When the First World War ended with the triumph of the Allied forces, entire empires – the Ottoman, Habsburg and Romanov dynasties – vanished from the map. The German empire was forced to surrender vast territories and lost its colonies overseas. The end of the First World War led to an implosion of imperial power structures, the traces and effects of which are still felt today.

How significant is the religious, cultural, militaristic and economic legacy of these empires? How is the “Great War” anchored in global consciousness today? And can an examination of conflicts which sparked World War I help us to better understand the conflict zones of the present?

One hundred years following the end of World War I, the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin has organised an artistic programme which addressed these questions together with international theatre artists. In various theatre productions, guest performances, lecture performances, discussions and workshops, the artists and theatre producers have investigated the global legacy of this war and the challenges facing democratic thinking today.

The artistic programme for “War or Peace. Crossroads of History 1918/2018” was a collaboration between the Maxim Gorki Theater and the Federal Cultural Foundation, and was supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Opening Premiere: Constitution (Grundgesetz)

A choral stress test by Marta Górnicka
3 October 2018, 3 pm at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The Polish director and revivalist of the choral principle Marta Górnicka has performed the German constitution in front of the Brandenburg Gate with a chorus of 50 singers from Berlin. The performance served as a stress test to determine the resilience of its declarations in crisis situations.

War or Peace - The fest­ival

The artistic programme at the Maxim Gorki Theater was part of the history festival “War or Peace”. As part of the festival, the Federal Agency for Civic Education has organised a four-day conference for over 400 adolescents and young adults. The participants have discussed the repercussions of 1918 and searched for possibilities to influence the present.

Europe 14 | 14 His­tory Cam­pus

The festival “War or Peace” was the continuation of “Europe 14 | 14 History Campus”. The History Campus 2014 was an educational project organised by the Federal Agency for Civic Education for some 450 young adults. In connection with this project, the Maxim Gorki Theater and the Federal Cultural Foundation jointly developed an “open campus” comprised of an artistic programme for the public.



  • Date


    Opening Premiere: Constitution

    A choral stress test by Marta Górnicka

    Brandenburg Gate | Berlin

    03.10. –

    War or Peace

    Crossroads of History 1918/2018. History festival

    Maxim Gorki Theatre | Berlin


Maxim Gorki Theater

Am Festungsgraben 2
10117 Berlin