PRIF at the Days of Democracy 2023

May 2023 marks the 175th anniversary of the Paulskirche Assembly. The network Paulskirche – Democracy in the Making (Website in German) invites on this occasion to the Days of Democracy. As a member of the network, PRIF participates with several projects: the event for Frankfurt students “Debate Artists” and the virtual youth parliament “Global House of Young Voices”. Both formats offer young people the opportunity to experience and practice democracy as a contemporary and attractive way of life. The Institute also published the concept study “Demokratiezentrum Paulskirche – Haus der Demokratie” in 2020. Paulskirche also plays a role as a station in the audio walk “Echt Frankfurt”, which was created in 2022 and asks about historical authenticity in Frankfurt. On PRIF blog, Andreas Heinemann summarizes the debates about the (lack of) authenticity of Paulskirche.

Debate Artists

The project Debate Artists offers young people from Frankfurt the opportunity to learn and practice debating. At the same time, they can pass on their experiences to other young people. They receive communication training that helps them develop their own political ideas and bring them into discussions. The focus is on topics related to peace and conflict studies.

The project is sponsored by the City of Frankfurt.

Global House of Young Voices - Virtual Youth Parliament with Sister Cities

In the summer of 2024, a one-week sum­mit with young people from Frank­furt's 17 sister cities will take place: An inter­national youth parlia­ment, the “Global House of Young Voices”, is to be consti­tuted. Through accommo­dation in Frankfurt host families, both the inter­national net­work and the inter­cultural competence of young people will be strengthened. More­over, the ex­perience of demo­cracy as “pro­ductive arguing” will be brought closer to a di­verse group of young people. The re­sult of the summit is the adoption of a consti­tution, which creates the con­ditions for the (virtual) conti­nuation of the parlia­ment.

The goals of the project are to pro­mote edu­cation for global citizen­ship in the sense of the UN Sus­tainable Develop­ment Goals, to link local and global political pro­cesses, and to sustain­ably streng­then Frankfurt's city partner­ships.

The virtual youth parlia­ment is sponsored by the City of Frankfurt.

Concept Study “Demokratiezentrum Paulskirche – Haus der Demokratie”

In 2020, PRIF published the concept study “Demokratiezentrum Paulskirche – Haus der Demokratie”. The study includes guidelines on how the Paulskirche can become a vibrant place of democracy with national and international significance. To this end, a democracy center is to be set up alongside it, the design of which is to be worked out in a citizen participation process.

Based on field and target group analyses as well as a series of interviews, it will be shown that the use of the House of Democracy should focus primarily on the practical and sensual experience of democracy. The focus should be on formats in which citizens and visitors can apply democracy themselves and experience it as a social practice.

To the publication

Genuine Frankfurt? An Audio Walk on Authenticity in Urban Space

What is considered “genuine Frankfurt” or more precisely: what is interpreted as “authentic” in Frankfurt and by whom? What is that actually, authenticity? The concept of the authentic speaks to our longing for something unadulterated and genuine. It valorizes people, places or objects. But how do we arrive at this judgment? - Authenticity is above all a social construction and therefore dependent on concrete historical and political circumstances. What is considered authentic today may have been classified quite differently 20 years ago – as outdated and outmoded, for example.

Within the  Leibniz Research Network “Historical Authenticity”/“Value of the Past”, a PRIF team has developed an audio walk on the topic. The Frankfurt audio walk leads to urban places that show how conflictual the attribution of authenticity can be and how it has always been reassessed over time: Starting in Bockenheim, the route leads through Frankfurt's city center, hereby passing the Paulskirche, to the East end and the banks of the Main. The city walk can be completed in one piece or in stages.

All audio walks of the Leibniz Research Network were realized together with Audiokombinat Berlin and are available free of charge via the app “Guidemate” or via the platform in the browser.

PRIF blog article by Andreas Heinemann

Since the reconstruction of the destroyed Paulskirche in 1948, people in Frankfurt and Germany have been discussing the authentic form of its design. Is this what it lacks, the authenticity, the special magic power through which history can be experienced? And what does authenticity actually mean for Paulskirche? The German-language article „Die eine Authentizität gibt es nicht: die Frankfurter Paulskirche als Erinnerungsort der Demokratie“ was published on the PRIF blog on May 17, 2023 on the occasion of the “Days of Democracy”. In it, author Andreas Heinemann, historian and head of PRIF's library, summarizes the debates surrounding the (lack of) authenticity of the Paulskirche.


Laura Friedrich
Knowledge Transfer Officer
Phone: +49 69 959 104 983

Stefan Kroll
Head of Head of Public Relations
Phone: +49 (0)69 - 959104-59

E-Mail: schule-prif @hsfk .de