Aktives Museum

Aktives Museum has organized the following exhibitions and projects:


Expelled! Berlin, 28 October 1938. The history of the "Polenaktion"

In the early morning of October 28, 1938, police in Berlin arrested more than 1,500 Jews in their flats or on the street and brought them to collection sites. They were transported later that day by train to the Polish border. Most had to disembark in Neu-Bentschen. Under guard and handeled brutally, they were forced to march to the German-Polish border near the town of Zbąszyń (Bentschen). They had been expelled from the German Reich because they were Polish citizens, although many had lived in Germany for decades and some had even been born there...

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Berliner Bibliotheken im Nationalsozialismus

Die Ausstellung nimmt exemplarisch sieben ganz unterschiedliche Berliner Bibliotheken in den Blick: Welche Sammlungen wurden von den Nationalsozialisten zerschlagen, welche Einrichtungen geschlossen? Was geschah mit verbotener Literatur in Volksbüchereien und wie ging man in wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken damit um? Welche Wege nahm das Raubgut von Verfolgten, wer hat davon profitiert? Auch die Ausgrenzung von Nutzerinnen und nutzern sowie die Entlassung und Diskriminierung von Bibliothekspersonal kommen zur Sprache.

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Repressed Memory. How West Berlin Dealt with Sites of Nazi Perpetrators

The exhibition presents examples demonstrating the difficulties of establishing monuments and memorial sites for the Nazi crimes in West Berlin, thereby focussing on the so-calle perpetrator sites. It also shows individuals and initiatives that played an important role in the city's effort to confront its National Socialist past. Their stories are an essential part on West Germany's culture of remembrance and they make clear that the process of confronting this past is far from over.

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Sawed. Local Politicians in Steglitz and Zehlendorf persecuted in National Socialism 1933-1945

Das zähe Ringen um vermeintlich angemessene Formen von Entschädigung und Rückerstattung erzählt von der Suche nach gangbaren Verfahren im Angesicht beispielloser Verbrechen und davon, wie mit den Opfern des Nationalsozialismus nach 1945 »verfahren« wurde. die Ausstellung blickt anhand von 27 exemplarischen Einzelfällen aus Ost- und West-Berlin auf die vielen Dimensionen der Verfahren zur »Wiedergutmachung«.

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Making amends. Compensation and restitution cases in divided Berlin

Documenting the struggle to find adequate ways of providing compensation and restitution, this exhibition traces the difficult search for practicable bureaucratic procedures to make amends for unprecedented crimes, and reveals how the fates of Nazi victims were ‘processed’ in post-war Germany. Spotlighting 27 individual cases from East and West Berlin, it illustrates the many different dimensions of “Wiedergutmachung”.

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Auschwitz was my real university. In commemoration of Joseph Wulf

Joseph Wulf (1912-1974) was a Jewish resistance fighter and Auschwitz survivor.  In 1965 Wulf called for an “international documentation centre for research into Nazism and its consequences” to be set up in the villa where the so-called Wannsee Conference had taken place on 20 January 1942. Joseph Wulf, who took his own life in 1974, did not live to see the villa's inauguration as an education and memorial site in January 1992, marking the 50th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference.

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Last exit Mexico. Gilberto Bosques and German and Austrian exiles after 1939

25 selected biographies, nine main display boards and two multimedia information points tell of the rescue work performed by Mexican diplomat Gilberto Bosques (1892-1995), the life of Berlin exiles in far-off Mexico, and their eventual return to the ruins of postwar Germany.

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Booming business. The art trade in Berlin 1933-1945

The exhibition and catalogue tell the stories of fourteen selected art dealers and auctioneers in Nazi-era Berlin, focusing on a number of lesser known galleries as well as prominent houses.



Final Sale. The End of Jewish Owned Businesses in Nazi Berlin

By the example of sixteen all but forgotten Berlin businesses, this exhibition not only shows the stages and processes by which Jewish business people had their rights withdrawn and livelihoods destroyed but also the counter-strategies they developed in response.

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Ohne zu zögern... Varian Fry: Berlin – Marseille – New York

When young American journalist Varian Fry arrived in Marseille in August 1940 to work for the New York aid organization Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC), German troops had already occupied much of France. The ceasefire agreement stipulated that all the Germans remaining in unoccupied France were “to be extradited on demand”. This meant de facto the end of political asylum in France. In the ensuing months, Varian Fry and his helpers worked to save the lives of thousands of exiles, including many prominent artists and intellectuals.  This exhibition shows the work performed by the helpers and the routes the refugees took, from Berlin via Paris to Marseille, the Pyrenees and all the way to New York.

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Silenced. Berlin City councillors targeted by Nazi persecution

This exhibition, commissioned by the Berlin Senate and House of Representatives, documents the lives of 32 local politicians who were persecuted by the Nazis for different reasons. Showing personal objects, photographs and documents, the exhibition reveals how they were forced out of politics and into exile, imprisoned and killed. As well as telling tragic personal stories, these biographies provide concrete evidence of how parliamentary democracy was crushed in Germany in 1933.

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Haymatloz. Exile in Turkey 1933-1945

This exhibition remembers the approximately 1000 expellees from Nazi Germany who followed the Atatürk government’s invitation to live and work in Turkey. Here they contributed to modernizing all areas of the young republic’s social and cultural life.

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Life on hold. Exile in Shanghai 1938-1947

This exhibition shows photographs, documents and everyday objects that tell of the fate of Jewish exiles in Shanghai and, in some cases, their return to Berlin.

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1945: where to now? Exile and return ...to Berlin?

In 1933 and the ensuing years, thousands of Berliners left their hometown to seek refuge from the Nazi regime in other countries. Few of them returned to Berlin after 1945. This exhibition explores the reasons why by looking at the life stories of over 70 émigrés, some of them famous and others less so.

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