Foto: Lena Giovanazzi

History & Remembrance

The path to unity

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. In 2018, it will have been 28 years since the Wall came down and Berlin and Germany became united. But where and when did the Peaceful Revolution that led to the fall of the Wall begin? And what is the state of German unity today? With the help of a unique alliance of foundations, initiatives, museums and institutions, this year’s celebrations will take time to examine this rich history as part of a number of exhibitions, discussions and retrospective explorations at the original historical locations.

Berlin provides a unique stage to discuss the consequences of unity: the formerly divided city cultivates a strong culture of remembrance and debate, and to this day, the traces of German division are still very noticeable at many locations throughout the city. For this reason, a number of historical sites and city landmarks will be particularly spotlighted as part of this year’s celebrations: the Soviet War Memorial, the Platz des 18. März and, of course, the Brandenburg Gate.

An open air exhibition titled “Halbzeit 1989/90 – Berlin zwischen Mauerfall und Einheit”, (In transit 1989/90 – Berlin between the fall of the Wall and unification) will commemorate the initial phase of rapprochement after the Wall came down but before the two Germanys were reunited. The exhibition will be featured on 28 pillars along the boulevard known as Straße des 17. Juni. In the Geschichte & Erinnern (History & Remembrance) programme tent, which is jointly organized by a variety of different institutions, visitors can experience panel discussions and exciting talks with historical eyewitnesses. In the spirit of the culture of dialogue and discussion that took place during the Peaceful Revolution, a number of “Runde Tische” (roundtables) will provide spaces for lively debate on and off the stage – NUR MIT EUCH – ONLY WITH YOU!

100 Deutschmarks

Revolution and consumption

“What did you buy with the 100 Deutschmarks every East German citizen was given as a form of “Begrüßungsgeld” (welcome money) back then? The answers to this question, which is surprisingly rarely asked, are inevitably linked to a varied array of exciting and personal stories that reveal much about the relationship between East and West. / Photo exhibition spotlighting the “Wende” era immediately following the fall of the Wall

© 100DM

Berliner Forum für Geschichte and Gegenwart e. V. (Berlin Forum for Past and Present History)

Exhibition for children “Komm doch mal rüber!?” (“Come on over!”)

This non-profit organisation was founded in 1991 by historians and cultural scientists from East and West. It organises exhibitions and events exploring the Nazi era and post-war history, operates the “BlackBox Kalter Krieg” (Black Box Cold War) and develops reports on the history of the city. / Exhibition for children featuring interactive play stations, information on border crossing at the Berlin Wall

© bffg Kahl

Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung (Berlin State Agency for Civic Education)

Understand, Contribute, Change

Under the motto “understand, participate, change”, the Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung (Berlin State Agency for Civic Education) wants to encourage people to bring their own interests to bear on the democratic decision-making process. The team will provide different perspectives for debate and thus encourage participants to form their own opinions. / Information stand, panel discussion (“History” programme tent: 2 October, 4 pm)

© Berliner Landeszentrale für politische Bildung

Berliner Unterwelten e.V. – Berlin Underworlds

History you can touch

The organisation known as Berliner Unterwelten e. V. (Berlin Underworlds) researches and documents the historical connections involved in Berlin’s extensive underground history. Since 1997, experts and students from a variety of disciplines have been providing exciting tours and insights into the city’s underground history. / Information booth, discussions with experts, video presentations and photo display on Berlin’s hidden underground sites

© Berliner Unterwelten e.V. , Foto: Dietmar Arnold

berlinHistory App

The berlinHistory app is an open, localised platform for history that transforms Berlin into a digital museum and allows visitors to experience historical locations, events and buildings up-close and on-site. The result is a portal for history where all institutions can showcase their historical themes and make them available to the general public. / App presentation, discussion with eyewitnesses (“History” programme tent: 1 October, 6:45 pm), video interviews with visitors

© berlinHistory e.V.

Bundesarchiv – Federal Archives

Authentic sources of our common history

Files, maps, images, posters, films and sounds in both analogue and digital form – Germany’s Bundesarchiv is the central national archive charged with ensuring the preservation and transmission of recent history, while also making it accessible to the general public and enabling a unique view of our common German past. / Information stand, theme portal “25 Jahre Wiedervereinigung” (25th anniversary of reunification), historical films, documents, images and posters on currently discussed historical-political themes

Foto: Juergen Nobel

Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung – Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation

Willy Brandt: Paving the way for unification

This foundation was launched in 1994 to commemorate the life and political achievements of statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Willy Brandt – by means of research projects, an event and education programme as well as exhibitions at the Forum Willy Brandt Berlin and the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Lübeck. / Discussion with eyewitnesses (“History” programme tent: 3 October, 2:30 pm), German unification quiz, digital discovery station and other participatory activities

© Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung

Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung – Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany

A mandate to remember

This foundation fosters the ongoing examination of the causes and consequences of the communist dictatorship in the Soviet-occupied zones and the GDR as well as the division of Germany and Europe. Its goal is to overcome the consequences of this historical division and to strengthen anti-totalitarian consensus in society. / Exhibition presentation “Voll der Osten” and excerpts from other exhibitions, discussions with historical eyewitnesses (“History” programme tent: 3 October, 3:15 pm), “Mauerspiel” (Berlin Wall game), quiz

Foto: OSTKREUZ/Harald Hauswald

Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (BPB) – Federal Agency for Civic Education

Strengthen democracy – Foster civil society

Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education supports all citizens interested exploring the realm of politics and civil society. Its goal is to foster understanding for political issues, strengthen democratic awareness and encourage participation in the political process. / Information stand, podium discussion (“History” tent: 3 October, 1:30 pm)

© bpb

DDR Museum – GDR Museum

Live and interactive history

Berlin’s DDR Museum takes a look at everyday life in the former East Germany (GDR), including the Berlin Wall and the Stasi state security forces. Visitors are invited to expand their knowledge and experience history up-close. Authentic original objects and interactive installations await. / Information stand, original pieces of the Berlin Wall, arts and crafts programme for children exploring the subject of borders and freedom of travel

© DDR Museum

Deutsche Gesellschaft e. V.

We place a high value on FREEDOM and UNITY.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft e. V. was the first pan-German association to be founded after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since that day in January 1990, they have continued to organise over 700 events each year in Germany and Europe combining issues of contemporary history with current socio-political debates./ Information stand, quizzes, discussions with historical eyewitnesses (“History” tent: 2 October, 3:15 pm)

© Deutsche Gesellschaft e. V.

Deutsches Historisches Museum – German Historical Museum

German history from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Berlin Wall

Located in the heart of Berlin, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) showcases 1,500 years of German history from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Berlin Wall. With its changing exhibitions on socially relevant issues, it sees its task as the strengthening of street ability to make informed historical and political judgments. / Information stand, interactive stations on the post-war history of the two Germanys and the theme of “unification”

Foto: Thomas Bruns

Deutsches Spionagemuseum – German Spy Museum

Forms of Stasi surveillance

Located in the very heart of the “capital of spies”, this museum showcases various methods of espionage in a multimedia and interactive journey through time. At this year’s street festival, the museum will present the Barkas B 1000 van, which was nicknamed the “Lauschkeule” (eavesdropping cudgel) and used by the GDR’s Ministry for State Security (“Stasi”) to spy on its own citizens and others. / Information stand, Barkas B 1000, mini-laser tour of the Barkas van, panel discussion (“History” programme tent: 2 October, 6 pm)

© Deutsches Spionagemuseum

Deutsch-Russisches Museum – Museum of German-Russian History


Shared remembrance and mutual understanding

Located at the very site of the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht on 8 May 1945 in Berlin-Karlshorst, the museum allows these two former wartime enemies to join together to remember their common history. With a permanent exhibition and an accompanying programme, the museum is a site of remembrance, education and mutual understanding. / Information stand

© Deutsch-Russisches Museum

European Parliament

This time I’m going to vote! European elections 2019

The next European elections in Germany will take place on 26 May 2019. “This time I’m going to vote” is the motto of the information campaign designed to encourage all EU citizens to vote, while also offering advice on how to motivate family members, friends and acquaintances to vote. / Information stand, European election quiz, #diesmalwähleich events

Foto: Bernhard Ludewig

Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen – Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial & Museum

Experiencing and understanding history

The Hohenschönhausen memorial and museum is located in the former central prison complex operated by the Stasi (the GDR’s state security forces) and provides information about the history of the site. Former prisoners take visitors on tours through the cells and interrogations rooms in which tens of thousands of political prisoners were detained from 1945 to 1989. / Information stand, discussions with historical eyewitnesses, original Stasi prisoner transport vehicles, VR glasses, quiz

Foto: Weber

Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten – Foundation of Memorials in Saxony

Sites of memory and remembrance in Saxony

This foundation fosters a commitment to human rights and democracy and remembers the victims of the Nazi era and communist dictatorship in Germany. Authentic historical locations of various crimes and injustices in the Free State of Saxony function as sites of political-historical education. / Information stand and other activities

© Stiftung Sächsiche Gedenkstätte

Stiftung Berliner Mauer – Berlin Wall Foundation

Historical sites and authentic traces of history

The Berlin Wall Foundation documents and portrays the history of the Berlin Wall and the many attempts to escape from the former East Germany (GDR). At four historical sites throughout Berlin, the foundation seeks to preserve the traces of the Wall and allows for a worthy commemoration of the victims of communist tyranny. / Information stand, photo exhibition “28|28 Jahre Berlin mit und ohne Mauer” (28|28 Years of Berlin with and without the Wall) including interactive media terminals, memory games, crossword puzzles, panel discussions and talks with historical eyewitnesses (“History” programme tent: 1 October, 6 pm and 2 October, 2 pm)

Foto: Jürgen Hohmuth

Stiftung Gedenkstätten Sachsen-Anhalt – Foundation of Memorials in Saxony-Anhalt

Remembering as task, opportunity and challenge

This state foundation under public law comprises seven memorial sites at eight locations and counts among the most multifaceted institutions of historical-political education in Germany. In accordance with its mission to educate, the foundation works to foster freedom, democracy and tolerance. / Information stand, educational handouts

© Stiftung Gedenkstätten Sachsen-Anhalt

Konferenz der Landesbeauftragten – Conference of State Commissioners

Working through the legacy of the East German dictatorship

The body known as the Konferenz der Landesbeauftragten (Conference of State Commissioners) has been tasked with exploring and appraising the legacy of the East German dictatorship and with providing counsel to the victims of the communist East German regime. It represents the corresponding offices in the five former East German states and in Berlin. / Information stand, quiz on the history of the GDR, postcard mailings, consulting services for victims of the communist East German regime, discussions with historical eyewitnesses (“History” programme tent: 1 October, 3:30 pm, 2 October, 5:15 pm and 3 October, 12:45 pm and 6:30 pm)

visitberlin / about Berlin

The new official Berlin app

Anyone can recite facts and figures. But only ABOUT BERLIN provides you with lively short stories covering over 200 sites in Berlin, thus bringing history alive in surprising and exciting ways. The free app created by visitBerlin showcases hands-on contemporary history and gives visitors to Berlin a new look at the city. / Digital accompaniment to the exhibition “Halbzeit 1989 – 90. Berlin zwischen Mauerfall and Einheit” (In transit 1989/90 – Berlin between the fall of the Wall and unification)

“Stasi-Zentrale” (Stasi Headquarters) – Campus for Democracy

A site of repression, revolution and enlightenment

This building is the former headquarters of the GDR’s Ministry for State Security (Stasi). Today, it is an information site covering the themes of dictatorship and resistance. Presented here under the joint heading “Campus for Democracy” are the Stasi Museum, the Robert Havemann Society and the Stasi Archive. / Information stand, advice on gaining access to Stasi files, street discussions, exhibition, panel discussion (“History” programme tent: 1 October, 4:15 pm, 2 October, 6 pm and 3 October, 4 pm)

Foto: John Steer
Foto: John Steer

Stasi Museum

At “Haus 1” of Stasi Headquarters

The citizen activist association ASTAK has been operating a memorial designed to provide information on the former East Germany’s state security forces or “Stasi” since 1990. The centrepiece at this historical site is the office floor belonging to Erich Mielke – the last head of the Stasi –, which has been preserved in its original state.

Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft – Robert Havemann Society

The Robert Havemann Society, founded in November 1990, is the body responsible for the “Archiv der DDR-Opposition” (Archive of opposition to the GDR). It documents and communicates the history and experiences of opposition and resistance against the communist dictatorship in the former East Germany.

Stasi-Unterlagen-Archiv – Stasi Archives

The archives of the Federal Commissioner for Stasi Documents at the Berlin head offices as well as in twelve branch offices in the federal states of the former GDR are responsible for safely storing, rendering useable and making available all documents of the former GDR’s Ministry of State Security (“Stasi”) from 1950 to 1989.

Religion and History

Different worldviews and faith-related initiatives will showcase their work in a joint tent focusing on the common theme of water. / Information stand and discussion sessions

Foto: Klemens Renner
© Erzbistum Berlin
Foto: Joachim Fisahn

Berliner Forum der Religionen – Berlin Forum of Religions

Respect – Dialogue – Cohesion

Individuals drawn from over one hundred different religious communities, inter-religious associations and spiritual groups have been working together since March 2014 as part of the Berliner Forum der Religionen (Berlin Forum of Religions). Through dialogue and project work, these individuals seek to bring the constructive potential of religion to the realm of civil society.

Erzbistum Berlin – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin

Diversity and contrasts

More than 410,000 Catholics contribute every day to the diversity of Catholic life in Berlin, Brandenburg and Western Pomerania. The 17 German-speaking communities of the second largest dioceses in Germany (in terms of geographical size) are enriched by newcomers from all over the world. A decades-old tradition since 1930 combined with the diversity of modern Berlin.

Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-Schlesische Oberlausitz – Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia

Committed to freedom

Twenty-nine years ago, a large number of brave citizens took a stand for democracy and freedom in the churches and communities of the former East Germany. Today, roughly 980,670 Protestant Christians are members of the regional church known as the Evangelische Kirche Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz (Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia).

Humanistischer Verband Berlin-Brandenburg – Berlin-Brandenburg Humanist Association

In service of reason and humanity

As a community of people holding similar worldviews, this association represents the interests and rights of individuals not subscribing to any religion with regard to the state and society. The members of the association are committed to achieving a more humane society based on tolerance, personal freedom and social responsibility.

Ökumenischer Rat Berlin-Brandenburg – Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg

Diversity as a mission

At the Ökumenischer Rat Berlin-Brandenburg (Ecumenical Council Berlin-Brandenburg), 32 member churches of different persuasions work together to foster the Christian faith. The council offers its members a unique meeting place to reflect on and discuss issues together as well as to organise joint actions and celebrate religious services together.

Stiftung House of One Bet- and Lehrhaus Berlin – The House of One Foundation

Three religions. One house

Jews, Christians and Muslims under one roof – the House of One thrives on this coexistence every day. Together, the three religious communities have created a space that will house a synagogue, a church and a mosque. It’s a model for the peaceful communion of religious thought beyond all difference.

Program overview