Berlin ready to celebrate end of WWII and Reunification

Berlin city of events. City of culture. Indeed, visitors who come to Berlin from all over the world have about 1,500 events to choose from — every day.

Berlin panorama by Wolfgang Scholvien Photograph
Berlin panorama by Wolfgang Scholvien Photograph

The interplay of its eventful history and a vibrant creative scene which reinvents itself on a daily basis makes Berlin a fascinating and unique cultural metropolis: world-renowned museums and avant-garde galleries, virtuoso orchestras and electro beats, prominent theatres and open-air acts – every day in Berlin is an event!

2015 will focus on two major anniversaries: seventy years from the end of World War II and 25 years from the re-unification of the two Germanies born out of the conflict.

It was april 1945 when the Soviet tanks rolled over what was left of Berlin, till the former Hitler’s capital city finally surrendered on the 8th of May 1945. It was the end of the Nazi nightmare in Europe, of a 6-year long war which had cost the lives of millions of victims and brought a previously unknown degree of destruction. War and occupation, crimes, expulsions and forced resettlement had left a lasting mark on the countries and populations. The consequences can still be felt on a political, social and individual level. Today’s Europe cannot be understood without knowledge of the events of the war as well as the phase that followed the war and the end of the Nazi terror.

dhmTo mark the event of the 70th anniversary of the German capitulation, Berlin’s German History Museum will take a look at Germany and eleven other countries in the aftermath of the war with an exhibition titled “Defeat. Liberation. New Beginnings”. Open from 24 April to 25 October, the exhibition will focus on a snapshot of Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the Soviet Union for a 5-year span of time, from the end of the Second World War until 1950.

Side by side, liberation and the end of the war as well as the immediate consequences for the inhabitants of these countries are pointed out — without comparing or relativizing what they experienced and suffered. Political and social developments are examined and an impression is conveyed of the everyday life of those who went through this time of upheaval. 36 individual biographies are featured to illustrate the complexity of what happened during this time.

Reunification will be celebrated by another exhibition at the German History Museum – in cooperation with the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam, May 28 through January 3, 2016.

“Unification. German society in transition” will focus on the everyday life in the union and the experiences of the people, the transformation of the entire political, economic, social and cultural structure of society in the former GDR as well as the concomitant changes in the old Federal Republic.

After four decades of division East Germans and West Germans suddenly encountered each other in their everyday lives. This revealed social and cultural differences in the two societies. Reunification demanded enormous efforts of adjustment and integration from the people in the eastern part of the country. They had to adapt to dramatic changes in their entire social environment and personal world within a relatively short period of time. Conflicts and deep social incisions accompanied the social transformation.

From modifications in the language to dramatic changes at the workplace, from altered consumer habits to the different ways East and West Germans perceive each other, together with the cultural awakening experienced after the fall of the Wall, the exhibition gives insight into the world of everyday life, culture and experience in “German-German” society during its time of transition in the first half of the 1990s.

For all informations on events in Berlin, please refer to VisitBerlin website.


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