Die Historiale im Jahr 2010 widmet sich den Zwanziger Jahren. Heute hatten wir dazu eine Besprechung. Solche Kostüme wird es geben — aber wir möchten auch gern eine Sitzung des Reichstags im Jahr 1924 nachstellen, und zwar im Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin.
Berlin Wall before, after fall
captured in photography
A traveling exhibit commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, by Helene Harder, Los Angeles
“Horst Weinke” is part of the Freedom Without Walls exhibition. These images were taken 25 years apart (1984 and 2007) and feature the same coal miner. Freedom Without Walls celebrates the 20th anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The world watched the Berlin Wall crumble, opening the border crossings between the western and eastern parts of the city on Nov. 9, 1989. After 20 years, students can still experience the fall, only now through photographs.
The exhibition “Berlin Kreuzberg SO36,” named after a former postal code in Berlin, is currently on display at Cal State Long Beach. It is a part of the nationwide “Freedom Without Walls” campus initiative created by the German Embassy to remember the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In the exhibit, scenes of life in Kreuzberg are shown through before-and-after photographs taken in 1982 and 2006 by Hamburg-based photographer Peter Frischmuth. The wall was built in 1961.
“Comparing these two series of images demonstrates not only what has changed over time, but also what has remained constant,” said Nele Hempel-Lamer, event organizer and associate professor of German.
Many students, such as Amanda Poffinbarger, a senior political science major, attended the exhibition opening. Her uncle was a soldier based in the American sector of divided Germany at the time and her aunt is German.
“I look at these pictures from a personal point of view because some of my relatives are German,” Poffinbarger said. “Even if the wall does not exist anymore, it still affects people in an emotional way, especially in Germany — it seems in some pictures, there is still separation between people.”
Wolfgang Drautz, council general of the Federal Republic of Germany, said he wants the exhibit to encourage young Americans’ curiosity.
“We want to connect Americans and Germans, especially to make Americans interested in modern German history since 1989,” he said. “The federation would not have happened without America’s help. Thus, there is an amicable relationship between our countries, and we want to see it grow.”
Martin Düspohl, director of the Kreuzberg Museum, summarized the message of the exhibition.
“Berlin has changed since the fall of the wall, but it wouldn’t be right to forget the past,” he said. “The pictures show both the past and the present, and create emotional congress between Americans and Germans.”
This message has already extended beyond student circles. For example, actor David Hasselhoff recently expressed interest in visiting Berlin for the 20th anniversary.
The traveling exhibition has already been shown in New York, Toronto, Montreal and San Francisco and will soon move on to Atlanta and Miami. There also will be a second version of the display exhibiting in Ecuador and a third exhibition in Moscow.