Monday, April 4, 2016

Relics of the Cold War at the History Museum Berlin

Although it is a modern city that grows up every day and sooner or later the traces of the past will be nicely covered by white new buildings for rent, Berlin remains a relic of the Cold War. And I am not talking only about the physical presence of the Wall that can be still admired and photographed in its friendly colourful form in the Eastern side of the city. I am talking about mentality differences and architectural traces that ca be noticed especially if you walk at length the streets over and over again.
Traces of the recent history are present everywhere in Germany, but especially in the Brandenburg area, a department surronding Berlin that used to be part of the Eastern Germany. Very often during my travels I stumble o monumental statues in the honour of the Soviet Army and cemeteries of the Soviet soldiers who died during their stay or fight in Germany. Not mentioning the many abandoned barracks and the famous Teufelsberg CIA listening station in Berlin. 
This year, Berlin is hosting three important events about this important historical epoch. One is hosted at the German History Museum: exhibition of photographies taken by the Dutch photographer Martin Roemers between 1998 and 2009 from both East and West parts of Europe, featuring relics of the Cold War. Mostly, there are ugly tunels and bunkers aimed to offer protection during a possible nuclear attack. It covers Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Lithuania and Latvia, on one side, and Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium on the Western side. The pictures are documentaries of a specific architecture and memories of a historical context. With some ironical notes not sure if intended by the photographer, with the details of the stomatological chair ready to be used by the communist leaders in case of nuclear attack. The exhibition is open to the public until 14 August.
Another event related to the Cold War is 14th of July exhibition at the Aliirten Museum that will last until January 2018 about 100 Objects. Berlin during the Cold War. It will feature various objects associated with that period and I will be curious to have a look at it soon. 
A research institute dedicatede to the Cold War was inaugurated the last year and regular events are supposed to take place here in the next weeks and months too. Berlin Center for Cold War Studies is part of Humboldt University and hosts an important archive covering this period. I hope to pay a visit soon and find out more about.
Shortly, it seems that the Cold War is still part of the daily German reality and an episode that still needs in depth consideration.

No comments: