Diversity Destroyed – Urban Memorials

Stadtmarkierungen© Kulturprojekte Berlin

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The destruction of the flourishing cultural diversity that emerged in 1920s Berlin began immediately after the Nazis’ accession to power on 30 January 1933. The NSDAP had already announced many of their plans in the preceding years, but only their access to the state apparatus enabled them to implement their plans through the aid of laws and decrees. Undesirable people were denounced, harrassed and marginalised. Many were eventually deported and murdered.

What steps led to this situation? What were its driving mechanisms? Which parts of Berlin played a significant role in diversity and its destruction? Where did the regime direct its perfidious campaign of hate? Eleven open-air exhibitions at eleven prominent sites across Berlin answer these questions. The exhibitions explore the history of each location and shed light on aspects of Berlin’s history under National Socialism, illustrating the theme of ‘Diversity Destroyed’ from a broad variety of perspectives. For example, the installation on the Platz der Republik between parliament and the former Kroll Opera House examines the centres of the ‘seizure of power’ and its various stages. On Wittenberg Platz near the KaDeWe department store, the exhibition ‘From Boycott to Pogrom’ documents the increasing radicalisation of the Nazis’ actions toward Jewish citizens. The exhibition on the former airport Tempelhof entitled ‘Celebrate and Destroy’ focuses on the tensions that defined the Nazi regime: inclusion and exclusion, expectation and reality. At the Tiergarten City Hall, ‘The Path of the Deportees’ examines the issue both in its concrete reality and broader meaning.

In addition to in-depth texts on specific topics, each exhibition features widely visible portraits of persons who played a significant role in the topic at hand – people whose stories capture the loss of diversity, and who deserve recognition through this special tribute.