How the archives were established

From the first private notes to a politician’s bequest

Helmut Schmidt started a collection of personal writings at an early age. However, these documents were all destroyed in the 1943 bombing of Hamburg. Afterwards, aged 24, Schmidt again began to systematically file his notes and paperwork – which now forms the basis of his extensive private archives. 

When Schmidt joined the SPD in 1946, his private archives were supplemented by his political papers. Right up until the end of his time in the Bundestag in 1986, he kept handwritten notes. Many of these were added to his private archives. By the end of his life, the documents 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 Schmidt’s own home and, later on, rooms in his parents’ former home were used to store the documents. In 1978, an archive annex was built on to Schmidt’s home, 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 HamburgTel: +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)