About this project

About this project

The date of 8 May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny and the end of World War II in Europe. Join us as we commemorate the anniversary week beginning on 2 May and spanning the day of Berlin’s surrender in 1945 through to the Allied victory over Nazi Germany on 8 May. Taking in a variety of symbolic sites across Berlin, our virtual exhibition, podcasts and the augmented reality app “Augmented Berlin” explore this turning point in history and its contemporary relevance. All content will be available online through to 2 September, the day marking the official conclusion of World War II.

Dive into history

The centrepiece of this project is the virtual exhibition “To Berlin and Beyond”. Visiting key locations in and near Berlin – the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz and the former concentration camp in Sachsenhausen – the exhibition presents a multi-media experience of the devastation of post-war Berlin. Featuring images, animation, audio recordings and interviews with eyewitnesses, the exhibition touches on a variety of issues, including the path from democracy to dictatorship, the European dimension of World War II, everyday life between war and peace, and the Nazi crimes against humanity. 

Our podcast “To Berlin and beyond”

Take a walk into Berlin’s past: With this new podcast listeners can accompany our protagonists and podcast hosts to both familiar and lesser-known sites across present-day Berlin and delve deep into their histories. Each episode tackles a different topic – from anti-fascism to moral courage – exploring past events and highlighting their relevance to us today. A new episode will be released daily between 2 – 8 May via Apple Podcasts, Spotify and on this webpage. 

The App: Explorations in augmented reality

The augmented reality app “Augmented Berlin” complements the project’s other components and explores life in the underground of wartime Berlin, offering an immersive experience on smartphones or tablets. Beginning on 8 May 1945 amidst the ruins of Berlin’s Pariser Platz, the app takes users on a journey through time to the year 1933. Recounting the stories of Karin Friedrich (a member of the “Uncle Emil” resistance group) and Jizchak Schwersenz (a Jewish teacher who survived in the underground), users can trace the gradual exclusion of Berlin’s Jewish citizens from public life, through to their deportation from 1941 onwards.

The app will be released in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store during the digital theme week.

# 6 – Siegessäule & Flakturm Humboldthain

In dieser Episode geht es unter die Erde! 1937 hatte Albert Speer seinen ersten Entwurf für die Umgestaltung Berlins vorgelegt. Später als „Welthauptstadt Germania“ mystifiziert, sah der Plan unter anderem einen sieben Kilometer langen Prachtboulevard, monumentale Regierungsgebäude, einen riesigen Triumphbogen und ein unterirdisches Tunnelsystem vor, in dessen Dimensionen sich der Mensch seiner Winzigkeit bewusst werden sollte. Was davon tatsächlich umgesetzt worden ist, waren vor allem Abrissarbeiten und gezielte antijüdische Maßnahmen. Auch nach den wenigen baulichen Überresten forscht Reporterin Katja Weber in dieser Folge. Ausgestattet mit Gummistiefeln und Grubenlampe begibt sie sich zusammen mit Sascha Keil und Dietmar Arnold von den Berliner Unterwelten e.V. sowie mit Bjoern Weigel von den Kulturprojekten Berlin auf eine spannende Tour, die von der Siegessäule in einen Tunnel unter dem Tiergarten bis zum Flakturm Humboldthain führt.