A pair of keys, a hay trailer, a coat

The History and Politics group organized a guided tour through the Documentation Center for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation on 24 May 2022 where the WiB members took a journey to the tragic history of flight, expulsion and forced relocation. The center was only opened one year ago. Dr. Gundula Bavendamm, the Director of the Foundation for Displacement, Expulsion and Reconciliation, and Ms. Emma Mikuska-Tinman, personally accompanied the group on a tour through the three floors of the impressive modern building.

Dr. Bavendamm explained that the exhibitions at the center not only tell the story of the 14 million Germans who were expelled from their homes after the second world war, but also mark the Nazi Germany’s criminal war of extermination in Eastern Europe. The permanent exhibition also displays other current histories of displacement and expulsion, such as the fate of the boat people from Vietnam, the refugees of the Balkan wars and – most recently – of the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar. The presentation of both modern multimedia panels and authentic pieces of memorabilia: a house key, a hay trailer and a coat, touched the visitors from Willkommen in Berlin so deeply that the tour was prolonged in order to answer all questions. While enjoying coffee and sandwiches at a café, the WiB members shared their impressions of the exhibition.