The Cold War Museum in Berlin: for some visitors it brings back memories, for others it is a multi-faceted discovery tour into the history of Berlin, Europe and the whole world.
Life experience for some, new territory for others
Even the entrance area clearly shows visitors what this is all about:
Those who want to immerse themselves in the international history of the Cold War first look at a high Iron Curtain, from which the portraits of the great political players of the 20th century look out: Harry S. Truman, Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, Nikita Khrushchev, Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl. And off we go, on a journey through time that the whole family can take together: Grandparents who still remember the many threatening moments of the Cold War, parents who grew up during the Cold War, students or pupils for whom the subject is exciting new territory.
Touch Screens und 3-D-Virtual-Reality
The Cold War epoch, which lasted about forty years, shaped Berlin and affected the whole world. It is a challenge to penetrate this period in all its complexity. The Cold War Museum offers inspiration and attraction in equal measure: it motivates visitors to delve deeper into the history of the Cold War and aims to arouse enthusiasm for history. Modern technology and digital information are used for this purpose:
Visitors can be guided through the two floors of the building via a QR code on their smartphone and watch historical footage and documentaries on numerous screens.
A virtual reality installation brings the world-famous "Leap to the West" by GDR border guard Conrad Schumann to life, and visitors can experience the escape over the barbed wire in the summer of 1961 from three perspectives.
Also on display are original exhibits from the Cold War era and recreated iconic objects: for example, a Soviet anti-aircraft missile from the 1950s or the historic control stick of the Apollo rocket from the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission.
It is not always immediately obvious what the objects are: All the more consternation is caused, for example, by an original self-firing device: one of many that were installed on the Wall and triggered deadly shots over a distance of 180 metres. Just like another large object that floats freely between the first and first floors: a faithful replica of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.
The great themes of the Cold War: digital immersion
The Cold War dominated the entire world from the end of the Second World War and the reorganisation of world powers in 1945 to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was felt in the most diverse facets - whether it was the arms race and the global nuclear threat or the struggle for supremacy in space travel, whether it was the Olympic Games or the airlift to Berlin.
At the theme islands spread over two floors, teenagers, young adults and anyone interested can immerse themselves digitally in the respective theme. And above all, they can decide for themselves how deeply: dynamic scenes on large screens herald the respective theme, and here everyone can experience the great historical moments: The moon landing, sporting highlights, Fidel Castro smoking Puro in the most dangerous moments of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Right next to it, visitors can then immerse themselves in the historical background and details on the numerous monitors, call up chronological timelines, contemporary documentary film material, photos, animations and eyewitness videos.
Thematic areas in the Cold War Museum
- Block formation
- Peace Movement
- Civil defence
- Cuban Missile Crisis
- Weapons Systems
- Space Race
- Peaceful competition
- Proxy wars
Inspiration for school classes
The complexity of the Cold War theme is often neglected in schools' teaching material. The Cold War Museum as an attraction can inspire, animate and trigger deeper interest. Pupils can each choose a topic island, enter it digitally via their smartphone and, above all, transfer digital material to school and present it there.
Two-hour time slot tickets are offered online for your visit.
The virtual reality installation "Leap into the West" is an additional offer that can be booked as well.
When booking group tickets for 10 or more people, two accompanying persons receive free admission.
You can reach the Cold War Museum comfortably by underground line 5 and get off at Unter den Linden station.
More culture in the area
You are in Berlin's new cultural heart. The magnificent boulevard Unter den Linden is just a stone's throw away from the most important sites in Berlin's historic centre: A short walk away is the world-renowned Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Museum Island also contains the Berliner Dom, opposite which is the Humboldt Forum, where you can learn all about African and Asian cultures at the Asian Art Museum and Ethnological Museum. From here you can take the Museum Line, U-Bahn U5, for a quick and accessible tour of other sites.
Or stroll down Unter den Linden to Brandenburg Gate , stopping along the way at one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares, the Gendarmenmarkt. Don’t forget to check out the many memorials on the way – Berlin is the sculpture capital, after all!
Monday to Sunday 10.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.