Germany Examines Its Past

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The German Historical Museum in Berlin is to open its first permanent exhibition, "German History and Testimonials From Two Millennia," on June 3. About 8,000 objects will testify to 2,000 years of German politics, struggles and developments in the context of European history. The museum director, Hans Ottomeyer, in charge of the project since 2000, said in a recent interview with the news magazine Der Spiegel that the exhibition is "like an open book that wants to show all chapters of German history." The Nazi era will occupy almost a third of the overall exhibition space, spread across two floors of the former Prussian armory building. On display for the first time will be Hitler's desk, which the Russians removed from the burning chancellery in 1945. Other objects will include a mask from the battle of Varus (A.D. 9), where Germanic tribes defeated the Romans, and a portrait of Charlemagne by Albrecht Dürer. The plan for a national historical exhibition was formed in 1987 when Helmut Kohl was chancellor.

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