Sun, Sep 02, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Cold War past heats up over museum

Differences over the interpretation of Cold War history is hampering efforts to open a museum at Checkpoint Charlie

By Sophie Duvernoy  /  Reuters, BERLIN

CDU politicians have offered a counter-proposal for a “Museum of Freedom” that would partner with the Museum of the Allied Forces in Tempelhof, a former airport and base for the Berlin airlift during the Cold War.

Jarausch’s backers say this would be too biased.

“When people look at history from a victor’s perspective, they always talk about how terrible it was,” said artist Yadegar Asisi, whose panorama depicting everyday life at the Berlin Wall will open to the public in late September.

The Iranian-Austrian Asisi, who grew up in East Germany, lived in both East and West Berlin in the 1970s.

“Many people in this city talk about the division in terms of good and evil, but people forget about the everyday compromises that were made,” Asisi said, urging a non-political approach to memory. Strangers who come to Berlin can’t imagine how you could have a normal life, living next to the Wall.”

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