When the University of Hamburg was founded in 1919 as the first university in the new, democratic post-war Germany, it was faced with a difficult legacy. For its direct predecessor was the Hamburg Colonial Institute, a institution founded in 1909, which, after years of massacres, uprisings and genocide, was supposed to “scientifically analyze” colonialism. Both science and colonialism are children of the 19th century, who for decades could not imagine themselves without each other. The collecting, observing, registering, mapping, ordering and hierarchizing of science has always been a technique of domination without which colonialism could never have exercised its power. At the same time, science was also dependent on colonialism, in that it opened up a world to scientists that had previously been inaccessible to them. Until the 1960s, the University of Hamburg still saw itself as a ‘colonial university’. This legacy of colonialism was difficult to discard. The essay film therefore sets out to search for the traces of colonialism in science and the University of Hamburg.