Launch of the "Labour and Democracy" event series


The importance of the history of remembrance for the further development of social democracy

On Tuesday evening, 23 April, the event series "Labour and Democracy" kicked off with two lectures on the importance of the history of remembrance for the further development of social democracy in the atrium of the former Opel administration building at Mark 51°7. A total of around 100 people took part in the hybrid event, both on site and digitally.

Grußvideo Christiane Benner

After the opening by Prof. Dr. Manfred Wannöffel, Managing Director of the Centre of cooperation RUB/IGM, which is the main organiser of the series of events alongside the cooperation partners of the network of labour and trade union research in the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) and the Academy for Co-Determination, the First Chairwoman of IG Metall, Christiane Benner, welcomed the attendees with a video greeting. In it, she emphasised the importance of the idea of economic democracy and collective bargaining autonomy, recognising the important role of internal conflict resolution and highlighting their shared significance for the challenges in the context of socio-ecological transformation. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the sometimes poor internet connection and give all those present digitally the opportunity to watch the video greeting again at the following link: and play it again.

Grußworte Tobias Nadjib 1. Abend "Arbeit und Demokratie"

The welcome video was followed by words of welcome from Tobias Nadjib, Managing Director at Volkswagen Infotainment and thus "neighbour" of the Opel plant on the Mark 51°7 site. He pleaded for a "colourful society" and emphasised that it was in the interest of companies not to focus solely on the future of Germany as a business location, but to take a holistic view of the future of society. He was able to report on his own experiences as a CEO with a migration background.

Grußworte Prof. Hertwig 1. Abend "Arbeit und Demokratie"

Prof Dr Markus Hertwig, Chair of Sociology of Digital Transformation, also addressed the audience as a representative of Ruhr University Bochum. He categorised the concept of social democracy in sociological terms and described the "Work and Democracy" event series as a practical contribution to the fight for democracy.

Vortrag Prof. Berger 1. Abend "Arbeit und Demokratie"

The welcoming remarks were followed by the first lecture of the evening by Prof Dr Stefan Berger, Director of the Institute for Social Movements. In his lecture, he referred in particular to the "Commission on the History of the Memory of Social Democracy" and its findings. He assessed trade unions as actors whose task it is to remember social democracy and appealed to them to integrate the resources of remembrance into trade union work. He also reported on the plans of the international network for trade union history and memory to include social participation as a theme in the existing Route of Industrial Heritage in the Ruhr region.

Vortrag Ulrich Borchers 1. Abend "Arbeit und Demokratie"

In his presentation, Ulrich Borchers from the Alliance Against the Right spoke about the reappraisal of the locations of forced labour and concentration camps run by local companies during the National Socialist era. He explained to those present the background and function of an interactive map showing the locations of prisoners of war, forced labour concentration camps and prisons in Bochum during the fascist era. He also referred to the Nordbahnhof initiative and the Bergen site as a place of remembrance for forced labour. He emphasised the important role of haptic places of remembrance and appealed to the audience that each and every one of them must become active in order to set an example against the right.