ETZ-Programm ETZ-Programm

The Democracy Forum – Insight through the Iron Curtain

With its exhibition venue “Iron Curtain”, the Weitra Democracy Forum offers the opportunity to immerge into the world of the former Iron Curtain. The historical arc of the show covers the full range between the dramatic events of World War II, the Cold War and the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Along the line of the former border areas from Lübeck in the North to Trieste in the South, the exhibition provides historical insight into the political and social history. Its various sections are particularly highlighted to address also more sensitive issues and individual fates in a hands-on-way to reflect impressions of life on either side of the border.

Not only that the exhibition offers a glimpse into the past, it also puts particular emphasis on the EU's eastward enlargement as the most visible sign of the final overcoming of the division of Europe and of the opportunities appearing in a united Europe. All kinds of visual impressions of the division of Europe have largely disappeared by now. Historical imagery and new media such as digital photography, video installations, computer terminals and interactive DVD technology allow the visitor to walk along the former parting line of Europe.

The initiative for the creation of a museum in the rooms of the Weitra castle and the establishment of the Weitra democracy Forum by Secretary of State-retired Dr. Alois Mock built on all these considerations. In 2002, the generous “Iron Curtain” exhibition venue was completed, and in 2012 it was creatively adapted under the scientific direction of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute.