Between War and Peace - 60th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe
2005 Berlin theme year: exhibitions and events
Among the many events which have been planned or which have taken place in Berlin and Brandenburg to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, those organised as part of the "Between War and Peace" theme year occupy a special position in several respects.
They not only deal with the end of WWII and the events which happened immediately afterwards, but, through exhibitions, discussions and commemorative events, they present visitors and participants the entire era between Germany's capitulation and the actual signing of the peace treaty, between the division of Germany and its reunification. In doing so, they illustrate life in a period of uncertainty, between a war which had just ended and a distant, repeatedly threatened peace.
Another unique feature of this theme year is the immediacy with which the era "Between War and Peace" is described. Exhibitions display original objects and documents from a complex epoch of German history; eye-witnesses from six decades answer the questions of later generations; numerous events take place at the actual sites where historical decisions were made. The result is the highest degree of reality instead of a pale reflection, living reports from the last sixty years instead of reports about this era.
The focal point of the theme year is represented by the extensive exhibitions being held in museums and at commemorative sites throughout Berlin and Brandenburg; these exhibitions were funded to a great extent by the Federal Ministry for Culture and Media and the German Lottery Foundation. A growing number of events, currently around 300, are associated with the main undertakings, ranging from exhibitions to city tours, from discussions to commemorative events. Even the annual "museum night", which sees museums remain open until the small hours, will address this topic in 2005.
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit are the patrons of the theme year "Between War and Peace".
As part of the larger "Between War and Peace" project, three extensive programmes will be published (April, June, August); as of 16th March, you can access an online database with information about a range of events associated with the theme year (www.betweenwarandpeace.com). For the latest information, simply call this hotline: 0049-(0)30.90 26 99 444.