News before christmas
Greeting  Merry christmas
The premiere of the worldwide unique Trabi-Simulation  Have a good trip!
Our new series on YouTube  Ask Dr. Wolle!
New exhibit  Simson KR 51/1 "Schwalbe" („Swallow“)
GDR restaurant Domklause  The Special for the Holidays

January 14th, 2014  The monitored society
January 28th, 2014  Schäfers Hour Episode 1: GERD E. SCHÄFER
February 4th, 2014  „Sharpening the weapon of satire!“
February 18th, 2014  Swallow or bat
February 25th, 2014  Schäfers Hour Episode 2: FRANZISKA TROEGNER
March 4th, 2014  To spiny for the cinema
March 18th, 2014  The focus is on people
March 25th, 2014  Schäfers Hour Episode 3: OTTO MELLIES

Shop  history to bestow  

General Information  Location & Contact   Exhibition & Visitor Centre

Merry christmas

Dear Friends,
we know you are under Christmas stress! Nevertheless, we would like to inform you about our latest news. I can assure you, they are well worth investing a few minutes. Otherwise, you miss to drive a Trabi, movie premieres, cult cars and film stars...
First of all, I wish you, on behalf of all my colleagues, a Merry Christmas, relaxing holidays and a Happy New Year! Like every year, we close at 4pm on Christmas eve. Despite of this, we are open every day from 10am till 8pm and on Saturdays we hold the fort until 10pm. We are looking forward to your visit!
If you visit us between Christmas and New Year's Day, you may get suprised! We are waiting for the three-millionth visitor, for whom we prepared a special present!
You see, a visit is well worthwhile...


Robert Rückel


  The premiere of the worldwide unique Trabi-Simulation
Have a good trip!

Since this week, you can go on a realistic virtual ride with our Trabant P601! A 3D model of an estate of concrete slab buildings in the GDR was specially developed for the DDR Museum and is now projected on the windshield of the Trabi. The visitor drives through this area and steers, brakes and accelerates the car by his own hand.

Get into the car, turn the ignition key, press the gas pedal and explore a 60.000 square meter area. In passing you will see supermarkets, concrete slab buildings and keep a lookout for 114 Trabis in original colours! During this adventure, you will hear authentic sounds from a Trabant P601.

  Our new series on YouTube
Ask Dr. Wolle!

Our Head of Research, Dr. Stefan Wolle, faces your questions on YouTube! No matter how extraordinary they are! In the first two episodes Dr. Wolle compares the Ministry of State Security with the National Security Agency and explains, which drugs were popular in the German Democratic Republic. Our idea was, to get to the point without a wagging finger, to come down from the ivory towers of academic research and to combine science with subjective memories of the GDR. One episode will be published every month, you can still ask questions on all our social media channels, by email or on YouTube!

  New exhibit
Simson KR 51/1 "Schwalbe" („Swallow“)

The small scooter 51/1 belongs to the last built exemplars with the fan-cooled 3.6 HP motor and it is in original condition: The paint is old, the good piece wasn't repaired, rebuilt, "coiffed" or restored. It is one of the rare complete original models and was produced in the "IFA Kombinat VEB Fahrzeug and Jagdwaffenwerk Ernst Thälmann Suhl" ("IFA VEB vehicle and Hunting weapons factory Ernst Thälmann Suhl"). The former retail price was 1265,- Mark of the GDR.

  GDR restaurant Domklause
The Special for the Holidays

Still searching for something special for Christmas or New Year's Eve? The DDR-Restaurant Domklause opens at the 24th of December till 4 pm and has to all the other holidays normal opening times: From 10am till open end!

The Domklause offers for special occasions not only authentic GDR dishes, but also exclusive menus for Christmas and New Year's Eve. An uncomplicated reservation is sufficient under http://www.ddr-restaurant.de/en/reserve/ and nothing stands in the way to your solemn pleasure. Are you still searching for a location for your personal New Year's Eve celebration? Capacities are still available for your exclusive individual New Year's Eve celebration in the past at the 31st of December 2013 with typical GDR cocktails or the classic Jägerschnitzel. If interested feel free to contact Kim.Stender@ddr-restaurant.de 

  January 14th, 2014, 7 pm
The monitored society
Operative photo and eavesdropping equipment of the Stasi
Detlev Vreisleben, a communications engineer from Cologne, collects since twenty years the legacies of Stasi technique. He published numerous articles on the topic. There he consciously focuses the technical site of observation and the levy of messages. The often described picture of a total monitored society gains precise contours. Today the technique of the Stasi seems antediluvian. But the possibilities and the limits of the total surveillance remain an actual topic. The Stasi knew everything – and yet she didn’t foresee her own downfall. When at the 15th of January 1990 protesters occupied her head quarter, they wrote on the wall: »Legal certainty is the best state security". Whoever declines in the hubris of omniscience, should keep the pitiful end of the Stasi in mind.

Detlev Vreisleben, communications engineer, Cologne
Sören Marotz, head of collection DDR Museum, Berlin

Date: January 14th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitors Center
Entry fee: free
  January 28th, 2014, 7 pm
Schäfers Hour Episode 1: GERD E. SCHÄFER
Alexander G. Schäfer presents the book »Vorhang auf« (“Curtain up”) about his father Gerd E. Schäfer and talks with the Maxe-Baumann-director Peter Hill
With the series “Schäfers Hour” begins a new event form, in which Alexander G. Schäfer once monthly talks with known actors and other personalities of film, radio and TV of the GDR. Clips will be shown and audios will be cued in. The guests are going to read from their books, narrate a lot and answer questions. The start makes the host itself and he will present his fathers’ life based on his book “Curtain up” as well as with audios and images. There one of the most popular comedians of the GDR TV becomes alive. As an “Urberliner” with heart and mind he accompanied over years the life of many people – in children’s films, in the cabaret and chiefly as the immortal character of Maxe Baumann, which was produced under the direction of Peter Hill.

Reading with:
Alexander G. Schäfer, actor, Berlin
Peter Hill, director, Berlin
Date: January 28th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: 12€/6€
  February 4th, 2014, 7 pm
„Sharpening the weapon of satire!“
Jürgen Klammer presents his new story of the »Distel«
On 31st of March 1953 a trend-setting editorial came out in the »Neues Deutschland« (“New Germany”) under the title “Sharpening the weapon of satire!”. The satire should expose all “lazy and dead”. Thus, the SED required, of course, not itself. But just after the 17th of June criticism and self-criticism were asked. The first program from the 2nd October 1953 was titled »Hurra! Humor ist eingeplant!« (“Cheer! Humor is scheduled!“). The audience stormed the box office and it convulsed with laughter at the slightest political allusion. The more accurate the audience listened, the more vigilant were the watchdogs. So the art of allusion bloomed. With the return of the political public in autumn 1989 the GDR cabaret had to reinvent itself. But still there were enough stuff for the satire. In his book »Beim Barte des Proleten« (“By the beard of the proles”) Jürgen Klammer gathered an extensive material of what he presents further rare finds.

Reading with:
Jürgen Klammer, author, Leipzig
Date: February 4th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: free
  February 18th, 2014, 7 pm
Swallow or bat
The Kafka debate of 1963 and the Prague Spring
In May 1963 Marxian literary scholars congregated in the chateau Liblice near Prague for an international conference about Franz Kafka (1883-1924). Kafka should be made available for the readership beyond the Iron Curtain. But in the lectures it was about much more. Did the nightmarish absurdities, which Kafka describes, remind only accidentally the world of the real socialism? Only the question was worst heresy for the dogmatists of the SED. For them, Kafka was a “bat”, how Alfred Kurella had announced. The Austrian columnist Ernst Fischer replied in an article, that for him the conference in Liblice was the beginning of a debate, in which it is about a peaceful socialism. His forecast should prove to be true. The Kafka debate was one of these swallows, which announced the Prague Spring – a spring though which should never become a summer.

Discussion between:
Prof. Dr. Michael Rohwasser, literary scholar, Vienna
Dr. Maximilian Graf, historian, Vienna
Dr. Jochen Staadt, political scientist, Berlin
Date: February 18th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: free
  February 25th, 2014, 7 pm
Schäfers Hour Episode 2: FRANZISKA TROEGNER
Alexander G. Schäfer in conversation with the actress Franziska Troegner
With 5 years Franziska Troegner stood for the first time on the stage. With 15 years she began to act in the youth studio of the »Distel« and then she worked for many years at the Berlin Ensemble. There she matured into a great actress and Brecht interpreter. As TV actress she made a name for herself, too. After 1990 she acted in series like »Mama ist unmöglich« („Mum is outrageous”) and »Der Landarzt« (“The country doctor”) and by the way in the Hollywood classic: »Charly und die Schokoladenfabrik« (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) on the side of the Caribbean upper pirate Jonny Depp. In 2009 her autobiography »Fürs Schubfach zu dick« („For drawer too thick”) was published. How big her drawer was, what is there to report about her time at the Berlin Ensemble and whether she succumbed the charm of Jonny Depp the visitor will learn in conversation.

Alexander G. Schäfer, actor, Berlin
Franziska Troegner, actress, Berlin
Date: February 25th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: 12€/6€
  March 4th, 2014, 7 pm
To spiny for the cinema
The film historian F.-B. Habel recalls the short film series of the DEFA »Das Stacheltier« (“The stingers”)
In the good old GDR classic film times there were shown, before the gong for the main film resounded, an »Augenzeuge« (“eyewitness”) and a supporting film. One could safely appear a few minutes later. But when “Das Stacheltier” (“The stingers”) was shown, the latecomer had really missed something. From 1955 till 1964 in the DEFA studio overall 275 satirical short films were shot. Some of them directed their tips against the »Bonner Ultras und Revanchisten« (“The ultras and revanchists of Bonn”), but far more often against the conditions in the own state. The less there was to laugh in reality, the more the people laughed in the cinema about the presented reality. The film historian F.-B. Habel presents some of his satirical gems from the stock of the Deutsche Kinemathek (German Film Archive) and tells of the history of the black-and-white films, which were for the authorities after several years too colorful.

F.-B. Habel, film historian, Berlin
Date: March 4th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: free
  March 18th, 2014, 7 pm
The focus is on people
Lutz Rathenow and Harald Hauswald present the reissue of their classic »Ost-Berlin« (“East Berlin”)
This book is a declaration of love to the sunken city of East Berlin. The images and the texts tell of the depraved backyards, the queues at the grocery store, the dull SED paroles on the pockmarked house walls, of the dreary new neighborhood in the northeast of the city, of the corner pubs and desert fetuses on the backyards of Prenzlauer Berg. In short, it is a book about the life in that grey and colorful, filthy and wonderful half city East Berlin. Hauswald and Rathenow illustrate this with apparent ease. It is a lucky circumstance, that in the eighties a photographer and a feature writer strolled curious through East Berlin. The focus is on people, just as the doctrine of the socialist realism has required.

Discussion between:
Lutz Rathenow, author, Dresden
Harald Hauswald, photographer, Berlin
Date: March 18th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: free
  March 25th, 2014, 7 pm
Schäfers Hour Episode 3: OTTO MELLIES
Alexander G. Schäfer in conversation with the actor Otto Mellies
Born in Pomerania, Otto Mellies came after several theater stations, inter alia in Schwerin, Stalsund and Erfurt, to the local Deutsche Theater (German Theater) in Berlin, which he held 45 years loyalty. In this time he acted in more than 60 works from ancient times, through the classical period to the present. In the sixties he advanced to the star of the Deutsche Fernsehfunk (German television broadcasting) in Adlershof. He took lead roles in films, which were at that time of political importance far beyond the actual television event. Here are called the miniseries »Dr. Schlüter« and »Ich, Axel Cäsar Springer« („I, Axel Cäsar Springer“). After the reunification he acted inter alia repeated in the Tatort (scene of crime). Otto Mellies is till today a demanded radio speaker and voice actor. 2010 his autobiography »An einem schönen Sommermorgen« („On a beautiful summer morning“) was published. What happened on this summer morning and many other things, Alexander G. Schäfer will elicit in conversation.

Alexander G. Schäfer, actor, Berlin
Otto Mellies, actor, Berlin
Date: March 25th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: Visitor Center
Entry fee: 12€/6€
  Shop - history to bestow
history to bestow

You are searching for a novel gift with a lasting effect and event-character? Why not bestowing a piece of history: A visit of the DDR Museum. The gift coupon worth 10,00 Euro can be redeemed at the cash desk for the entrance to the exhibition, for articles of the museum's shop and also for the DDR restaurant "Domklause". A visit of the DDR Museum is guaranteed an interactive and entertaining gift with niveau.  
  General Information
Location and contact:

DDR Museum
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1
10178 Berlin
right on the river Spree,
directly opposite the Berlin Cathedral

Tel: +49 (0)30 - 847 123 73 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)30 - 847 123 73 - 9

The DDR Museum

The DDR Museum is Berlin's interactive museum and shows the life in the GDR in his permanent exhibition. The museum was established in 2006 and has been one of Berlin's most visited museums since 2007. The concept "A hands-on experience of history" is considered to be unique in the world.

Most of the above events are projects of the DDR Museum Berlin e.V., the society supporting the museum. Become member of the society here and visit the society's events for free
Visitor centre


The visitor centre is a one minute walk from the DDR Museum. Monday - Sunday
no closing day
10am - 8pm
10am - 10pm
Newsletter 2/2013
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