The Hausgeist project

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) resi- ding 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.

Houses, land, possessions, families, spirits need an identifica- tion. 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. Until today, only one wall in Alt-Sassnitz reminds of this tradition. Some family´s names and their respec- tive signs have been filed in the city archives. Many of the older inhabitants of Sassnitz still remember their use. The projects graphical realization derives from that tradition.

In order to present the history of the city to the inhabitants and guests, six thematic routes have been created, which lead through the city of Sassnitz and its surroundings. The circular routes Alt Sassnitz, Alt Crampas, The harbour, Chalk, Dwasieden and GDR offer information about historical buildings and places to all visitors.


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