A hands-on approach to history - the experiential museum in Berlin
The DDR Museum is not a conventional museum exhibiting rows of objects behind glass; we invite our visitors to interact with the fabric of our exhibition. Your hands bring the exhibition to life - a truly hands-on experience of history.
THE HANDS-ON EXHIBITION IS SET IN IN A MODEL HIGH-RISE TOWER BLOCK HOUSING ESTATE
The exhibition furniture is a scale reproduction of a “Series 70” blocks of flats, the typical building system used in the GDR. What provides a dreary first impression is actually the cover for a more lively culture of every-day life. The flats serve both as space dividers and exhibition cabinets. It is only after the visitors begin to use the installations that they give an insight into the private life of a GDR citizen. Films, news media, drawers, doors, cases filled with exhibits and models tell the story of a bygone state.
The drab surface of the museum's industrial-grey tower blocks mirror the originals. The red decor of the ceiling and ceiling columns and the Cold War slogans daubed on the walls conjure up the ideological atmosphere of a Socialist dictatorship. Don't let yourself be taken in by the propaganda - delve below the surface and interact with the exhibition. Open the cupboards and drawers and explore our reconstruction of a high-rise tower block flat in 1970s design. Watch television (even the forbidden Western channels) or use the telephone.
BEHIND THE FAÇADE OF POWER UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYES OF MARX, ENGELS AND LENIN
Striding through the “screen of bureaucratic fog,” the visitor enters the second half of the exhibition, providing a glimpse into the structures of GDR misrule. Take your place at the desk of a Party secretary and learn about the work of the Socialist Unity Party. Under the watchful eyes of Marx, Engels and Lenin, you can move through the exhibition, learning about various aspects of the dictatorship. The interactive elements of the second part of the exhibition provide a detailed account of the reality behind the façade of propaganda.
If you find this all too tiring, why not just take your place behind the wheel of our Trabant; rev up the engine and enjoy a simulated ride through an East German housing estate, or relax in an authentic cinema chair and enjoy an original East German documentary. Those wanting a little more information can use our touchscreen games to learn more about the dictatorship and how it worked.
The only thing you will not find is a conventional museum exhibition!