Palace of the Republic: The strongest monument that the Federal Republic of Germany constructed within the GDR | EUROtoday

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Opinion Palace of the Republic

The strongest monument that the Federal Republic of Germany constructed of the GDR

DIE WELT photo shoot September 27th - October 7th, 2016
The palace as an asbestos ruin The palace as an asbestos ruin

The People's Palace as an asbestos damage, shortly earlier than the excavators got here

Quelle: image alliance / Caro

16 years after its controversial demolition, the Palace of the Republic is returning to the place it as soon as stood. The Humboldt Forum within the Berlin City Palace reveals what stays of the GDR's most necessary constructing: “pasts”. But what would they be?

EIt smells like hyacinths. In the Berlin Humboldt Forum there may be an inhaler that exudes the scent of flowers. As an exhibit within the particular exhibition of the 12 months on the Palace of the Republic, which was as soon as right here, it’s meant to be a reminder of what it smelled like there, within the lobby between the plant pots. A Proustian Madeleine for survivors of the GDR of their seek for misplaced occasions and vanished locations.

“Here and Away” is the title of the palace present within the new Berlin City Palace. A placemark hangs above the parquet ground above the ground plans of all of the buildings that share the historical past of this sq.: outdated metropolis palace (blue), Palace of the Republic (white), new metropolis palace/Humboldt Forum (black). The GDR had demolished the Prussian Castle and constructed the People's Palace, whereas united Germany had eliminated the palace and rebuilt the fort.

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THE PALACE OF THE REPUBLIC IN THE HUMBOLDT FORUM - Traces and interior furnishings from the Palace of the Republic, 1970s/80s.  Directional system (2 elements), design of the pictograms: Klaus Wittkugel, 1970s.  © SHF, digital reproduction: Jester Blank GbR

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View of the Palace of the Republic, the parliament of the GDR, in which the People's Chamber meets, taken in 1986. The Palace of the Republic is considered a prestige object of the GDR state and party leader Erich Honecker.  The Palace of the Republic was built between 1973 and 1976 according to plans by a team of architects under Heinz Graffunder.  |  Use worldwide

“What's gone is gone,” stated the director of the Humboldt Forum, Hartmut Dorgerloh, 5 years in the past, earlier than the opening of his home. So far, the palace has been present in “traces”, because the curatorial time period was. A signpost to the youth membership and the Spreestuben, a glass poll field from the final People's Chamber of the GDR, some ball lamps. There are souvenirs out there within the museum store. Regarding “Hin und weg”, Dorgerloh says that the demolished palace is within the bones of the Humboldt Forum. He speaks of emotions of loss, devaluation and accountability: “We have to constantly renegotiate the past.” How many pasts would that be? One doesn’t know.

One corridor is crammed with reveals such because the stays of the Glass Flower from the primary lobby, a portray from the “Communists Dreams” sequence, tubular metal furnishings and dishes made from Meissen porcelain. The curators have positioned a second room in entrance of it: the partitions are coated with foil within the deep red-gold coloration of the palace home windows, with the categorical want to formulate one's views there in writing. Questions are already there: “Who is speaking? Who is telling whose story here?” Craft sheets for “memory boxes” can be found.

View of the “Espresso” café in the Palace of the Republic

View of the “Espresso” café within the Palace of the Republic

Source: ©Dept. Public Relations, Palace of the Republic

Almost 35 years after the autumn of the Wall and pushed by a hardened East-West debate, the German East is being rediscovered and warmly invited. “Neocolonial” is the connection between West and East, based on the bestseller “The East – a West German Invention” by Dirk Oschmann. It was additionally noticeable within the Humboldt Forum that artifacts such because the chrome steel ice cream cups from the Palace of the Republic may look unlucky amongst Benin bronzes and boats from the Bismarck Archipelago.

So now what the Palace of the Republic was is proven in a considerably exaggeratedly immersive means. An open home of a closed state, the tip of which was determined by its first freely elected parliament earlier than the brand new state may symbolically erase it from the brand new capital as an asbestos damage. The palace is a logo even in its absence, it says on the doorway plaque. It is probably the most highly effective monument that the Federal Republic of the GDR has erected.

From May 17, 2024 to February 16, 2025

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