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The Berlin Palace, for centuries the seat of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was transformed into a multifaceted public space during the Weimar Republic. The palace became a cultural and scientific center - a place of learning, study and social interaction in museums, institutes and charitable institutions. After 1933, this social openness and cultural diversity was destroyed by the Nazi dictatorship; the building was severely damaged in the war and finally demolished by the GDR leadership.

Ostfassade Humboldt Forum
Ostfassade Humboldt Forum © Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, Foto: Alexander Schippel

The short phase of civil society appropriation of a place of power of the monarchy by the young democracy is little known. It offers an opportunity to reflect on how architectures can be filled with new content and uses and made fruitful for a changing society, despite their symbolic aura having become questionable. It is also illuminating to look at other examples, such as the Palace of Culture in Warsaw, and also to look back at the Palace of the Republic and the interim cultural use shortly before its demolition.

Join us and our guests Christian Walter, Agnieszka Pufelska, Philipp Oswalt and Chana Schuetz for a discussion.


Philipp Oswalt has been professor of architectural theory and design at the University of Kassel since 2006.1988-1994 editor of the architectural journal Arch+, 1996/97 collaborator in the office OMA/ Rem Koolhaas, co-director of the European research project "Urban Catalyst" 2001 - 2003. co-initiator and co-curator of the cultural interim use of the Palace of the Republic. ZwischenPalastNutzung/ Volkspalast 2004. director of the project Shrinking Cities of the Federal Cultural Foundation 2002-2008. 2009 - 2014 director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Co-initiator of Porjekt Bauhaus (2015-2019), the Future Stages Frankfurt initiative (2020) and the Garnisonkirche Potsdam learning site (2020).

Agnieszka Pufelska has been a research associate at the Nordost-Institut (IKGN e. V.) at the University of Hamburg in Lüneburg since April 2016. Studied German language and literature, cultural studies and history at Viadrina University in Frankfurt an der Oder and Tel Aviv University/Israel. Dissertation 2005 in Cultural Studies on Polish anti-Semitism during World War II and 2015 Habilitation in Modern History at the University of Potsdam with the thesis "Der bessere Nachbar? The Polish Image of Prussia in the Age of Enlightenment (1764-1806)".

Chana Schütz is an art historian, Bachelor of Arts at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and PhD at the University of Bonn. Until 2022 head of collection, curator and head of the scientific department of the Foundation New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum. Publications on Jewish history in Berlin, on Max Liebermann, Lesser Ury, Hannah Arendt and Beatrice Zweig, on cultural transfer between Germany and Israel and on questions of restitution of cultural property.  Exhibition curator and (co-)editor of, among others, Berlin lebt auf! The photojournalist Eva Kemlein 1909-2004, 2016.

Christian Walther, born in 1956, is a freelance journalist for the press, radio and television, especially for the Berliner Abendschau. A graduate in political science, he was press spokesman for Freie Universität, the Senate Department for Education, Science and Research, and the Leibniz Association. He is the author of the biography "Ein Freund, ein guter Freund | Robert Gilbert - Lieddichter zwischen Schlager und Weltrevolution" and the book "Des Kaisers Nachmieter - Das Berliner Schloss zwischen Revolution und Abriss".

- 5,00 EUR / 2,50 EUR reduced
- Language: German
- Venue: Humboldt Forum, room 3, ground floor
- Wheelchair accessible
- Belongs to: Series ORTS-Termin

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Humboldt Forum: Saal 3