What’s a piece of the Berlin Wall doing in the permanent exhibition?

Berlin, which was occupied by the Allied Forces in 1945, was divided in two, then separated by a long, tall wall from 15 August 1961 to 9 November 1989. Many East Berliners lost their lives as they attempted to flee to West Berlin. The wall remains the symbolic mark left by that period. Although the wall was demolished, Berlin preserved a part of it as the East Side Gallery.

This section, given to the MuCEM by the Senate of Berlin, must belong to the third phase of the wall’s construction, Grenzmauer 75 (Border Wall 75), which was defined in 1974 and built of prefabricated blocks measuring 3.6 metres high and fitted with an integrated base that was 1.2 metres wide. Artists in West Berlin added their work to the wall as a sign of protest against this attack on their freedom of movement, a basic human right.

By Frédéric Mougenot, Mucem curator of the home life section