Altona (German: [ˈaltonaː] ), also called Hamburg-Altona, is the westernmost urban borough (Bezirk) of the German city state of Hamburg. Located on the right bank of the Elbe river, Altona had a population of 270,263 in 2016.

Sol LeWitt, Black Form Dedicated to the Missing Jews, Altona Townhall (Altona-Altstadt)
Sol LeWitt, Black Form Dedicated to the Missing Jews, Altona Townhall (Altona-Altstadt)
Flag of Altona
Coat of arms of Altona
Boroughs of Hamburg
Altona is located in Germany
Altona is located in Hamburg
Coordinates: 53°33′N 9°56′E / 53.550°N 9.933°E / 53.550; 9.933
Subdivisions13 quarters
 • BezirksamtsleiterStefanie von Berg
 • Total77.5 km2 (29.9 sq mi)
 • Total280,034
 • Density3,600/km2 (9,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Dialling codes040
Vehicle registrationHH
The Dockland at the harbor
Memorial of the Prussian Regiments (IR31, RIR31 and L31)

From 1640 to 1864, Altona was under the administration of the Danish monarchy. Altona was an independent borough until 1937. As of 2016, the borough has a population was 270,263.

History edit

Danish period edit

Altona was founded in 1535 as a village of fishermen in what was then Holstein-Pinneberg. In 1640, Altona came under Danish rule as part of Holstein-Glückstadt, and in 1664 was granted municipal rights by the Danish King Frederik III, who then ruled in personal union as Duke of Holstein. Altona was one of the Danish monarchy's most important harbor towns. The railway from Altona to Kiel, the Hamburg-Altona–Kiel railway (Danish: Christian VIII Østersø Jernbane), was opened in 1844.

Imperial period edit

The wars between Denmark and the German Confederation — the First Schleswig War (1848–1851) and the Second Schleswig War (February–October 1864) — and the Gastein Convention of 1864, led to Denmark's cession of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein to Prussian administration and Lauenburg to Austrian administration. Along with all of Schleswig-Holstein, Altona became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1867. In 1871, Altona became a part of the German Empire. In the same year, the town was hit by cholera, with a minimum of 16 casualties in Altona.[2]

Because of severe restrictions on the number of Jews allowed to live in Hamburg until 1864 (with the exception of 1811–1815),[3] a major Jewish community developed in Altona starting in 1611, when Count Ernest of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg granted the first permanent residence permits to Ashkenazic Jews.[4] Members did business both in Hamburg and in Altona itself. All that remains after the Nazi Holocaust during World War II are the Jewish cemeteries, but in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the community was a major center of Jewish life and scholarship. Holstein-Pinneberg and later Danish Holstein had lower taxes and placed fewer civil impositions on their Jewish community than did the government of Hamburg.

History from 1918 to 1945 edit

During the Weimar era following World War I, the town of Altona was disturbed by major labor strikes and street disorders. Inflation in Germany was a major problem. In 1923, Max Brauer, the mayor of Altona, directed that town personnel should be paid in part with gas meter tokens, as the tokens did not lose value from inflation.[5]

The most notable event at that time was the Altona Bloody Sunday (German: Altonaer Blutsonntag) on 17 July 1932, when 18 people were killed, all but two by police, during a violent clash between Nazi marchers and members or supporters of the Communist Party.[6] In 1938, the Greater Hamburg Act removed Altona from the Free State of Prussia in 1937 and merged it (and several surrounding towns) with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. After police raids and a special court, on 1 August 1933, Bruno Tesch and others were found guilty and put to death by beheading with a hand-held axe.[7][8]

Modern history edit

In the 1990s, the Federal Republic of Germany reversed the convictions of Tesch and the other men who were put to death, clearing their names.

On 1 February 2007, the Ortsämter (district offices) in Hamburg were done away with. In Altona, the districts of Blankenese, Lurup and Osdorf had existed and had local offices. On 1 March 2008, the Schanzenviertel neighborhood, which had spanned parts of the boroughs of Altona, Eimsbüttel and Hamburg-Mitte, became the Sternschanze quarter, the entirety of which is now in the Altona borough.[9]

Altona is noted for being the site of the popular Altona Fischmarkt.[10]

Borough profile edit

Commentators and politicians, including former member of the Hamburg Parliament Stefanie von Berg [de], have noted that neighborhoods in Altona is diverse in terms of social conditions. Von Berg noted that poverty present in the Lurup and Osdorf quarters contrast with the affluent Blankenese and Nienstedten quarters within the borough.[11]

Geography edit

Aerial view of Altona from the South. In the foreground the Elbe quays.

The border of Altona to the south is the River Elbe, and across the river the state of Lower Saxony and the boroughs of Harburg and Hamburg-Mitte. To the east is the borough of Hamburg-Mitte and to the north is the borough of Eimsbüttel. The western border is with the state of Schleswig-Holstein. According to the statistical office of Hamburg, Altona has an area of 77.5 km2 or 29.9 sq mi in 2006.

Quarters edit

Politically, the following quarters (German: Stadtteile) are part of Altona borough:

  1. Altona-Altstadt
  2. Altona-Nord
  3. Bahrenfeld
  4. Ottensen
  5. Othmarschen (including parts of Klein Flottbek)
  6. Groß Flottbek
  7. Osdorf
  8. Lurup
  9. Nienstedten (including parts of Klein Flottbek)
  10. Blankenese
  11. Iserbrook
  12. Sülldorf
  13. Rissen
  14. Sternschanze

Demographics edit

In 2018, Altona had a population of 274,702 people. 18.0% are children under the age of 18 and 17.9% are 65 years of age or older. 16.2% are immigrants. 5.0% of people are registered as unemployed. In 2018, 53,4% of all households are single-person households.[citation needed]

There are 195 kindergartens and 31 primary schools in Altona as well as 879 physicians in private practice, 254 dentists and 60 pharmacies.[12]

Politics edit

Subdivisions of Altona

Simultaneously with elections to the state parliament (Bürgerschaft), the Bezirksversammlung is elected as representatives of the citizens. It consists of 51 representatives.

Elections edit

District parliament election of Altona in 2019
Parties % ± Seats
Alliance 90/The Greens 35.1   13.0 18
Social Democratic Party 20.4   9.6 11
Christian Democratic Union 16.6   6.7 9
The Left 14.8   0.8 8
Free Democratic Party 6.8   2.4 3
Alternative for Germany 4.4   1.1 2
Pirate Party 1.4   1.1 0
Others 0.6   0.2 0
Total 51

Transport edit

Altona Bahnhof (railway station) in 1971. Buses, streetcars, trains and S-Bahn trains all met at this spot.

Altona is the location of a major railway station, Hamburg-Altona, connecting the Hamburg S-Bahn with the regional railways and local bus lines.

The A 7 autobahn passes through Altona borough.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt), in Altona 87,131 private cars were registered (359 cars per 1000 people).[13]

Notable people edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Bevölkerung in Hamburg am 31.12.2022 (Auszählung aus dem Melderegister) (Hilfe dazu).
  2. ^ "Colera", The New York Times, 31 August 1871
  3. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Hamburg. "In 1619 ... it was agreed that, in consideration of a payment made for their protection, the Jews should be tolerated in the town as strangers, though they were not to be allowed to practise their religion publicly". "In 1648 the council of aldermen issued an order expelling the German Jews ["Hochdeutsche Juden"] from the town. They moved to Altona, and were required to pay a monthly tax". "In 1697 the freedom of religious practice which the congregation had obtained was disturbed by hostile edicts of the aldermen, and the Jews were extortionately taxed. On this account many of the rich and important Portuguese Jews left Hamburg, some of them laying the foundation of the Portuguese congregation of Altona." (Jewish Encyclopedia)
  4. ^ Lowenthal, Marvin (1977), The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln, New York: Shocken Books, pp. 5–10, ISBN 978-0-8052-0572-5
  5. ^ Verg, Erich; Verg, Martin (2007), Das Abenteuer das Hamburg heißt (in German) (4th ed.), Hamburg: Ellert&Richter, p. 158, ISBN 978-3-8319-0137-1
  6. ^ "Der "Altonaer Blutsonntag" 1932". Deutsches Historisches Museum (in German). 14 July 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  7. ^ "Back to the Axe!", Time, 14 August 1933, archived from the original on 16 May 2008, retrieved 14 August 2008
  8. ^ Stolpersteine in Hamburg |url= Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Act of the area organisation
  10. ^ Dodson, Sean (21 December 2001). "Hamburg with relish". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  11. ^ "Grüne Bezirkschefin in Hamburg: „Der Bezirk Altona ist ein gutes Abbild von Deutschland" - WELT". DIE WELT (in German). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  12. ^ Source: statistical office Nord of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein (2018)
  13. ^ Source: statistical office Nord of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein (2006)
  14. ^ Fock, Gustave; Hamburgs Anteil am Orgelbau im niederdeutschen Kulturgebiet (Hamburg's share in organ building in the Low German cultural area) 1939 p.369 (online)

General sources edit

External links edit