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The project „Hausgeist“

Every enlivened or ruinous building preserves stories and secrets as well as historical and contemporary contexts worth knowing. As we are looking at a place, we often get a glimpse of past grandeur or the hardship of times long gone, and it seems to us as if there is a certain spirit, a “ghost“ („Geist“) residing in those buildings. Familiar spirits, translated „Hausgeist“ in German (referring to the house – „Haus“ – in which the spirit is residing), have been known under the name „Puk“ also in Sassnitz. The Puk is a prankster, protects us from mischief, warns and reminds us to carefully deal with our possessions and life energies. This idea gave the project its name, „Hausgeist“.

In order to introduce the history of the city to todays citizens and visitors, we conceptualized six thematic routes including historical buildings, that lead across Sassnitz and the surrounding area. In 2018 the routes „Alt-Sassnitz“, „Alt Crampas“ and „Stadthafen“ will be inaugurated. In the next year, the routes „Dwasieden“, „DDR im Bau“ and „Kreide“ will follow.

The system of signs, that was used by fishermen as well as by households to be identified with, is an old tradition on Rügen island. Simple peasants and fishermen, who never had learned to write or read, would use their sign as a signature or to mark their properties. The projects graphical realization derives from that tradition.

But preserving the stories behind historic buildings and locations in Sassnitz, as well as the history of the old system of signs, is not our sole objective. „Plattdeutsch“ – the German “Platt“ language – nowadays is spoken and preserved by only a few elders. On this website we invite you to read all texts also in „Platt“, and listen to audio samples of an almost extinct language. Even though it is a language that illustrates all of life´s various facets in a vivid and humorous way and, therefore, inspires our cheerfulness, our trust and our confidence, it is – as a spirit – about to disappear.

Team

Project leader: Leon Kräusche
Conception, content & editorial department: Frank Biederstaedt
Artistic concept & organization: Marlen Melzow
Graphical concept & realization: Cornelius Ochs | ochsworks
Webdesign & programming: Sylke Stübner | webtextur
English translation: Cornelius Ochs
Platt translation: Klaus Schütt
Photographs: Christian Thiele
Selection & editing of recorded conversations: Marlen Melzow

We would like to thank for the interviews: Annemarie Kozik
and the members of „Sassnitzer Klönclub e.V.“
Ilse Lokenvitz, Klaus Schütt, Lothar Lockenvitz, Hannes Prestin, Gerhard Damp

We would like to thank for their support in the realization of the project: all the familiar spirits and homeowners
Dagmar Ernst, Xenia Meischner, Anja Thiele, Kristian Johlke
the citizens´ group „Ein Herz für Alt Sassnitz“
Helga Bienecke and Jörg Piecha
the mayor Frank Kracht
and the staff of the Sassnitz administration