30 Years Since The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

The 9th November 2019 will mark 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. With a number of events happening on and around this anniversary, we take a look at how a school trip to Berlin will provide a unique learning experience for your students through this year’s events.

Freedom, freedom of movement, freedom to live without restriction. Access to the latest Adidas trainers, Heinz baked beans or other branded items are taken for granted. The building of the Berlin Wall on the 13th August 1961 signalled the start of a period that would stretch 28 years for which such access (or liberties) would not be felt by those close off in East Germany. A sudden loss of access to work, friends and loved ones all caused by a German-German border heavily guarded to restrict the movement of East to West.

Events to look out for in 2019

In its 30th anniversary year, the city is alight with events and presents the ideal time for schools to visit Berlin to explore the impact of the Berlin Wall and its significance in the Cold War as a great divide. Teachers and students can extend learning across Cold War themes, including the construction of the Berlin Wall, the global division during the Cold War and the Peaceful Revolution of 1989.

Potsdamer Platz Mauerreste © visitBerlin, Photo: Arthur F. Selbach

Some of Berlin’s most popular exhibition areas will be featuring archives, contemporary interpretations and accounts relating to various aspects of the Berlin Wall. Explore these temporary exhibitions and tie visits into school favourites on your next school trip to Berlin.

nineties Berlin – Multimedia Exhibition, Alte Münze

When: Permanent exhibition
What to expect: This is an opportunity for Party Leaders to immerse their students in a multimedia 270° experience. Exploring life in Berlin following the fall of the Berlin Wall, students will be able to reflect on the changes and impact on East Berliners and on the city as a whole.

Beeskow Art Archive, The Schloss Biesdorf

When: 18.11.2018 – 25.02.2019
What to expect: The Beeskow Art Archive will show the development of GDR cultural policy and where it stemmed from. Through the collections, students will see how artists had to either limit their message through art or were given leniency with what they produced.

After the fall of the Wall, Museum on der Kulturbrauerei

When: 14.02.2019 – 25.08.2019
What to expect: A collection by photographer Daniel Biskup, students will be able to explore everyday life in the early years following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The period captured in Biskup’s photos sees Germans go through a transformation socially, culturally and politically.

“Gelenkte Frei-Zeit” in the GDR, Weissgerbermuseum

When: 26.02.2019 – 19.05.2019
What to expect: Students will be able to take a deeper look into the ethos of the GDR, including the importance of leisure time for the regeneration of the workforce. The study looks at the new forms of leisure activities that emerged, including competitions, festivals and concerts which had to be controlled by the GDR’s “security organs”.

Ost-Berlin – Die halbe Hauptstadt, Ephraim-Palais

When: 11.05.2019 – December 2019
What to expect: This exhibition focuses on the history of East Berlin and its position as the capital of the GDR. Students will be able to focus on the changes felt by East Berlin from the late 1960s up until the reunification of 1990.

André Kirchner The City’s Edge, Berlinische Galerie

When: 01.05.2018 – 12.08.2019
What to expect: School groups will have access to the Berlinische Galerie’s special collection. This includes the 1993/94 series ‘Stadtrand Berlin’ by acclaimed photographer André Kirchner who took pictures of Berlin as a reunited city along the historical border of the Berlin Wall.

„20 aus 20“, Museum Europäischer Kulturen

When: 28.06.2019 – December 2019
What to expect: 20 objects have been gathered over the last 20 years to give students an insight into the stark contrast between East and West Germany and what happened when the two became a united state.

Explore more excursions available to support your students’ study of the Cold War and the impact of the Berlin Wall on both West and East Germans.