Berlin celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall
Reunification, Freedom and Identification
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.
Today, Berlin is known as a place of freedom, opportunity and individuality. But that was not always the case. On 13 August 1961, work began on constructing the Berlin Wall. It stood as a symbol of a divided city and country, of terror and the Cold War. Overnight, it changed an entire nation.
For many people, the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989 was the best day of their lives – the day they regained their freedom through a Peaceful Revolution.
2019 is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall and the city of Berlin is celebrating reunification and democracy!
The celebration that marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall is the most important event of the year for Berlin. The fall of the wall is a world event of great symbolic meaning. We’re noticing high expectations and anticipation among our neighboring countries. People want to celebrate this occasion in Berlin’s atmosphere of freedom and tolerance.
One-week festival of the fall of the Berlin Wall
In addition to the national and international celebrations, exhibitions and events that take place throughout the year and beyond, the grand finale is the festival to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall from 4 to 10 November 2019. Berlin will be transformed into a unique open-air exhibition and event venue. Along the route of the revolution in the city, important events of the history of 1989/90 become comprehensible at seven original locations. At these locations (Alexanderplatz, Gethsemanekirche, Brandenburger Tor, Schlossplatz, Kurfürstendamm, East-Side-Gallery and Stasi headquarters in Lichtenberg) large projections with historical pictures, films and sound installations will be shown. There are concerts, lectures, readings, contemporary witness talks, poetry slams and film screenings in addition. This impressive festival will conclude with the evening of 9 November, when the entire city will become the largest concert stage in the world, featuring renowned musicians, orchestras and bands. Berliners and guests from all over the world are invited to celebrate the festival of freedom peacefully and exuberantly.
Together with artist Meike Ziegler, visitBerlin has created HANDSHAPE and connects people all over the world. The goal is to collect 10,957 HANDSHAPES in form of a piece of clay that gets its unique identity frome the handshake of two people. 10,957 days then passed on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Everywhere in Berlin people meet each other and will come to an exchange without knowing the other person. The clay that both of them holding in their hands stands for their shared story and remains a witness to their unique Berlin HANDSHAPE moment. The HANDSHAPES are formed in the visitor centre of the Berlin Wall Memorial and at other temporary meeting points in the city.
All information about the concept of Meike Ziegler and the cooperation of visitBerlin and Handshape Project GmbH can be found here.
Your contact for HANDSHAPE
In Yearning for freedom and in fear of their lives – 12 metres down
Together with 34 friends, West Berlin escape helper Peter Schulenburg constructs a tunnel 12 metres deep and 145 metres long. It becomes a glimmer of hope for many in the East. But how many ultimately reach freedom in West Berlin? What ordeals do they have to go through – and how are their individual fates intermeshed? Find out more about this exciting story in the free app ABOUT BERLIN. At over 200 locations, explore living history in Berlin stories from a variety of eras. This multimedia app, including easy-to-compile individual tours and maps with offline functionality, gives you an authentic insight into Berlin and brings the city alive digitally.
Experience Berlin between division and reunification
An autumn day in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district in the 1980s. What was the atmosphere like in a divided Berlin? How did day-to-day life look for people behind the Wall? And what was it like living in West and East Berlin? In the asisi Panorama of a divided Berlin, you can immerse yourself in this panorama installation of daily life and Berlin’s urban feel after the Wall and before reunification.
The panorama presents an impressive atmospheric moment in time which also illustrates the fears and menace of those days.
NEW and "Back in Time" is the virtual reality travel in the past with "TimeRide" directly at Checkpoint Charlie. Opening on 24th August 2019 "TimeRide" tells the story of the unique Berlin in the mid 1980s.
The old border, hopes and commemoration
Even today, the scar left by the former Wall still is a major influence in Berlin. That influence can also be found in the cityscape, where the Berlin Wall Trail and fragments of the Wall testify to the course of the former GDR border to West Berlin. On this trail, the emotions of those days are still evident. These are places where people cried, bid their farewells, and even where they died – and where people from East and West later fell into each other arms again.
Berlin Wall Memorial
As the main memorial site of German division, the Berlin Wall Memorial’s multimedia exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the construction of the Berlin Wall, life with the Wall, and the Fall of the Wall. Here, you can also find the last section of the Berlin Wall still as originally built.
The Parliament of Trees
This memorial site comprises an installation of trees, parts of the border defence complex and memorial stones for victims of the Wall. The 16 trees in the memorial represent the 16 German federal states and commemorate the events around the Wall. In this unconventional and poignant garden, 58 pieces of the Wall, some treated artistically, others left as original, recall the dividing line that once ran through the city.
- nineties Berlin – Multimedia Exhibition, Alte Münze, permanent exhibition - This multimedia 270° experience immerses you into life in Berlin directly after the fall of the Wall.
- DDR Museum, permanent exhibition - This interactive museum is explicitly dedicated to the GDR and provides insights into the everyday culture of the formerly divided Germany.
- "Ost-Berlin - Revue einer verpassten Gelegenheit", Großes Hause, 4 November 2019 - In cooperation with the Volksbühne Berlin, various films, lectures and readings will take place.
- Q Berlin, Station Berlin, 7 and 8 November 2019 - Versatile conference that encourages rethinking and sustaniable action.
- Ost-Berlin – Die halbe Hauptstadt, Ephraim-Palais, until 9 November 2019 - An exhibition on the history of East Berlin, the capital of the GDR, from the late 1960s until the reunification in 1990.
- "Falling Walls", conference about the fall of the Berlin Wall which is taking place at different spots e.g. Futurium, Naturkundemuseum, 8 and 9 November 2019
- special guidedtour, Abgeordnetenhaus, 9 October 2019 until 13 November 2019 - Tracing the reasons for the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall.
- "No Photos on the Dance Floor!", C/O Berlin, until 30 November 2019 - This exhibition tells the story of how creatives took over the city after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- "Mauern / Walls", Notaufnahmelager Marienfelde, until 22 December 2019 - Photographic exhibition about the cities Berlin, Gorizia/Nova Gorica and Sarajevo.
- "Gegenentwürfe", Museumsverbund Pankow, until 31 December 2019 - The changes of Prenzlauer Berg illustrated over 100 square kilometre based on local examples.