Museum Europäischer Kulturen
Organizer: Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures)
Dates: 27 June 2014 - 28 June 2015
There is no war without heightened emotions: love of one's country, hatred of the enemy and compassion for the victims. Fear for one's life and well-being, pain and mourning follow soon thereafter.
These wartime emotions will be explored in associative conceptual spaces, in which original artifacts from the First and Second World Wars will be juxtaposed with artworks from present-day artists. These artifacts and artworks will enter into dialogue with one another, and thus into a relationship of tension: In the "Fear" space, for example, an armored breastplate from 1915 is encountered alongside a current photography series on sharpshooters by artist Simon Menner. The patriotic nailing of the almost 13m-high Hindenburg sculpture in front of Berlin's Victory Column stands next to pacifist counter-positions. Postal correspondence between two lovers at the trenches and the "home front" provides a glimpse into the changing emotions and real lives of soldiers. The exhibition ends with personal grief juxtaposed with the adoration of heroes.
In this way, new possibilities are opened up for reflection on war. They show what role emotions play in war and what kind of decisions an individual can make.
Phonographed Sounds - Photographed Moments
Sound and image documents from WWI German prison camps
Organizer: Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures) and the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum)
Dates: 10 October 2014 - 06 April 2015
The Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission was founded in 1915 with the goal of documenting the language and music of foreign soldiers interned in German prison camps. Among the holdings of the Berlin Phonogram Archive in the Ethnologisches Museum, the wax cylinder collection "Phonographische Kommission (Phonographic Commission)" with some 1000 cylinders remains the most extensive of the historical collections. The sound documents consist exclusively of music recordings.
Photographs from the holdings of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen from the Wüns-dorf and Zossen prison camps near Berlin complete the sound recording collection. These prisoners received special treatment from the Germans, who wanted to "re-educate" them to serve in the German ranks. To this end, the photographs taken by Otto Stiehl for the camp commandant's office were also used for propaganda.