The GDR Experience!

Kulturhistorisches Museum Görlitz – financed through the City Companions fund

How do people today remember urban life in former East Germany (GDR)? This is the central question of the project “The GDR Experience!” organised by the Kulturhistorisches Museum Görlitz and its partners. The project calls on residents of Görlitz to talk about their life and experiences in the GDR and share these memories with those who were born or who moved to Görlitz after 1989. The organisers intend to reach various target groups in town by working together with partners, e.g. organisations, a local housing association and the Fotomuseum. The memories and souvenirs collected in this way will then be incorporated into an exhibition. The exhibition venue in the Görlitz “Kaisertrutz” will invite visitors to bring their own mementos and stories and comment on the significance of the displays. Various formats, such as storytelling cafés, podium discussions, readings and film screenings will ensure that the project is broadly anchored within the city. An accompanying art exhibition will leave the museum for presentation at a place where people actually live. The works from the Görlitz collections will be displayed in a shop located in a GDR-era housing development.

For the Kulturhistorisches Museum, the project represents a daring experiment as the museum will only assume the role of a moderator and relinquish its interpretive control of the exhibited items. A structured exhibition room and various discussion formats are planned in order to counter the propagation of potentially one-sided memories. The project will also integrate the views of residents of Görlitz who did not experience the GDR.

Partners: Förderverein Kulturstadt Görlitz-Zgorzelec e.V. (main partner), Philharmonische Brücken e.V, KommWohnen GmbH, Fotomuseum Görlitz e.V. and others

City Companions fund

With its City Companions fund, the Federal Cultural Foundation wishes to encourage city museums and local groups and participants to forge new partnerships and collaboratively address contemporary issues of urban society.

About the fund (external link, opens in a new window)


  • 18 November, 2016 to 1 May, 2017: Exhibition "Erfahrung DDR"

    Kulturhistorisches Museum Kaisertrutz, Görlitz

  • 6 October, 2016 : Opening of Exhibition Photo Competition


  • 2 September, 2016 to 3 April, 2017: Exhibition "Kunsterfahrung DDR"

    Ladengeschäft Wendel-Roskopf-Straße 12, Görlitz


Kulturhistorisches Museum Görlitz

Neißstraße 29
02826 Görlitz


Project managers

Agnieszka Lemmer
Silke Maria Hampel
Tel. 03581 7678344 (external link, opens in a new window) (external link, opens in a new window)