Occupational ban for civil servants in Lower Saxony

One day the phone rings and someone says they are planning an exhibition. They want to present the results of their research to a broader public. Their focus is on the so-called decree against radicals (“Radikalenerlass”), which was in force in Lower Saxony between 1972 and 1990. This law banned state employees who were suspected of holding views that were considered radical from exercising their profession. The research also dealt with the consequences suffered by those who lost their jobs as a result of the ban.

We ask about the target groups, the number of people to be reached, whether the project is about to be completed in due course or whether it should be a kind of ‘work in progress’. During the conversation we learn that a group of victims of the ban has prepared a small itinerant exhibition which is currently on display in Lower Saxony.

After ten minutes it becomes clear that the exhibition idea isn’t feasible. Instead, we feel that a publication reaching a wider audience might be an appropriate solution. It should be accompanied by a website that can be accessed at any time, for instance by teachers and other stakeholders.  

A little bit later we apply for the job. We are chosen and cooperation begins on the spot. We have to examine and evaluate a huge quantity of documents. How can thousands of typed sheets be presented in a publication? We are aware that all this material reflects human destinies and that a state parliament that agrees to confront history actively is indeed a novelty.

Within a short time the first edition of the publication is out of print. The clear and strong graphic language draws readers’ attention to the content. To this very day, people call us and ask for a copy. Our standard answer is: We’re so sorry, we have no more copies left.

Martina Scheitenberger about an exhibition that became a book


Graphic design
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