The exhibition follows the chronology of the demarcation, division and reunification of the two German states between 1945 and 1990. With reference to the region of the Südharz, the significant cornerstones of the division are presented on display panels, with exhibits, in dioramas and in multimedia steles.
Exhibition section A: 1945
The end of the war in 1945 in the southern Harz region and the division of Germany begins in the rubble of destroyed towns and landscapes.
Exhibition Section B: 1945 - 1961
The exchange of territories in July 1945 and border commuting shape the post-war period.
In 1952, the GDR introduced a police order to close the border.
As a result, militarily trained police units are tasked with securing the border.
Exhibition Section C: Escape in the Southern Harz Region
Statistics and special escape attempts in the region of the Südharz between 1949 and 1989.
Exhibition Section D: 1961 - 1989
Securing the border with barbed wire, mine barriers and automatic firing systems. The "Green Border" was hermetically sealed off.
From 1980 until the end of the GDR, border security with modern signal fences increasingly shifted to the backcountry.
Exhibition Section E: 1989 - 1990
Opening of the border in 1989 and the demolition of the border security elements. Peaceful reunification of Germany in 1990.
Exhibition Section F: Special Exhibitions
In changing special exhibitions, we focus on particular aspects of the general theme of our museum.
A special feature here is the cooperation with authorities, archives, educational institutions and other institutions from the region of the southern Harz and the surrounding area in the development and presentation of the themes.
During the Second World War, deportation, internment, flight and expulsion already led to a migration movement of enormous
proportions in Europe, which played a decisive role in the chaos-like conditions in many post-war societies.
The deportation of millions and millions of people to forced labour in the German Reich, the decisions of the Allies to expel the ethnic German population from the areas east of the Oder-Neisse line and the subsequent internal German migration until the end of the 1980s are the themes of the new special exhibition.
Documents published for the first time by the International Tracing Service, the successor organisation to the International Refugees Organization of the United Nations, document the extent and effects of this 20th century migration. Among other things, they also show the reasons for the sealing off of the inner-German border.