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Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller wrote an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel back in 2011 advocating a museum about exile. She is the patron of Exilmuseum Berlin.

“To this day, there is no central place in Germany that makes tangible the expulsion of hundreds of thousands into exile by the National Socialists.

The dangers of fleeing, the shell-shocked lives in foreign lands, poverty, fear and all-consuming homesickness – in our modern times, certain groups of people are still experiencing this each and every day, making it all the more pressing for us to truly comprehend the meaning of the word exile.

Learning about the events that occurred during that period of history makes it possible for us to better understand the people who are looking for refuge in Germany today. As a vibrant location of contemporary times, the Exilmuseum will also tell their stories.”

Werkstatt
Exilmuseum

A Place to Think about Exile

Werkstatt Exilmuseum is now our new interim home at Fasanenstraße 24. Here, we will continue developing Exilmuseum, which will be built at Anhalter Bahnhof. Until the building is completed, Werkstatt Exilmuseum will provide visitors insights into the work of the foundation: what’s it all about? What is being worked on? How will it ultimately look? And how can those interested make a contribution?

Open every Thursday, 3–6 pm, for events or by appointment

Werkstatt Exilmuseum will serve as a center to focus on questions surrounding the subject of exile in the past and present. If offers manifold opportunities for participation and serves as site for experimentation, exhibitions, and events, featuring regular discussion events, readings, concerts, film presentations, workshops and so much more.

Current
News

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 7 pm

Narrating Exile: Volha Hapeyeva

Volha Hapeyeva is one of Belarus’ most famous poets. Discussion and reading from her recent volume of poetry Trapezherz

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 7 pm

"Nothing but Culture”: The Pringsheim Family and Its Collections after 1933

Lecture about the unique collections of the Pringsheim Family - as part of the lecture series “Wiedergefunden. Privatsammlungen in Deutschland nach 1933”

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7 pm

It Must Schwing: The Blue Note Story

Documentary about the emigrants Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff, who founded the legendary jazz label Blue Note in New York. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director Eric Friedler

From March 1 to June 2, 2024

Exile Exhibition at Haus Kunst Mitte

In the exhibition “RUPTURES: Artists in Berlin Exile” at Haus Kunst Mitte, Stiftung Exilmuseum was invited to design a room. In this space, we illuminate the subject of “waiting” on the way into exile and in exile.

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 7 pm

Farkhondeh Shahroudi: Exile from Iran

Performance of the artist Farkondeh Shahroudi and podium discussion on the situation in Iran

Thursday, December 14, 2023, 7pm

Out of Exile: The Photography of Fred Stein

Screening of the prize-winning documentary and subsequent discussion with the director and son of the photographer

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 5 pm

85 Years since the Kindertransporte

Commemoration of the Kindertransporte from Germany to the UK in 1938/39

Starting November 9, 2023

Sky is no one's ground

Exhibition of Iranian artist Farkhondeh Shahroudi who received the Exile Visual Arts Award 2023

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 7 pm

Dispersed into Exile: The Lost "Mosseum"

The art collection Rudolf and Emilie Mosse was auctioned off under Nazi pressure in 1934. The traces of several works lead to the United States, Israel, and to Berlin’s Museum Island ...

The
Museum

What is Exile?

The focus of Exilmuseum is the period 1933-1945. Persecuted by the Nazis, about half a million people fled abroad in these years. Numerous of them left Germany for what was hopefully a life-saving place of exile from Berlin’s central railway station, the Anhalter Bahnhof. It was always a departure into the unknown, often followed by a lifelong feeling of alienation, fear and longing for home.

Exilmuseum Berlin wants to tell the stories of the people who faced this fate - and at the same time build a bridge to the present: How did flight and uprooting become central experiences of our time? What is the connection between exile then and now? And what can we learn from history for today?

Resonance

Statements on the Exilmuseum Berlin

“I hope, the Exilmuseum can be a bridge between the past and the present, between ‘we’ and ‘them’, between all the different communitys of exile. I guess, all we need, is a common house to bring us together with our memories, with our sufferings, with our feelings.”
Can Dündar, journalist in exile
“The Exilmuseum project comes at the right time. Now, as stories of refugees and exiles appear in the news on an almost daily basis, our gaze is drawn anew to the experiences of those who were forced into exile or expelled by the Nazis. This dramatic subject has not received enough attention. A museum of exile can serve as a space for shared remembrance.”
Joachim Gauck, former German President
“Nobody has ever asked me about, or apologized for, that deeper meaning of exile—which is, in fact, a bit like losing your life’s center, its binding thread. Now, finally, a place will exist where this question is asked, where these apologies will be made. How wonderful if I live to see it!”
Georg Stefan Troller, exiled in 1938
“With great respect for your civic commitment, I acknowledge your efforts to create a memorial in Berlin for the people who were driven out of Germany by the Nazi terror regime and to pass on their fate to future generations. Over 500,000 German citizens who had to leave Nazi Germany are a constant reminder of where exclusion and deprivation of rights can lead.”
Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and Media
“It's interesting that there hasn't even been the idea until this initiative came together. [...] But it should also be a government duty to take on this topic, that deals with our history, with our roots, and at the same time with world history.”
Petra Pau, Vice President of the German Parliament
“When confronting Berlin's history today, one senses again and again that this city is missing a certain intellectual substance. With the extinction and expulsion of Jewish culture, Berlin robbed itself of one of its essential and characterizing foundations. An exile museum which reminds us of this is long overdue.”
Florian Illies, author
“Forced emigration and exile still shape our world today. For this reason, it is so important to safeguard an awareness of emigration during the Nazi era and to establish places of remembrance. The bitter reality of what has been suffered, the broken biographies…they should not be dealt with only in the ivory tower of academia but experienced and understood by people today through the individual stories of those from the past. This is what I expect from the Exilmuseum.”
Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, Goethe Institute
“Nothing is more impressive than stories about people. Not just to read numbers, figures, and statistics in history books, but to hear the testimony of living people from the period with body and soul who tell of their experience and their own emotional state.”
Michael W. Blumenthal, founding director Jewish Museum Berlin, exiled in 1938
“Offering asylum, help, being a host – these things will play an even bigger role in the future. [...] Many Berliners have experienced hospitality in dire situations. And I think it’s time to give something back.”
Michael Müller, former Governing Mayor of Berlin
“I think at the time we didn’t imagine that refugees and the subject of emigration and migration and integration would become very important in this world that has become so small. And that a place where one can find out what people went through hopefully conveys the message: we have to do it differently.”
Ruth Weiss, exiled in 1936
“A museum of exile is a challenge especially suited to our time, with its networked spaces but also with its many precarious and vulnerable existences! What will be exhibited here is not what has always and unquestionably been a part of it, but rather what reminds us of broken cultural traditions and communities and makes visible the intertwining of our history with the history of others.”
Doerte Bischoff, Walter A. Berendsohn Research Center for German Exile Literature
“Forced migration and exile are issues of great relevance both to the history that we at the Leo Baeck Institute seek to preserve and to contemporary challenges nations are facing on a global scale. Therefore, it is timely and appropriate that the Exilmuseum will be established in present-day Germany. A museum dedicated to commemorating and examining the individual stories and the societal impact of the exile experience will serve as an important lesson around the world.”
William H. Weitzer, Leo Baeck Institute
“I am impressed by the way the Exilmuseum Foundation seeks to engage with its audience. Every contribution that helps us to remember and to reflect on emigration and exile is welcome—also to do this in cooperation with institutions and initiatives that already exist, as the Exilmuseum plans to do. Expertise and good ideas are needed to convey to the postwar generations, who have, thank goodness, grown up in a peaceful and safe environment, that having a home is by no means guaranteed.”
Monika Grütters, former Minister of State for Culture and Media
“The founding of a museum of emigration seems more important today than ever. This particularly applies to Germany, which must be reminded again and again of the emigration which took place during the years of tyranny. The impulse and momentum achieved during the intellectual reconstruction of the Federal Republic which came forth out of emigration has hardly been discussed. A newly conceptualized history of the Federal Republic could be established at this level which evaluates the fundamental contributions of emigrants anew.”
Horst Bredekamp
“The horror and shock of the Holocaust was so overwhelming and so crushing that it neglected the fates of the emigrants, the drama of survival (…) What a gift it is that there will now be a place where these stories can be told which should have been told a long time ago – of the suffering by countless broken lives. (...) Berlin needs an exile museum.”
Sibylle Zehle
“This subject, so very pivotal for German history and the 20th century, has never been addressed as a comprehensive history. It would be irresponsible to not tell the story.”
Jens Bisky

The
Building

The Exilmuseum

Exilmuseum Berlin will be built on the empty space between the portico ruins of the former Anhalter Bahnhof and the Lilli Henoch sports field.

For its realization, the foundation Stiftung Exilmuseum Berlin launched an architectural competition in cooperation with the Berlin Senate’s Department and the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The winning design by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup impresses with its curving, crescent-shaped façade, which grants plenty of space for the portico ruins while simultaneously seeming to embrace them protectively.

The opening is planned for 2028.




Dorte Mandrup took up the motif of arches, bridges and gates in the old station architecture, but interpreted it using a modern architectural language all her own.

The
Foundation

Exilmuseum is a civic initiative. It closes a gap in Germany's culture of remembrance and and addresses pressing contemporary issues.


Join us in making Exilmuseum a reality: any donation, large or small, is a vital contribution the realization of the project.

IBAN: DE81 1007 0100 0298 8244 00
BIC: DEUTDEBB101

Are you thinking about making a donation or endowment for the Exilmuseum? We are happy to advise you on all your options. Feel free to contact us: info@exilmuseum.berlin

Patrons
Herta Müller
Joachim Gauck

Initiator
Bernd Schultz

Executive Board
André Schmitz
Kai Drabe
Kader Konuk
Heike Catherina Mertens
Johannes Wien

Board of Trustees
Peter Raue (Chair)

Academic Advisory Board
t.b.a.

Founding Director
Prof. Dr. Christoph Stölzl ✝

Artistic Director and Curator
Cornelia Vossen

Managing Director
Meike-Marie Thiele

Assistance to the Managing Director
Nicole Skoczowsky

Research Associates
Sarah Blendin
Dana Müller
Philipp Sukstorf

Press

Here you can find press releases, pictures, a newsletter archive and a press review.

Leaflet (2020)
Short summary of all important information about Exilmuseum
Download

Booklet (2018)
About the vision and background of the Exilmuseum Berlin
Download

Contact

Stiftung Exilmuseum Berlin
Fasanenstr. 24
10719 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 7673 3912 0
info@exilmuseum.berlin

Opening times of Werkstatt Exilmuseum:
every Thursday, 3–6 pm (except public holidays),
for events or by appointment


Your donation helps to make Exilmuseum a reality!
IBAN: DE81 1007 0100 0298 8244 00
BIC: DEUTDEBB101


Imprint and Data Privacy

Your Story

Did you yourself, your family or friends flee from Nazism to a foreign country? What stories can you tell about exile, flight and emigration, persecution, life in a foreign country, about farewells and new beginnings? We would be honored and glad if you told us about your experiences. Since the Exilmuseum will be located at Anhalter Bahnhof Berlin, we are particularly interested in stories of the departure into exile from this station.
Please contact us sending a brief summary of your story either by post or by email.