Collaborative projects


The ZZF is involved in various exhibition and website projects aimed at a wider public. The current projects include:

Exhibition: „East Berlin. Exploration of an Antecedaneous City“

The Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, and the Municipal Museum Berlin are preparing a joint exhibition on East Berlin. The exhibition will be shown from October 2018 to May 2019 in the Ephraim-Palais in the Nikolaiviertel. It will provide new perspectives on the former metropolis of East Germany. The social and cultural dimensions of urban life in East Berlin will be at the heart of the exhibition. Students of the Master’s programme Public History will develop modern opportunities for participation, which can be made use of in the museum as well as in the urban space of Berlin.

Project coordination at the ZZF: Dr. Jürgen Danyel and Dr. Hanno Hochmuth


Multi-media Documentation of the History of the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1990 and Smartphone/iPad-App „The Berlin Wall“

Long-term Cooperation Project of the Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF), the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, bpb) and German Radio (Deutschlandradio)

Managing Editorial Board:

Hans-Hermann Hertle, Center for Contemporary History Potsdam

Sabine Berthold/Thorsten Schilling, Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn

Birte Lock/Egbert Meyer, German Radio (Deutschlandradio), Berlin/Köln

Editors: Lydia Dollmann, Hans-Hermann Hertle

Translation: Timothy Jones

The bilingual website is a long-term cooperation project of the Federal Center for Civic Education, the Center for Contemporary History Potsdam and German Radio (Deutschlandradio). On the basis of so far partially unpublished documents, film and sound material, photographs and interviews with main actors as well as own research, the dramatic events during the construction and fall of the Wall up to the political unification of Germany are reconstructed and illustrated as well as the most important stations of German division shown.

The website and the “Berlin Wall”-apps are constantly revised, updated and extended.
Full project description


Documentation project: ‘Attention! Border area - The restricted zone in the GDR, Potsdam 1961-89

This collaborative project between the ZZF and the association Memorial Sites at the Potsdam Border pursues the aim – in preparation for an exhibition – of developing for the period from 1945 to 1990 a professionally-sound documentation on this section of the Berlin-Brandenburg Wall north of the Glienicke Bridge, which is of historical relevance and likewise highly interesting for the public. It is edited by Florentine Schmidtmann, associated doctoral student at the ZZF, and funded by the Ministry of Sciences, Research and Cultural Affairs of the Brandenburg federal state.

Project coordination at the ZZF: Prof. Dr. Frank Bösch, Dr. Hans-Hermann Hertle


Documentation "History of the Liebknechtportal"

The ‘Liebknecht Portal’, which was integrated into the GDR’s State Council Building, fulfilled a dual function for the self-conception of the state: it was simultaneously a trophy of victory over the old Hohenzollern monarchy and a memorial to the socialist revolution. Standing on the balcony of the portal on 9 November 1918, Karl Liebknecht had proclaimed the Council Republic; when the City Palace was torn down in 1950, the baroque gateway was saved, in order to rebuild it as a symbol of the anticipated founding of the state at the moment of triumph over imperialism, militarism and fascism.
The more harmonious the narrative, the more disruptive the incongruous details: where exactly was Liebknecht standing when he proclaimed the republic? How could public enemy number one even succeed in gaining access to this most sacred imperial refuge? And who, more than thirty years later, arranged for the building component to be removed from the ruins, which were ready for detonation? The history of the Liebknecht Portal will be reconstructed from newspaper articles, eyewitness reports, literary depictions, construction files and planning sketches – from the appearance of the workers’ leaders in front of the Palace entrance to the presentation of the balcony scene in the GDR’s interpretation of history. The project is funded by the Foundation Berlin City Palace – Humboldt Forum.

Editor at the ZZF: Dominik Juhnke – Multimediales Website-Projekt

Kooperationsprojekt des ZZF Potsdam mit der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung und Deutschlandradio
Projektleitung am ZZF: Dr.Hans Hermann-Hertle

Der 17. Juni 1953 hatte eine Vorgeschichte – und er hatte weitreichende Folgen. Die multimediale Website, die den Zeitraum von April 1952 bis Ende 1953 abdeckt, rekonstruiert den Weg in die Krise, den Aufstand selbst und die Zeit nach dem 17. Juni: Dargestellt werden die Ursachen, der Verlauf und die Folgen. Eine Vielfalt unterschiedlicher Quellen illustriert und ergänzt die Textinformationen: Filmausschnitte, Fotos, Originaltöne aus dem RIAS-Archiv, Zeitzeugeninterviews, Zeitungsausschnitte, Flugblätter sowie Dokumente aus deutschen und internationalen Archiven.
Das Themenportal, das 2003 online gestellt wurde, betrachtet einerseits die vielschichtigen Ereignisse und Entwicklungen in verschiedenen Städten und Orten der DDR zwischen 1952 und 1954 und andererseits die mit dem 17. Juni 1953 zusammenhängenden nationalen und internationalen Entwicklungen. Die Recherchen wurden 2004 abgeschlossen und die Website 2013 lediglich geringfügig aktualisiert. Das materialreiche Portal steht zeitgeschichtlich interessierten Nutzerinnen und Nutzern als thematisches Archiv auch in Zukunft offen.

Public History