Welcome to our new blog series, in which we will introduce each room of our new permanent exhibition for an entire month. Once a week, different staff members who took part in the creation of the exhibition will approach the rooms from their specific professional points of view. In September we have already been talking about the kitchen, in October the focus was on the living room. In November we will be talking about the children’s room which is part of our WBS 70 Plattenbau apartment.
Many readers will probably remember their own childhood in the DDR. Hence, the kindergarten and the children’s room are probably the most emotionally touching parts of our exhibition. After entering one will immediately feel some melancholy, for the childhood used to be a considerably non-political time. At first glance, the room seems to be a normal bedroom of two children, which is not being used at the moment because the kids are outside to play. There are posters on the wall, stickers of soccer idols are stuck onto the bunk bed which is not neatly made.
Just like in the rest of the exhibition, the following is true: Don’t be shy, feel free to open drawers and cupboards, look inside and let the contents surprise you. You will discover topics which were relevant for children and teenagers in the DDR. A total of nine drawers, summarized under the heading “Tell me where you’re standing”, are dealing with topics which involved decision-making for young citizens of the DDR: Assimilation or rebellion, youth dedication ceremony or confirmation, the DDR radio station DT64 or the Western station “Rias”?
In the red wall unit you can discover the favorite object of our Head of Research, Dr. Stefan Wolle. It is the space ship “Sojus” which was available as an assembly toy for children in the DDR. As a child, Dr. Wolle was fascinated by the success of the Soviet space program as well as the question: “What could be?”. In three weeks, the curator will write a text about the room which you should not miss to read!
I am not really sure which of the installations in the room is my favorite. It is, perhaps, a luxury problem, but I cannot choose between the digital window with a view of a Plattenbau residential estate and the “boss” Bruce Springsteen. Yes, exactly, the American singer! Why he of all people was chosen to be the star of a diorama at the DDR Museum I will not tell you yet, you should, however, open the doors on the top left side of the wall unit and let the presentation unfold its magic. I am sure though that my colleagues will fill you in on this secret in the following weeks!
After my first presentation of the children’s bedroom, my colleagues from the collection department will focus on the objects in this room next week. You will learn about the origins of the valuable objects and maybe even how much patience they required from our collection professionals. On November 15th, Dr. Stefan Wolle will write about the children’s bedroom from a curator’s point of view, the week after that our Social Media Manager will tell you more about the digital installations – and maybe even about “my star” of this room!