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Facts & Files was commissioned by the Steglitz-Zehlendorf district office in 2020 to archive the papers of Karl Fischer and to compile an exhibition concept on it.
The papers of Karl Fischer (1881-1941) are the largest collection in the Wandervogel Archive of the Steglitz-Zehlendorf Department of Culture. As a co-founder of the Wandervogel movement, Fischer played a prominent role in the early youth movement. After his death, his estate came into the possession of the Karl-Fischer-Bund, which transferred it to the district office in 1990.
In the fall of 1906, Karl Fischer volunteered for military service with the III Sea Battalion in Qingdao (Tsingtau). He then remained in China – initially as a commercial employee at the Schantung Mining Company. Afterwards, he was involved in the cultural policy of the German colonial power as a newspaper editor in Shanghai from 1910 to 1914, before he became a Japanese prisoner of war in 1914.
Facts & Files catalogued and digitized the archive of Karl Fischer, which included documents as well as numerous photographs of Fischer’s Wandervogel involvement and his stay in China. Facts & Files was also involved in the concept, curation, and editing of the exhibition “Traces of Colonialism – The Private Papers of the Wandervogel Karl Fischer,” which was made together with the district office of Zehlendorf-Steglitz and focused on Karl Fischer’s activities in East Asia, especially in the former German colony of Qingdao.
Project in the Media
“Der Tagesspiegel” Im Frühtau nach China: Auf den Spuren des Kolonialismus in Steglitz. Eine Ausstellung zeichnet das Leben des Berliners Karl Fischer nach. Der Begründer der Wandervogel-Bewegung ging für die deutsche Kolonialmacht nach China. Von Nicola Kuhn