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Collections & Archive

suitcase in the archive

The collections department preserves different kinds of historical objects related to the history of German division and inner-German flight and migration. The holdings of the central Marienfelde refugee center and several private collections from people who fled the GDR to West Berlin form the main focus of the Berlin Wall Foundation’s collection.

The Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum’s collection offers diverse perspectives based on original testimonies from everyday life, political and administrative history, as well as individual private collections documenting heterogenous fates. It brings together many items left behind by the official camp administration with the numerous private donations provided by people who fled the GDR or moved to the West. The ENM collection preserves some 600 original objects, 3,000 historical photographs and extensive written material with well over 30,000 documents spanning six decades. In combination with a large number of contemporary witness collections and the historical press archive on German-German division, this forms the basis for the research and educational work of the permanent exhibition department, whose own collection contains over 400 objects.

  • collection

    Sifting through historical photographs

  • An old picture of the Refugee Center

    Marienfelde Refugee Center

  • objects from the collection

    Objects from the Marienfelde Refugee Center Collection

  • an old document

    Route slip for Refugee Center, object from the collection of the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum.

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