A tour through the exhibition
The visitor gets tuned in right in the entrance section. Pictures of the construction of the Berlin Wall, of the escape of soldiers from the GDR over the wall and an oppressive soundscape give a first impression.
An original section of the Iron Curtain dominates the room. Pictures on the wall create impressions of the "Iron Curtain": there are not only historic images and recordings, but also remains of the "Iron Curtain" which can still be found as a legacy in the landscape today.
Building on the impression created by parts of the "Iron Curtain" in the previous room, this room gives deeper insight into the very way the border divided the countryside. Colors are used to illustrate this separation. Red color is used to display all that is related to communism, whilst blue color symbolizes the capitalist West. A large map visualizes the partition of Europe into an Eastern and a Western block by the iron curtain.
In this room are the two economic systems: on the one hand, the market economy of the West, on the other hand the planned economy of the East. The two systems are made visible via two young persons’ bedroom furniture and equipment from the 1980s built up opposite to each other.
In this transit room you find panels and showcases which illustrate the way borders were protected at both Austrian and Czechoslovak side.
The topics and phenomena presented in this room visualize the hardships which the inhabitants of either side of the border had to face in their daily lives.
- persecution of the Church in the East
- victims of the "Iron Curtain"
Four columns representing the four countries GDR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland stand in the room. Albeit from outside the Eastern bloc may have seemed to be rather uniform, its inner structure was complex and showed elements of resentment and resistance.
The division of the continent is finally overcome - the image of politicians cutting barbed wire goes around the world.
To sum up the exhibition, the visitor walks up to the ground-floor again and finds a large EU flag and video-wall, which shall symbolize the importance of European integration.