Mikhail Gorbachev had announced the founding of the museum on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie in November 2014 in Berlin. A part of the museum is dedicated to him, as he is considered the trigger and guarantor of change and a peaceful revolution.

In addition to Prof. Dr. Guido Knopp, advisors to the exhibition include documentary filmmakers Jürgen and Daniel Ast and the late doyen of German historical research, Dr. Gerhard Ritter.

From the end of World War 2 to the division of Germany and Ulbricht’s statement “Nobody has the intention to build a wall”, the exhibition shows why and how the wall was built – and how Germans in East and West suffered as a result; partly illustrated with concrete mixers, barbed wire and the first wall elements. The content focuses on interviews with contemporary witnesses, including residents of Bernauer Strasse (who were forced to vacate their apartments in a matter of hours) and people who served in the border regime, evicted residents and shot Wall refugees. The museum tells how the wall changed people’s lives.

In addition to the historical facts and the exciting portrayal of the events, the book also takes a look behind the scenes and at human actions, for example at the lively shuttle diplomacy of the then Federal Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher in the summer of 1989, who was to be taken out of office after his second heart attack, but then, against medical orders, initiated the opening of the “Iron Curtain” in Hungary on September 11, 1989, in secret talks with Hungary’s Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth and Foreign Minister Horn at Gymnich Castle with Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

The importance of the human component in world politics is illustrated in the exhibition by a defibrillator that Genscher and his doctors always carried with them in case his heart stopped again. Or how the German foreign minister pushed through the release of the Prague embassy refugees on the occasion of the UN General Assembly, hijacking a New York patrol car because his driving service was not on the spot: this was the last chance to reach his Russian counterpart Shevardnadze and, after two refusals, to convince him after all to give the green light in Prague.

How Genscher persuaded his interlocutors to find a solution with “the trains to freedom” as well as an emotional reference to the suffering small children in the Prague embassy, while the Prague embassy was on the verge of collapse, is both a political thriller and a masterpiece of diplomacy, which one can experience in an exciting way in the exhibition.

The museum also commemorates those who died at the Wall between August 13, 1961 and November 9, 1989. On a balcony overlooking the Spree River, the fate of the children who drowned in the river at this spot, not far from today’s “East Side Gallery,” is recounted.

In recent years, the initiators have spoken with many important contemporary witnesses – not only citizens, artists and civil rights activists, but also political decision-makers such as, first and foremost, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, James Baker, Miklos Nemeth and Mikhail Gorbachev. They also met Helmut Kohl, who is honored as the “Chancellor of Unity” just as Willy Brandt is honored as the “Chancellor of Hearts,” who had been instrumental in promoting the policy of détente and reconciliation with Germany’s neighbors.

The history of art at the East Side Gallery is honored as well as the artistic examination of the Wall, for example by artists such as Keith Haring, Roger Waters` “The Wall,” Scorpion`s “Wind of Change,” or a Wall experience by Leonardo DiCaprio, who visited the Wall with his German grandmother in 1988 – and in a humorously staged photo tried to push the Wall over. As the exclusive technology partner, ViewSonic is supporting the extensive exhibition at the East Side Gallery with over 100 projectors, interactive displays, WiFi video transmission, and large and small format displays.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was the greatest peaceful revolution in world history. In the coming years, the museum will focus intensively on the history of the fall of the Wall; a small portion of the admission fees will therefore benefit historical research.


Our museum is located directly at the East Side Gallery in the former Mühlenspeicher in Mühlenstr. 78-80, Berlin-Friedrichshain. You can reach us comfortably by public transport or by car. The nearest S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations are Warschauer Straße and U-Bahn station Schlesisches Tor. There is limited parking on the mill road.

Mühlenstr. 78-80
D-10243 Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)30-94512900
Fax: +49 (0)30-204567 – 51


Daily, 10 am – 7 pm


Pupils/ Students: 6,50 EUR
Adults: 12,50€
Groups from 10 persons: 9,50 EUR
Children up to 7 years: free admission

Reduced prices when buying online ticket.


S-Bahn and U-Bahn Warschauer Str.
Schlesisches Tor subway