How the archives came into being

From the first private notes to a politician’s bequest

Helmut Schmidt collected his personal writings from an early age. However, these documents were all destroyed in the 1943 bombing of Hamburg. Afterwards, aged 24, Schmidt began again to file his recollections and paperwork – this is what formed the basis of what today are his extensive private archives. 
When he joined the SPD in 1946, his private archives were supplemented by his political papers. Right up to the end of his time in the Bundestag in 1986, he kept handwritten notes. These were added in part to his private archives. At the end of his life these had grown to a total volume of about 3,500 files and around 400 photo albums. 
As the collection grew, so did the space requirements. Shelving in his own house and later rooms in the former home of his parents were used to store the documents. In 1978 an archive annexe was built on to the house, but it soon proved to be too small. Finally, in 2007, today’s purpose-built archives were built opposite the family home.

Contact and directions


Helmut Schmidt-Archiv
Neubergerweg 86
22419 Hamburg
Tel: +49 40 5313777 or +49 40 67996616

Enquiries and appointments:

Opening times:
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
(Admission by prior appointment)

By public transport: U 1 to Kiwittsmoor, approx. 15 minutes on foot via Fibigerstraße and Weygandstraße.
By car: Hamburg City Nord (Note: there is no parking at the archives)