“Freedom” Exhibition“


The ability to participate in democratic elections, to express one’s opinion without fear and not to be trapped behind a wall; “Freedoms” – of a very personal, individual nature and at the same time in terms of the broader social context – were what drove the people of the GDR to take to the streets in 1989. 

The exhibition, whose inherent concept is that of an interactive meeting place and communicative discussion space, invites visitors to continue the discussion of freedom. It displays the “restrictions” on freedom imposed by the SED dictatorship in terms of objects, documents and photographs and relates them to diverse perceptions of freedom. All this creates the comprehensive backdrop against which the events of 1989 are illustrated. The intent of a multi-visual display of media quotations from 1989 is to have the dynamics and drama, the emotions, fears and hopes of the revolution year become tangible. On one hand for a new generation for whom dictatorship and the fall of the wall are already part of history, of which there is frequently far too little awareness. On the other hand, for the generation of contemporary witnesses who lived through the 1989/90 era, and who may have had a hand in shaping it in one way or the other, as an opportunity for remembrance and reflection. 

The point of departure for the installation idea and the creative development of a performance space in the exhibit is that of the private space. The private apartment conceived of as a public discussion space – as a public sphere in a dictatorship. Here is where the resistance movements began, not only in the GDR, but all across Eastern Europe, that ultimately contributed to the overthrow of dictatorships that played out on the street in 1989. This is where the opponents of state socialism met and discussed the paths to freedom and the opportunities for the turning point towards democracy (“die Wende”).

Room quotations originating in the era of the GDR living rooms therefore refer to the documents and objects and serve as a showcase and information medium. Through the dimensions of multi-vision, a central seating ensemble becomes a media installation and enables groups to jointly experience grappling with the first peaceful revolution on German soil, as if in their own living rooms. This play on the public aspect in a private environment also opens up the emotional space for recollection of and confrontation with a historically unique period that still significantly influences and changes all our lives. It is an era that must not be allowed to sink into oblivion. 

The “Freedoms” exhibition in the “House on the Border” (Point Alpha Memorial) is a permanent exhibition for visitors to experience.