum in 1975 and now accompany it on its future course.