Friday, June 21, 2013

Outdoor exhibits recall Berlin's lost diverisity

Throughout our travels around Berlin and especially on Museum Island we encountered outdoor pillars that were part of Diversity Destroyed. Berlin 1933 – 1938, an open air exhibition that brings together more than forty projects of museums and memorials, private associations and initiatives that deal with the history of Berlin under National Socialism. On Museum island I wandered among a series of pillars adorned with large portraits and biographies commemorating the lives of over 200 individuals who stamped their mark on the diverse society of early 1930s Berlin. In the aftermath of the Nazi regime's rise to power in 1933 and the 1938 November pogroms, an appalling number of men and women who had contributed to the diversity of Berlin's cultural landscape were persecuted and driven into exile, while others were deported or murdered. Teachers, philosophers, actors, authors, photographers, journalists and people from all levels of society were among those commemorated. Some returned to Germany while others remained in their adopted countries. Others were not so lucky. Although I didn't recognise a lot of the pictures and biographies, here are some that I knew: Bertholt Brecht, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Richard Heymann, Otto Kemperer, Peter Lorre and Billy Wilder.

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