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The Allied Museum tells a unique story: from the German defeat in the Second World War to the division of West and East Berlin between the three Western powers and the Soviet Union. Berlin became the most important scene of the struggle that is known as the Cold War.
Under the title “How Enemies Became Friends”, the Allied Museum tells a unique story full of suspense and drama. This story begins with the German defeat in the Second World War in the summer of 1945.
The victorious powers, the USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union, aimed to free the German Reich of Nazism. Conflicts soon arose, however. The Western powers wanted to reconstruct Germany on the basis of capitalism and democracy. The Soviet Union, in contrast, took its own communist social system as a model. Berlin became one of the most important scenes of the struggle that has gone down in history as the Cold War.
The first part of the permanent exhibition in the former American Outpost Movie Theater explores the years 1945 to 1950. The themes are the Allied victory at the end of the Second World War, the first years of the occupation, and the process of democratic renewal. The Berlin Airlift during the Soviet blockade of 1948/49 is a central focus.
The second part of the permanent exhibition in the Nicholson Memorial Library examines the period 1951 to 1994. The focus is on the military confrontation between East and West during the Cold War. Berlin was an especially important scene of rivalries between opposing intelligence services. Apart from everyday life in the garrisons, the exhibition also highlights the events from German unity in 1990 to the withdrawal of the Western forces in 1994.
Alongside the permanent exhibition, the temporary exhibitions address a variety of relevant topics. Events, film screenings and guided tours of the exhibitions round out the program.
The Allied Museum tells a unique story: from the German defeat in the Second World War to the division of West and East Berlin between the three Western powers and the Soviet Union. Berlin became the most important scene of
The German Ilse Schier spent her childhood and youth in East Prussia, the easternmost part of the German Reich. Her rural idyllic life there ended abruptly with the outbreak of the Second World War.
The 14-year-old Jew Manfred Steinfeld fled from Nazi Germany to the USA in 1938. Seven years later he returned with the 82nd U.S. Airborne Division as a liberator and participated in Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. On 2 May 1945 he witnessed the meeting of U.S. and Soviet forces at the Elbe as well as the liberation of Wöbbelin concentration camp.
Svetoslao N. Hlopoff arrived in eastern France as a soldier with the U.S. Army in December 1944. After the surrender of Nazi Germany, a roundabout route took him to the Allied Kommandatura in Berlin as a Russian-English interpreter. In this capacity he experienced the beginnings and the collapse of the Four Powers Administration.
After Italy announced its withdrawal from the Second World War in early September 1943, the Wehrmacht deported Italian soldiers to the German Reich. They were deployed as forced labourers in the industry. The Italian military radio operator Ugo Brilli was one of them. He was interned at the forced labour camp in Schöneweide.
Wilhelm Keitel served as chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht from 1938 to 1945. He loyally supported Hitler’s policies and shared responsibility for the war of annihilation in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. On 8 May 1945 he signed the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces in Berlin. In November 1945 he stood trial in Nuremberg.
The Second World War in Europe ended in the spring of 1945 with the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. The fate of the German people now lay in the hands of the four victorious powers, the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. Germany and Berlin were placed under a shared four-party administration.
The battle of Berlin was one of the last battles of the Second World War in Europe. The war that had proceeded from Berlin returned to the city. Many soldiers and civilians died in widespread house-to-house fighting.