Hausbesetzungen 1980–1982 in Hilden: Möglichkeiten der Mikroforschung für die Protestgeschichte


  • Sebastian Haumann



Mikroforschung, Protestgeschichte, Hausbesetzung, Hilden, soziale Bewegung, Micro History, Protest History, Squatting, Social Movement


Research on the West German squatters’ movement during the early 1980s is still scarce and methodically limited to the analysis of media coverage. This article attempts to show how microhistorical methods can be employed to extend the scope of research on protest and new social movements. In the case studied here, the squatters’ movement in the town of Hilden, there are two results that can be extracted from such a mikrohistorical analysis. First, there are three distinguishable aspects: Protest against urban planning and innercity reconstruction, squats as reaction to the housing shortage, and the goal to constitute autonomous communities. The order of these aspects was not arbitrary but formed a sequence in relation to the squatters’ personal involvement and the escalation of the conflict. Second, the inconsistency of the authorities’ actions comes into focus. The difficulty to judge the squatters’ legitimate but illegal actions led to an instable and contradictory policy, which in turn affected the course of the conflict.