The Museum’s signature Historical Witness Project began as a series of recorded conversations with collectors who have donated items to the Wende in order to capture the history of objects. It is integrated into The Museum’s ongoing exhibition Facing the Wall: Living With the Berlin Wall which traces the personal stories of four individuals intimately associated with The Museum: a West Berlin wall painter, Thierry Noir, (view The Wall Project), an East German border guard Peter Bochmann (view Peter Bochmann Collection), a day visitor from the West Alwin Nachtweh, and a former East German Stasi officer Hagen Koch. Exploring the complex, interconnected and often contradictory nature of history seen through the lenses of these four individuals living at the Wall, The Wende’s exhibition and Historical Witness Project recreate the place where the realities of political ideology and personal experience came face to face. (view Current Exhibitions)
The Project has recently expanded to include the reflections of scholars, artists, filmmakers and average citizens of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Their personal experiences shed light on artifacts in the collection as well as issues and topics that are relevant to the Museum’s mission. Over the next several years, the Museum plans to significantly increase the number and diversity of these recordings, make them available online and incorporate them into programs and exhibitions.
We invite members of the community to share memories of their lives behind the Iron Curtain by contacting us at HistoricalWitness@wendemuseum.org.