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Open since the spring of 2016, you can relive the history of the Wall at the East Side Gallery. The innovative displays of facts and events are presented in 13 rooms about the Berlin Wall. Various audio and video installations, as well as interactive stalls give a concrete, immediate impression of the turbulent events around this border stronghold. The reasons for the rise and fall of the Wall are vividly brought to life in the exhibition making use of contemporary reports and historic source material.
Multimedia reconstruction of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Until 1989, this is still a restricted zone: watchtowers, automatic rifles, and the so-called "anti-fascist protection wall" sealed off the Friedrichshain section of the river Spree in the German Democratic Republic. After the turn of the century, international artists paint the Mühlenstraße section of the wall. It is the canvas for world famous works such as the Brother Kiss between Brezhnev and Honecker. Directly behind this is an old mill storage. Politicians and international experts such as Michail Gorbatschow and Guido Kane push to establish a private museum here on the 25th anniversary of reunification. In 2016, the East Side Gallery Museum opens its doors. The exhibition is a deliberate multimedia space. You can see video excerpts and interviews with involved entrants including, among others, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Helmut Kohl and Michail Gorbatschow. Through 13 different rooms, the museum focuses on what you should know about the Wall. This begins with the end of the Second World War and continues in 1961: In an original film, see how workers build the Wall. A concrete mixer, barbed wire and original elements of the Wall add to the atmosphere of these moving images. Witnesses and written information report on victims of border shootings, Willy Brandt's Neue Ostpolitik (new Eastern policy) and the situations caused by the division. The museum links reflections of the Cold War with art: works by Keith Haring, Pink Floyd's epic music drama "The Wall" and the song "Wind of Change" by the Scorpions are part of the multimedia concept.
Interactive history of the Wall: the highlights
- Multi-media information booths document the building of the Wall with witness interviews.
- Balcony overlooking the Spree and accounts of drowned refugee children.
- Video clips of interviews with key figures of the period such as Helmut Kohl, Hans Dietrich Genscher and Mikhail Gorbachev.
- Wall elements from 1961, concrete mixers and barbed wire as an installation.
- East German living room from the time of the construction of the wall.
More about divided Germany: Mauermuseum and Black Box
If you want to learn more about East Germany and the division, the Mauermuseum is the right place. The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie opens its doors in 1963. The exhibition shows original escape vehicles, hot-air balloons and mini-submarines. The museum regularly organises readings and panel discussions. You can also visit the Black Box: 16 media stations and a small cinema show films about the Cold War. The topic is not only the construction of the Wall, but also East/West confrontations like the Cuban Missile Crisis and more.
Our recommendations for your visit
The U1 is the easiest way to get to The Wall Museum. From Schlesisches Tor, it is just a short walk over the Spree via the Oberbaumbrücke. Alternatively, Warschauer Straße station is accessible on S-Bahn lines S5, S7, and S75 or tram number 10. From here it is approximately 500 metres to the museum. The exhibition is open on Mondays. Admission is free for children under 7. Please book tours by telephone.