Displacement
Expulsion
Reconciliation

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The Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation is being built in the heart of Berlin, not far from Potsdamer Platz – a unique Centre for learning and remembrance for displacement, expulsion and forced migration in the past and present.

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The
Documentation
Centre


The Documentation Centre offers a generous 6,000 square meters of space for exhibitions, a library & testimony archive, education & communications, events, a shop and a restaurant.




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Our
Topic


The Documentation Centre deals with the fate of millions of people who were forced to leave their homeland. The Centre will provide information about the causes, dimensions and consequences of displacement, expulsion and forced migration in the past and present. We regard ourselves as a site for historical education and lively debate in the spirit of reconciliation.


Displacement from Danzig, April 1945The Red Army took the Hanseatic city of Danzig in March 1945. Most citizens fled to the west. The remaining German population was expelled after the end of the war.

Displacement from Danzig, April 1945
The Red Army took the Hanseatic city of Danzig in March 1945. Most citizens fled to the west. The remaining German population was expelled after the end of the war.

Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst, Fotokorrespondent Timofej Melnik
Expulsion from Poland, 1940Beginning in 1939, the German occupiers began to expel Poles from the annexed areas into the General Government or deport them to Germany for forced labour. The unfettered terror and systematic destruction of the Polish elite claimed innumerable victims. This photograph shows SS soldiers and police engaged in preparations for the resettlement of Polish villagers.

Expulsion from Poland, 1940
Beginning in 1939, the German occupiers began to expel Poles from the annexed areas into the General Government or deport them to Germany for forced labour. The unfettered terror and systematic destruction of the Polish elite claimed innumerable victims. This photograph shows SS soldiers and police engaged in preparations for the ‘resettlement’ of Polish villagers.

Barch, Bild 101III-Wisniewski-015-25A/Wisniewski
The Armenian catastrophe, 1915/16Beginning in the late nineteenth century, attacks against Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire occurred with increasing frequency. The conflicts peaked in 1915/16 with a systematic deportation that led to the obliteration of a rich Armenian culture within the Ottoman Empire. Churches and monasteries were plundered and destroyed. The restoration of the Armenian church on the Akdamar peninsula on Lake Van in Anatolia could signal a new beginning after almost one century.

The Armenian catastrophe, 1915/16
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, attacks against Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire occurred with increasing frequency. The conflicts peaked in 1915/16 with a systematic deportation that led to the obliteration of a rich Armenian culture within the Ottoman Empire. Churches and monasteries were plundered and destroyed. The restoration of the Armenian church on the Akdamar peninsula on Lake Van in Anatolia could signal a new beginning after almost one century.

robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Rescue operation by the Italian Coast Guard, 2015The photo shows an Italian naval vessel taking refugees on board in international waters about 50 km off of the Libyan coast on May 29, 2015. The number of people making their way to Europe via the Central Mediterranean route is constantly growing. The overcrowded boats frequently encounter distress at sea along the way.

Rescue operation by the Italian Coast Guard, 2015
The photo shows an Italian naval vessel taking refugees on board in international waters about 50 km off of the Libyan coast on May 29, 2015. The number of people making their way to Europe via the Central Mediterranean route is constantly growing. The overcrowded boats frequently encounter distress at sea along the way.

Fabrizio Villa/Polaris/laif
Expulsion from Silesia, February 1946The organized expulsion of Germans after an agreement with the occupation zone reached its zenith in 1946 with Operation Swallow . Millions of people were affected in Silesia, the most heavily populated province in the eastern German Empire. This image shows Lower Silesians in February 1946 in front of the Minorite Church in Glatz on their way to the train station, where they were sent off in cattle cars to the west. The white armbands that identified them as Germans are clearly visible.

Expulsion from Silesia, February 1946
The organized expulsion of Germans ‒ after an agreement with the occupation zone ‒ reached its zenith in 1946 with “Operation Swallow”. Millions of people were affected in Silesia, the most heavily populated province in the eastern German Empire. This image shows Lower Silesians in February 1946 in front of the Minorite Church in Glatz on their way to the train station, where they were sent off in cattle cars to the west. The white armbands that identified them as Germans are clearly visible.

Archiv Zentralstelle Grafschaft Glatz/Schlesien e.V., Lüdenscheid
The Mostar Bridge, 2007The old arched bridge had stood over the Neretva River in Mostar since the sixteenth century. It was completely destroyed in 1993 during the war in Bosnia. Reconstruction began three years later and the bridge was reopened in 2004. It connects the eastern, Bosnian-influenced section of the city with the Croat-dominated western side, thereby symbolising hope forreconciliation and the peaceful coexistence of all ethnic and religious groups.

The Mostar Bridge, 2007
The old arched bridge had stood over the Neretva River in Mostar since the sixteenth century. It was completely destroyed in 1993 during the war in Bosnia. Reconstruction began three years later and the bridge was reopened in 2004. It connects the eastern, Bosnian-influenced section of the city with the Croat-dominated western side, thereby symbolising hope forreconciliation and the peaceful coexistence of all ethnic and religious groups.

Ramirez, Mostar Old Town Panorama 2007, CC BY-SA 4.0
Thessaloniki, 1917The international Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 legitimised ethnically motivated displacement. Right of return was denied to Greeks and Turks who had lost their homes in the course of the Balkan Wars of 1912/13 and the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-22. The photograph shows the Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1917, when minarets still hinted at the Turkish Muslim population.

Thessaloniki, 1917
The international Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 legitimised ethnically motivated displacement. Right of return was denied to Greeks and Turks who had lost their homes in the course of the Balkan Wars of 1912/13 and the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-22. The photograph shows the Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1917, when minarets still hinted at the Turkish Muslim population.

arkivi-Bildagentur
Refugees arriving in Germany, 2015In recent years, many refugees from war and crisis zones such as Syria, Eritrea, and Afghanistan have come to Germany. This photo shows refugees upon arrival in Germany at the end of October 2015. They are being escorted by police to an emergency shelter close to Wegscheid in Bavaria.

Refugees arriving in Germany, 2015
In recent years, many refugees from war and crisis zones such as Syria, Eritrea, and Afghanistan have come to Germany. This photo shows refugees upon arrival in Germany at the end of October 2015. They are being escorted by police to an emergency shelter close to Wegscheid in Bavaria.

picture alliance/dpa/Armin Weigel
Bleidenstadt settlement in Taunusstein, 1952Millions of refugees and expellees had to be provided with provisional living quarters in the post-war period. Housing in private households or in encampments were not meant to be a long-term solution. This is why settlements were built in several locations in the 1950s: to provide the homeless with a new home.

Bleidenstadt settlement in Taunusstein, 1952
Millions of refugees and expellees had to be provided with provisional living quarters in the post-war period. Housing in private households or in encampments were not meant to be a long-term solution. This is why settlements were built in several locations in the 1950s: to provide the homeless with a new home.

BArch, B 145 Bild-F000102-0008
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The
Exhibition


The exhibition will illuminate politically, ethnically and religiously motivated forced migrations, primarily in twentieth-century Europe but also beyond. The displacement and expulsion of Germans during and after the Second World War, which was initiated by Germany, constitute the focus of the exhibition’s narrative. The exhibition will focus on questions of universal significance: Why are people expelled or forced to migrate? What are the paths they have to travel? What does it mean to lose one’s homeland? How can those affected make a new start?

A multifaceted presentation of original objects, documents and photographs, as well as field reports and life stories, awaits you.

Supplementary special exhibitions will be presented in a 450 square metre space on the ground floor.




First upper floor of the permanent exhibition

First upper floor of the permanent exhibition

Atelier Brückner GmbH
Second upper floor of the permanent exhibition

Second upper floor of the permanent exhibition

Atelier Brückner GmbH
Forum for education in the first upper floor

Forum for education in the first upper floor

Atelier Brückner GmbH
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Education &
communications


We offer a wide range of educational opportunities for pupils, young people, visitor groups, teachers and students. You can expect diverse multiperspective educational formats, including tours, workshops, continuing education, and instructional materials to prepare and follow up your visit, as well as inclusive services.




SFVV
Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung
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Library &
testimony archive


We invite you to visit the scholarly library and our archive with documents, reports on displacement, and moving eyewitness interviews, all located in the first upper floor of the Documentation Centre. There you can delve deeper into our topics and gain fascinating insights into oral history and genealogical research. Here you can also conduct electronic research in significant holdings and databases of other institutions related to these subjects.




SFVV
Marte.Marte Architekten
SFVV
A spiral staircase leads to the second upper floor of the exhibition; Foto: Roland Horn
SFVV
View of the first upper floor; Foto: Roland Horn
SFVV
The foyer with a view of the entrance area; Foto: Roland Horn
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Architecture


The spectacular architecture of Austrians Stefan and Bernhard Marte combines the historically listed building with striking new construction. A slim gap that allows daylight to stream in connects the two building sections.

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About Us


The Documentation Centre will be run by the Foundation for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation, which was founded by the German Bundestag.


Contact

T +49 30 206 29 98-0
info@f-v-v.de


Press contact

T +49 30 206 29 98-11
presse@f-v-v.de


Address

Foundation for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation
Office address (until the opening)
Mauerstrasse 83/84, 10117 Berlin


Download Employee List

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Memo Game


Our testimony archive documents the stories of people who have experienced displacement, expulsion or forced migration. In addition to interviews with eyewitnesses, the archive also contains written accounts of displacement, diaries and journals, letters, photographs, documents and objects. You can learn about a few of the eyewitnesses and their objects in this memory game.

Have you, someone from your family or someone you know lived through displacement, expulsion or forced migration? We would be very grateful if you would entrust us with your story: stories@f-v-v.de


Open Memo Game

Stay up to date


Send an email to

info@f-v-v.de

Sponsored by

BKM