On 9 November 1989, Berlin was reunited. The Berlin Wall fell – the end of the massive border complex that left Berlin divided into East and West for 28 years, tearing apart families, friends and neighbours.
From November 4th-10th, the story of how the Wall came down will be told at sites across the city.
Seven open-air exhibitions will be set up at locations that played a role in the era of upheaval in 1989/1990, including at the Gethsemane Church, Alexanderplatz, Schlossplatz, Brandenburg Gate, Kurfürstendamm, East Side Gallery and the former Stasi headquarters in Lichtenberg.
What’s happening – and where?
– A large-scale art installation at the Brandenburg Gate, will see 30,000 messages from Berliners float above the Straße des 17. Juni from November 4th under the title: “Deine Vision im Himmel über Berlin” (“Your vision in the sky above Berlin”
– At Alexanderplatz, visitors will be able to experience the hopes and demands made by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who stood up against the SED (East German) regime there on November 4th 1989.
– On the building facades of the former Stasi headquarters, visitors will be able to see the demands for the abolishment of the secret police.
– An exhibition in and around the Gethsemane Church on StargarderStraße in Prenzlauer Berg will show the building’s role in the revolution with text panels and images – as well as with an interview project accessible via audio, in which former civil rights activists such as Evelyn Zupke, Ulrike Poppe, Frank Ebert, and the former parish priest Bernd Albani will have their say.
– Stories from Berliners who were separated from each other because of the Wall will be told at Kurfürstendamm.
– At Schlossplatz, in central Berlin, the focus will be on the first free elections.
– And at the East Side Gallery, the exhibition theme will be the artistic takeover of the Wall.
The highlight of the one week celebrations will be a city-wide music festival held on the evening of November 9th, the date the Wall fell.
A number of stages will feature renowned national and international artists whose sounds and stories are connected to the events of 1989/90 or whose work stands for freedom and the breaking down of walls.
At Brandenburg Gate, the German orchestra Staatskapelle, led by Daniel Barenboim, will open the programme before DJ WestBam transforms the historic site into a “European Club Night,” which will also be celebrated in 27 clubs throughout Berlin.
What else do you need to know?
The festivities in Berlin are estimated to cost €10 million.
The aim is to commemorate the victims of the dictatorship. It also allows people to experience the historic events of the Peaceful Revolution, and understand this huge part of German history in more detail.