Geesthacht (geːstˈhaxt) is the largest city in the District of the Duchy of Lauenburg (Herzogtum Lauenburg) in Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany, 34 km southeast of Hamburg on the banks of the River Elbe.
- Around 800: A church is documented.
- 1216: First documentary mention of the settlement as Hachede.
- A change in the course of the Elbe cuts the settlement into two: Geesthacht and Marschacht (in Lower Saxony).
- 1420: Geesthacht is ceded to the Hanseatic cities Hamburg and Lübeck in the Peace of Perleberg.
- 1865/66: The Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel establishes a glycerin factory in Geesthacht (on Krümmel hill) and invents dynamite. Krümmel becomes the first dynamite factory in the world.
- 1906: Opening of the Bergedorf-Geesthachter Railway(BGE).
- 1918-1933: Geesthacht is a hotbed of radical leftist parties (USPD, KPD and SAPD) and acquires the nickname Little Moscow.
- 1924: Granted municipal rights by the Hamburg City order of 2 January.
- 1928: Destruction of the historical town centre by a fire.
- 1937: In the context of the territorial reorganization of the State of Hamburg, Geesthacht is transferred to the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein and the administrative district (Kreis) of Duchy of Lauenburg.
- 1953: Suspension of passenger service on the Bergedorf-Geesthachter Eisenbahn (a railway line).
At present, the city council is composed as follows:
Economics and transportation
Geesthacht is a major energy and scientific research center. It has the Krümmel Nuclear Power Plant
, a boiling water nuclear reactor
on the River Elbe, and a pumped storage
hydroelectrical plant situated within a few hundreds metres of the nuclear power plant. It consists of an artificial lake 80m above the river, where the water is pumped up from, and storage for later use in generating electricity when demand is high.
Leisure and sports sites
- Open-air swimming pool at the Elbe
- Kleines Theater Schillerstrasse - small art meetings and cinema
- Krügersches Haus - a permanent exhibition relating the history of the city
The conservative politician Uwe Barschel, who was later involved in the "Waterkantgate" scandal, took his Abitur at the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Geesthacht and as a student representative invited former Nazi admiral Dönitz to give a presentation on the topic of 'The Modernisation of History Classes' ("Aktualisierung des Geschichtsunterrichts"). Following the scandal, his principal committed suicide under the ensuing pressure
- Heinz Bohlmann: Fäuste, Führer, Flüchtlingstrecks. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Städte Geesthacht und Lauenburg/Elbe 1930-1950. Schwarzenbeck 1990. ISBN 3-921595-15-0
- Bernhard Michael Menapace: "Klein-Moskau" wird braun: Geesthacht in der Endphase der Weimarer Republik (1928-1933). Kiel 1991. ISBN 3-89029-923-7
- August Ziehl: Geesthacht - 60 Jahre Arbeiterbewegung 1890-1950. Geesthacht 1958.