Dr. Axel Klausmeier
Director, Berlin Wall Foundation
- My organization:
In 2006 Berlin’s city government adopted a decentralized plan to commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall and the city’s post-war division. As an integral plan of this decentralized concept, the Berlin Wall foundation was established in September of 2008. Upon completion, the facilities, situated in the midst of the Wall’s former death strip, will encompass circa 4,4 hectares.
- Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
- We offer a wide range of educational activities, from guided tours to seminars and interviews with time-witnesses, from publications to conferences.
- Our educational programme covers a broad variety of offerings for all age groups.
- Developing exhibitions
- Developing educational programmes, e.g. with films
- Concerts, lectures, theatre
- Workshops for children and pupils
- Listing historical remnants and traces of contested buildings and site
- Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
- Lack of historical knowledge among young generation
- Lack of history as a school-subject
- Lack of money and staff
- My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
Having a conservation/preservation background, I am particularly interested in documenting and listing historic fabric of contested built structures and sites. The historic fabric and material source is vital for the integrity and credibility of every commemoration site. It is of particular importance to develop contacts with victim groups and representatives. Simultaneously, dealing with the perpetrators view on historical incidents is equally important for the understanding of the often complex historical background and for the understanding of personal motifs. However, it goes without saying that the commemoration of the victims has absolute priority.