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The independent women's movement in the GDR

“Together we are unbearable” is the slogan on a postcard from Lesbians in the Church, a group that was founded in East Berlin in 1982. This slogan refers to two crucial moments in women's history in the GDR: women come together and act as a group in the long term.

And they name uncomfortable topics that are kept quiet in society, in their organizations and in families - in short: something unbearable. Whether sexual violence against women and girls or abortion, tenderness between women or alternative ways of life, war toys in kindergartens, the devaluation of people defined as female in school textbooks or the danger of nuclear radiation - women discussed these and other topics among themselves in the last decade of the GDR. They develop common positions on this and represent them externally.

It is a small minority of women in the GDR who add underground political activity to their busy everyday lives, including the second shift after work. In a dictatorship, such a decision inevitably brings with it reprisals. The women don't let this stop them, but this decision is more than astonishing given the time resources they have available.

The exhibition was created to fill the women's political void in the dominant narrative about the GDR civil movement and the Peaceful Revolution. It honors the long-forgotten activist commitment of the actors in this movement. An exhibition catalog will be published accompanying the exhibition, which will provide additional source material. Historians introduce the topic and make current references, contemporary witnesses look back and reflect on the legacy of this movement for the present.