In 1730 the Prussian king and his eldest son had become so estranged from each other that the Crown Prince decided to flee abroad. His plan failed. As a result, Crown Prince Friedrich was brought before a war court in the Köpenick Palace where he, and his friend who had abetted him, Lieutenant Hans Hermann von Katte, fought for their lives.
The story has many sides to it: personal drama, international politics, judicial precedent. Over the course of twelve thematic sequences, the exhibition depicts the dramatic turn of events and illustrates their historical significance, both on the individuals involved and on the nation as a whole, as well as how they have been interpreted in art and literature. The dramatic high point of the exhibition is the sentence passed by the Köpenick war court: its members voted steadfastly against the express wishes of King Friedrich Wilhelm I, who then felt bound to overrule them with his own decision as to Katte's fate and the heir to the throne.
The exhibition is being held as part of a wider series of events called 'Art - King - Enlightenment', coordinated by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in honour of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Frederick the Great on 24 January 2012.
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