By Sönke. First published by Yorkshire St. Pauli, January 29, 2013.
“Those who don’t know the history of FCSP cannot understand the club”. True words indeed! FCSP is “more than just a club”. There is no one FCSP, but the sum of its many parts. Understanding the past gives a better understanding of the here and now and can help to tackle the challenges of the future.
Up to now, there’s been no coordinated approach to collecting historical objects and information about the club and its supporters. Imagine someone with no long-term memory trying to tell our story! To change all this and do much more is the reason behind the museum.
A Bit Of History
The starting point was the centenary exhibition in 2010. This consisted of some containers in front of the south stand. The following AGM decided to conduct a survey regarding the feasibility of creating a museum for the club. A half-baked paper was compiled, but was not followed up and the project seemed to go dead.
Michael Pahl, one of the authors of the centenary book, and Roger Hasenbein, one of the members of FCSP’s supervisory board revived the idea in 2011, and brought the issue of where to put a museum before a workgroup of supporters, the “AG Stadionbau”.
It quickly became clear that the only option would be that area of the new Gegengerade Stand which was reserved for the police station, adding one more reason against having a police station there at all. There’s still no definite decision by the authorities, but in general it’s looking quite good and we hope to get a positive decision in the next weeks. Even with a positive decision, there are still problems to solve regarding financing of an external police station, but this should be feasible.
During the last few months, a nonprofit association to promote and help funding the museum was initiated. Work groups have been set up to plan for different aspects of installing a museum. Some of the tasks include writing a business plan, doing PR work and getting a fundraising campaign off the ground. A couple of events and exhibitions are in preparation, as are sub-projects that implement parts of the museum that don’t rely directly on the space in the Gegengerade Stand. All of that work is done by volunteers and with donations, and supported by FCSP.
“Keine goldenen Pokale…”
The punk rock band Slime got to the heart of things in the 90s – “no golden cups, no tenth champions’ trophy, just St. Pauli, that shall be our joy”. True, there are no titles and shiny silverware to show, but in many ways our story is far more interesting. Miracles, disasters, promotions and relegations. Tears of pain and tears of joy! We have a story to tell, the unbelievable tale of the small club from a district of Hamburg becoming one of the most well-known in Europe without any big money or wealthy sponsors. Instead, activism and politics on the terraces that reach further than the 90 minutes of the match.
So the museum cannot be just a boring compilation of dusty shirts and lists of results. The visitor should get the chance to experience the feeling of the special history of the club and its supporters’ culture. The museum should entertain, but at the same time provoke to reflect.
We won’t leave out the time of the Nazi regime and the role the club played then. Self-criticism must be part of the stories that we tell. As a well known phrase points out: ” St. Pauli always has something to complain about”.
Right now ideas and concepts are being gathered and researched. We’re also looking at other football museums. One point is quite clear however: we should present the whole exhibition in both German and English wherever possible.
The museum will be much more than the exhibition anyway …. like the visible part of an iceberg, the museum should be the brain and memory of the club. It will collect not just “real” objects, but digital items as well and preserve them for later generations. For the objects to have real value, they should be put into a context which will require research. The archive and depot of the museum will be available to interested parties for study.
The museum will be more than a few rooms in the Gegengerade Stand. With stadium tours, the whole ground will become part of the unfolding story. Street art in the south and main stands are already examples of that, as is the wider St Pauli district which has been so formative to FCSP.
Our Museum Won’t Walk Alone
Nobody can do it all alone. The museum needs interaction with others and is able to give to others as well. There will be a close relationship to the Fanräume archive and the Fanräume initiative in general. The museum has the full support of the club, the AFM (supporters division of FCSP) and the amateur sports bodies.
The administrative tasks of getting the project off the ground – forming a business plan and gathering support is just one part of what’s going on. There are also other sub-projects: co-operation with the Fanräume archive, a website to display memorabilia, video interviews with members and fans from different generations, and a web archive.
Other events and temporary exhibitions are also planned. One will focus on the plans for the construction of the stadium, going back almost 100 years and featuring different models of stands. We will try to get ProFans’ Freedom For The Terraces exhibition (http://www.profans.de/freedom-for-the-terraces), which compares the situation of football supporters in more than 30 different countries as well as BAFF’s “Tatort Stadion”, documenting discrimination and right wing activities in football culture and associations in Germany.
Supporting The Museum
If you think this is a good idea and you are willing to add your support, then become a member of the association. All support is welcome, financial or otherwise. Translating our website www.1910-museum.de has not been done yet, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. We have a Facebook account as well (http://www.facebook.com/1910eV) where pictures of the history of FCSP are posted regularly.