Art@Site Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer Berlin Wall Memorial

Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff


Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

Bernauer Strasse
moving line of people
What would a ballet look like to express this artwork?
I imagine a dancer coming straight from behind the podium to the front walk. He is moving his arms up to emphasise the monumentality.
The dancer is wearing a loose robe with brown vertical stripes to underline the verticality.
The ballet dancer makes a slow and continuous movement of collapsing, lying on the ground, raising up, bending and standing straight. The flowing lines are repeated so we draw the lines in our memory.
Than a ballerina moves from the same place and walks in a straight line to the danser. The ballerina is wearing the same dress but with a copper-red color. In the same rhythm with a shift in time she draws the same lines in the sky.
This coming up and moving by dancers repeats endlessly. A moving line of people is formed.
The dancers slow down their movements and they wait until they are all raised up. Together they bow slowely, they stand up and this lasts until the audience applauds.
By Theo,

bewegende lijn van mensen
Hoe zou een ballet eruit zien dat dit kunstwerk uitbeeldt?
Ik stel mij voor dat één danser kaarsrecht van achter het podium naar voren loopt. De armen bewegen omhoog om de monumentaliteit te benadrukken.
De danser draagt een loshangend kleed met bruine verticale strepen, dat de verticaliteit onderstreept.
Langzaam maakt de balletdanser een doorgaande beweging van ineen zakken, op de grond liggen, oprichten, buigen en kaarsrecht staan. De vloeiende lijnen herhalen zich zodat wij de lijnen in ons geheugen tekenen.
Dan komt een ballerina op vanuit dezelfde plaats en loopt in een rechte lijn naar de danser. De ballerina draagt hetzelfde kleed maar dan in een koperrode kleur. In hetzelfde ritme, iets verschoven in de tijd tekent zij dezelfde lijnen in de lucht.
Dit opkomen en bewegen van dansers gaat eindeloos zo door. Er ontstaat een bewegende lijn van mensen.
De dansers vertragen hun bewegingen en zij wachten allen totdat zij opgericht zijn. Gezamenlijk maken ze langzaam een buiging, gaan zij rechtop staan en dit duurt nét zolang totdat het publiek applaudisseert.
Door Theo,
What was once the border strip is now a place of remembrance. The Berlin Wall memorial gives you a moving insight into the division of Berlin.
A GDR soldier jumping over the fence at the last moment. People jumping out of windows into sheets held out by West Berlin firemen – images of Bernauer Strasse in August 1961 were seen all over the world. Today this historic location is the site of the Berlin Wall Memorial where the partition of Berlin is remembered.
Bernauer Strasse, on the boundary between the districts of Wedding and Mitte, became a historical site with the erection of the Wall. The Berlin Wall was erected here in August 1961 directly in front of the East Berlin houses. Some residents decided to take flight at the last minute and used ropes to climb out their windows. Others were forced to move out and the windows of their flats were bricked over. The picture of the GDR soldier Conrad Schumann, who jumped over the barbed wire two days after the division of Berlin, is still famous today. Over the years the East Berliners constructed numerous escape tunnels around Bernauer Strasse. When the partition of the city was finally over the first segments were broken off the Berlin Wall in the night from the 10th to the 11th of November 1989 in Bernauer Strasse.
The large open air exhibition on the former border strip covers four areas with historical audio materials and pictures, a visitors’ centre and an observation tower. There is a 70-metre stretch on the Berlin Wall with border strip and watchtower directly on Bernauer Strasse. The installation shows how the border was set up at the end of the 80s and gives visitors the lasting impression of the construction that once divided a country.
The exhibition in the documentation centre is on the other side of Bernauer Strasse and shows the history of the construction of the wall in 1961. You can take a look at the remaining parts of the border crossing from a five-storey observation tower.
There is also a Chapel of Reconciliation on the site. The former Church of Reconciliation was demolished in 1985 as it was directly on the border strip. Visitors to services in the new chapel regularly remember the victims of the Wall. The Window of Memorial on the site portrays the 130 people who were shot or died on the Berlin Wall.
On the other side of the street is the memorial's documentation and visitor center. Here I meet Ida, a little elderly lady who doesn't want to give me her last name. "I haven't been here since then," she says in a shaky voice. Back then, in August 1961, Ida was 21 years old. "I had been engaged for three years." The construction of the wall separated the young couple. Ida's fiancé lived in Berlin-Neukölln, in the West. She lived in Prenzlauer Berg, in the East. Before the Wall was built, it was still possible to see each other. "After that, we could only wave to each other across the Wall." But one evening she came too close to the wall. Men in plain clothes stopped her, she was arrested on the spot. "Many people just disappeared this way." It took Ida some effort to go through the metal bars with me. It seems as if she can still feel the wall. Only when we reach the lawn does she breathe a sigh of relief and continue telling her story.
In the heart of Germany’s capital city, the Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site recalling German division. Located at a site fraught with history on Bernauer Strasse, it extends along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip. The construction of the Wall put a violent end to everyday life on Bernauer Strasse, leaving traces that are still visible today. The only section of the Berlin Wall to be preserved in its full depth, allowing visitors to see the various elements of the border strip as it looked at the end of the 1980s, stands on the grounds of the Berlin Wall Memorial.
The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) commemorates the division of Berlin by the Berlin Wall and the deaths that occurred there. The monument was created in 1998 by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of Berlin. It is located on Bernauer Straße at the corner of Ackerstraße and includes a Chapel of Reconciliation, the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre, a 60-metre (200 ft) section of the former border, a window of remembrance and a visitor center.
The idea of a memorial was suggested by the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) on behalf of the federal government of Berlin, and architects Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff were commissioned to design it.
The memorial includes a 60-metre (200 ft) long section of the wall as it was when the Wall fell. Seen from the west, a wall built from L-elements was lined by a sandy section, a lighted "Kolonnenweg", a signal fence, and an inner wall. Finally a tower was built within the complex. The area is not accessible to visitors; both ends of the original wall are closed by stainless steel. The northern wall bears the inscription "In Erinnerung an die Teilung der Stadt vom 13. August 1961 bis zum 9. November 1989 und zum Gedenken an die Opfer kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft" ("In memory of the city's division from 13 August 1961 to 9 November 1989 and of the victims of communist tyranny").