The newly opened THE WALL MUSEUM AT EAST SIDE GALLERY is located at the southern end of the famous East Side Gallery in a former warehouse building, the Mühlenspeicher, next to the Oberbaumbrücke off the Spree river.
The exciting, multimedia exhibit spreads across thirteen staged rooms.
Using more than one hundred screens, projectors and interactive displays, the exhibit guides visitors from the end of WW II to the division of Germany and Ulbricht’s (then East Germany’s leader) famous quip „nobody has the intention to build a Wall“ straight into the brutal realities of the Wall and its construction, with concrete mixers, barbed wires and the first, original Wall elements. The exhibit uses film interviews with victims, who had to leave their apartments with just a few hours’ notice, as well as testimonies by border patrol guards, who dislodged people and were shooting at those trying to cross the Wall.
The exhibit tells the stories of how the Wall changed people’s lives.
It recounts how people tried to cross it and were shot; it explains the sophisticated “death zone” along the Wall and presents the different perspectives from both East and West by using authentic news reels from the 1960s.
Visitors learn about the political background and decisive moments leading to the fall of the Wall and German re-unification; among these are the free departure of the East German refugees in the West German embassy in Prague on September 30 1989 as well as the ensuing and decisive “Monday demonstration” in Leipzig on October 9 1989.
The exhibit also honors the victims, who were killed at the Wall between August 13th 1961 and November 9th 1989; among the stories told on a balcony overlooking the river Spree are the fates of the children who drowned in the river off today’s East Side Gallery, then a part of the Iron Curtain.
Last but not least, the museum also features artist involvement with the wall, from Keith Haring and Roger Waters’ “The Wall” to “The Wind of Change” by the Scorpions and Leonardo DiCaprio as a teenager trying to push down the wall in 1988 in a humorous photo snapshot by his German grandmother.