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AlliiertenMuseum / Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf, documenting the role of the Western forces (American, British and French) in Berlin and throughout Germany between 1945 and 1994.


DDR-Museum / GDR Museum in Berlin-Mitte, offering a ‘hands-on’ approach to everyday life in the GDR.


Deutsches Historisches Museum / German Historical Museum in Berlin-Mitte, with permanent exhibitions on Germany under Allied occupation, as well as on divided Germany and reunification.


Mauermuseum - Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie / Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin-Kreuzberg, documenting the history of the GDR’s border security system.


Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst / German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst looking at German-Soviet and German-Russian relations.


The Museum for Communication (Museum für Kommunikation) has digitalized 600 letters sent from East- to West-Germany between 1949 and 1990


Erinnerungsstätte Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde / Marienfelde Refugee Centre Museum in Berlin-Marienfelde, documenting flight and emigration in Germany between 1945 and 1990.


Website of the open air exhibition on the peaceful revolution at Alexanderplatz.


Stasimuseum (Forschungs- und Gedenkstätte Normannenstraße) / Stasi Museum in Berlin-Lichtenberg. Housed in the former headquarters of the Stasi, this museum focuses on the political system of the GDR.


The Story of Berlin Exhibition in Berlin-Charlottenburg, documenting 800 years of Berlin’s history. Part of the exhibition focuses on Berlin’s division and reunification.

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Elsewhere in Germany:



DDR Museum Zeitreise / GDR Museum in Dresden, looking at everyday life in the GDR.


Gedenkstätte Museum in der “Runden Ecke” / “Runde Ecke” Memorial Museum in Leipzig (and the Stasi Bunker Museum in Machern), looking at the Stasi’s function, methods and history in the GDR.


Villa Schöningen / Villa Schöningen Cold War Museum in Potsdam, documenting the story of the Glienicke Bridge during the Cold War.

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German only:


Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR / Documentation Centre on Everyday Life in the GDR in Eisenhüttenstadt. This museum focuses specifically on everyday culture and life, as well as the history of the GDR.


DDR Geschichtsmuseum im Dokumentationszentrum Perleberg / GDR History Museum at the Perleberg Documentation Centre in Perleberg, Brandenburg, looking at the GDR as a dictatorship, as well as aspects of everyday life.


Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland / House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, documenting German history from 1945 to present day.


Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig, documenting the history of dictatorship, protest and civil courage in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the GDR.


Filmmuseum “Kinder von Golzow” / “Children of Golzow” Film Museum in Golzow, Brandenburg, documenting the filming of Golzow primary school children in the GDR.


“Über die Ostsee in die Freiheit” travelling exhibition, looking at sea borders in the GDR and Baltic Sea refugees.


“Gegen das Vergessen” – Sammlung zur Geschichte der DDR / GDR Museum in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, with collections about specific institutions in the GDR, everyday life and culture, and the Berlin Wall.

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Border Museums/Monuments:

German only:


Website listing the principal museums and memorials linked to the Berlin Wall and the inner German border.


Website listing the main museums and memorials along the former inner German border, with some links, maps and pictures pre- and post-1989.


Elbbergmuseum, Boizenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommen – a site with a dual past as a part of a former transit control post in the GDR and a kitchen building of the Neuengamme concentration camp.



Das Brockenhaus, Sachsen-Anhalt, looking at the natural environment and history of Brocken. Housed in a former Soviet listening post, it documents Brocken’s role as part of the inner German border.


Deutsch- deutsches Freilandmuseum, Behrungen, Thüringen, comprised of original watchtowers, barriers, fences and bunkers.



Grenzlandmuseum Bad Sachsa, Niedersachsen devoted to the evolution of the inner German border in the southern Harz from 1945-1989. Display items include GDR medals, Stasi reports and a hot air balloon used in an escape attempt.



Housed in the Priesterkate, Büchen, Schleswig-Holstein this permanent exhibition looks at the history and impact of the inner German border, with a specific focus on border victim Michael Gartenschläger.


Grenzdenkmal Hötensleben, Sachsen-Anhalt – part of the Gedenkstätte Deutsche Teilung Marienborn.


Grenzdokumentations-Stätte Lübeck-Schlutup, Schleswig-Holstein depicting the border situation in Lübeck between 1961 and 1989. The website also has some original photos and personal experiences of the border.



Das Grenzhus, Schlagsdorf, Mecklenburg-Vorpommen looking at life on the inner German border in Schleswig-Holstein and the Schaalsee region.


Grenzlandmuseum Eichsfeld documenting the history of the inner German border at the former Duderstadt-Worbis border crossing. The museum’s particular focus is the impact of the border on the people and natural environment of the area.



“Swinmark” Grenzlandmuseum Göhr, Niedersachsen. Display items include GDR uniforms, vehicles, official records and documents, barriers and military weapons.


Grenzmuseum “Schifflersgrund“, Thüringen dedicated to Heinz-Josef Grosse and all other victims of the inner German border. Display items include home-made devices used to cross the border, original border fencing and military vehicles.


Freiland-Grenzmuseum, Sorge, Sachsen-Anhalt in memory of the inner German border along the Green Belt.



Zonengrenz-Museum Helmstedt, Niedersachsen documenting the history of the inner German border around Helmstedt.


Deutsch-Deutsches Museum Mödlareuth, Bayern/Thüringen looking at German’s division between 1944 and 1990 and how this affected “Little Berlin”. The museum’s particular focus is on barriers, forced expulsion, border crossing, escape attempts, everyday life on the border, as well as history of the peaceful revolution and reunification.



Landwirtschaftliches Museum Böckwitz, looking at the inner German border and the division of the villages of Böckwitz and Zicherie.


Museum für Grenzgänger, Bad Königshofen im Grabfeld, Bayern looking specifically at the people of Grabfeld and their experiences with the border.


Grenzlandmuseum Schnackenburg, Niedersachsen. Display items include uniforms and equipment of GDR border guards, as well as those of West German customs officers and officials. The Gedenk- und Begegenungsstätte Stresow, Sachsen-Anhalt also belongs to the museum.



Gedenkstätte Point Alpha, Geisa, Thüringen dedicated to the development and history of the US Point Alpha Observation Post, as well as the construction of border sites, military procedures and people’s life on and with the inner German border.


Gedenkstätte Deutsche Teilung Marienborn dedicated to the preservation of the former Helmstedt-Marienborn border crossing. This memorial site has a permanent exhibition looking at the history of the Marienborn border site, as well as temporary exhibitions on the inner German border and Germany’s division and reunification.

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Secondary literature on museums and the GDR


Printable PDF-version of the bibliography


Berdahl, Daphne, ‘Expressions of Experience and Experiences of Expression: Museum Re-Presentations of GDR History’, in On the Social Life of Postsocialism: Memory, Consumption, Germany (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010) pp. 112-122

Dokumentationszentrum Alltagskultur der DDR, Fortschritt, Norm und Eigensinn: Erkundungen im Alltag der DDR (Berlin: Ch. Links, 1999)

Faulenbach, Bernd, and Franz J. Jelich, eds, Probleme der Musealisierung der doppelten deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte: Dokumentation einer Tagung des Forschungsinstitut für Arbeiterbildung und der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (Essen: Klartext, 1993)

Flügel, Ernst, ed., Musealisierung der DDR?: 40 Jahre als kulturhistorische Herausforderung (Bonn: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 1992)

Huyssen, Andreas, ‘Monumental Seduction’, in Act of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present, ed. by Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe and Leo Spitzer (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1999), pp. 191-206

Hwang, Brianne, ‘Constructing the Communist Other: A Comparative Study of Museum Representations of Communism’ (unpublished master’s thesis, Central European University, 2009) http://www.etd.ceu.hu/2009/hwang_brianne.pdf

Knigge, Volkhard, and Ulrich Mählert, eds, Der Kommunismus im Museum: Formen der Auseinandersetzung in Deutschland und Ostmitteleuropa (Cologne: Böhlau, 2005)

Kuhn, Gerd, and Andreas Ludwig, Alltag und soziales Gedächtnis: die DDR-Objektkultur und ihre Musealisierung (Hamburg: Ergebnisse Verlag, 1997)

Ludwig, Andreas, ‘Discursive Logics in the Material Presentation of East German History. Exhibitions and History “Ten Years After”’, paper given at the conference Ten Years After – German Unification, held at the University of Michigan, 2 Dec 1999, http://www.unibg.it/dati/corsi/44005/34842-10736-History%20of%20GDR%20in%20museums%20and%20exibitions.pdf

Rückel, Robert, ed., DDR-Führer: Alltag eines vergangenen Staates in 22 Kapiteln (Berlin: DDR-Museum-Verlag, 2009)

Schöne, Anja, Alltagskultur im Museum: Zwischen Anspruch und Realität (Münster: Waxmann, 1998)

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