German Shipping Museum

The German Maritime Museum (DSM ) ( as a proper name only with two "f", in unreformed case) in Bremerhaven is the National Maritime Museum in Germany. As one of eight research museums it combines exhibition and research activities. The museum is part of the Leibniz Association. The total investment with buildings and museum since 2005 fleet is under monument protection.


From November 1969 to 1972 /75 museum has been planned and built according to designs by the architect Hans Scharoun in a joint venture with the Bremerhaven architect Helmut Bohnsack and Peter Fromlowitz. Scharoun is with buildings such as the museum or the Berlin Philharmonic one of the most important exponents of organic architecture. The total cost amounted to the opening of 23 million DM

1971 began the scientific research on DSM. On September 5, 1975, after the exhibition design, the DSM was opened to the public by the then Federal President Walter Scheel by ringing a ship's bell. The scientific library of the DSM initiated and designed in 1976 Arnold Kludas.

After the founding of the museum, the German Maritime Museum has been constantly expanding to other exhibits and attachments so that it can report extensively on the maritime history of the newer and older time.

In 2005, the German Maritime Museum was declared a National Monument. See also: List of cultural monuments in Bremerhaven.


As an attraction of the museum is the Hansekogge found in Bremen from 1380.

In the exhibition rooms are showpieces for various shipping periods and subjects merchant shipping, fishing and whaling, Polar Research, Military and more. Are exhibited, among other models of sailing ships, container ships, passenger ships and oil tankers, as well as technical controls and equipment. One of the showpieces is a from 1919 to 1935 -used mechanical tide calculator the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg, which is classified as early computer.

In the museum harbor, the following vessels are to visit:

  • The Bark Seute Deern
  • The tug Sea Hawk
  • The whaling steamer RAU IX of Walter Rau whaling fleet
  • The Haffkahn Emma
  • The internal tug Helmut
  • The lightship Elbe 3 (formerly mayor Abendroth, not to be confused with the lightship Elbe 3 at the Museum Oevelgönne in Hamburg)

In the outdoor area four ships include

  • The concrete ship Paul Kossel
  • The Tug Boat bull with Voith-Schneider drive
  • The yacht Diva
  • The hydrofoil WSS 10

The ship of the first German North Polar Expedition, the 1867 Toleff Toleffsen built in Skanevik in Norway Nordic scramble Greenland also belongs to the fleet of the museum, however, is an active tradition of ship in use and, consequently, especially in the summer months only rarely in the museum harbor.

In the harbor basin of the museum is the walk-in U- Boot Wilhelm Bauer, which is cared for by an independent carrier association.

The Jaguar class fast boat crane was until 2006 in the museum harbor, it was sold due to strong decay of the wooden hull of the VEBEG for scrapping.

Outside the museum is a sculpture by Stephan Balkenhol.

New exhibits

2009: helm of the former seaside resorts ship Wappen von Hamburg


Tug Boat Taurus

Bark Seute Deern

Figurehead of Seute Deern

Paul Kossel

Freefall lifeboat Frederike

Armskulptur by Stephan Balkenhol front of the museum

The Bremen Cog of 1380 in the DSM

Elbe 3 in the museum harbor


Annually published since 1975, the German Maritime Archives, the current scientific one in the museum. The topics include such diverse aspects such as marine archeology, maritime and inland shipping, shipbuilding, marine, fisheries, navigation, Polar and Marine Research, Social history of seafaring, maritime folklore and many more Although the focus is on the maritime history, but also show repeatedly Posts foreign authors to international research. All contributions will be supplemented with English and French summaries. It appears in Oceanum Publisher Wiefelstede (DSA 31 2008, ISBN 978-3-86927-031-9 ), ISSN 0343-3668, and is available both as single issues ( EUR 23.50 ) and subscription ( € 19.50 ) available at

Internet projects

  • " The German shipping in the 1920s and 1930s, the tension between continuity, crisis and innovation - visualization of historical processes "
  • "Ship List" an Internet Datebnbank for quickly finding historic ships, boats and other vessels, some of which are described with detailed technical specifications and data for CV.
  • Digitization of ship plans

Research contract

In August 2011, the German federal government gave the museum a research contract for the systematic archaeological survey of the North Sea, outside the 12-mile zone, as numerous archeological sites are threatened by planned construction projects such as offshore wind farms, pipelines and power line routes.