History of Communism in Europe

Volume 10, 2019

"Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Lotte Thaa
Pages 121-144

The Revolution Will Not Be Musealised. Remnants of the GDR’s ‘Peaceful Revolution’ in the Museum

This paper offers a detailed reconstruction of an exhibition about the biggest protest rally of the GDR, which took place on November 4, 1989 in Berlin. Drawing from archival sources, as well as interviews, I will outline the exhibition’s design and the intentions of its creators. Subsequently, I will establish correlations with like‑minded, as well as antagonistic efforts to musealise the events later termed the “peaceful revolution”. Their comparison will allow some conclusions about the becoming of the dominant politics of memory today. By pointing to their gaps and blind spots, I want to advocate a more nuanced memory of this decisive period in German history.