The „Bolzplatz“ as Place of Memory

Head of project
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag

IESF staff entrusted with project
Caroline Tisson

Period of research
June 2019 – September 2021

Consortium partners
Deutsches Fußball Museum (Dortmund)
Ruhr Museum (Essen)
Stiftung Geschichte des Ruhrgebiets (Bochum)

The German “Bolzplatz“ is not only well known as a term, but can also be found at many different places. However, there is neither a generally accepted definition of the „Bolzplatz“ nor a comprehensive understanding of its social significance. Academics have also paid only limited attention to the „Bolzplatz“.

The IESF is currently working on a study with a double objective: On the one hand, it represents a material inventory of the term "Bolzplatz". The attempt is made here to grasp this specific football field as a material place of play and sport more concretely, to examine it with regard to its distribution and (design) and, last but not least, to determine differences such as similarities in the development of football fields from a synchronous and diachronic perspective. What is largely new here is the approach of exploring the „Bolzplatz“ as a specific kind of child and youth policy in urban public spaces. On the other hand, this study examines the importance and social function of the „Bolzplatz“ in more detail and thus examines its immaterial dimension more closely. Particular attention will be paid to the youth cultural dimension of the football field and its development in the context of social change.

The results of the survey as well as further findings from literature were discussed with the project partners at a further workshop at the German Football Museum in Dortmund on 2 July 2021. The study will be finished in November 2021.