To walk through Berlin is to walk on historical ground. Few other places in the world hide so many distinct layers of history beneath the surface. Many traces of the past have faded over the years, however, to such a degree that even the historically inclined pass them by completely oblivious.
berlinHistory’s goal is not only to allow the hidden past to be seen and experienced, but also to preserve it for future generations. Towards this end we have created a digital platform for all cultural institutions, museums, archives, private initiatives, local historians, and individuals. Various types of historical documents – whether photos, texts, videos, audio recordings, historical postcards, eyewitness accounts, before-and-after images, or guided tours – can be uploaded to the interface and made available to the public.
The German Resistance Memorial Center is a close cooperation partner of berlinHistory.app. Together, we want to remind users of the berlinHistory.app of the resistance against National Socialism by telling the stories of many different resistance fighters, set against the map of the city.
Many entries also take you to sites of resistance against the National Socialists’ persecution of Jews. Biographies and photos recall “Silent Heroes” in Berlin: people who stood by persecuted Jews, and persecuted people who resisted the National Socialists’ oppressive and murderous policies.
Our numerous Reich Banner Black-Red-Gold 1924–1933 biographies commemorate members of this cross-party mass organization and their campaigns to defend the Weimar Republic. After the National Socialists took power and banned the Reich Banner in 1933, many of these activists were persecuted, imprisoned, or driven into exile.
Using Stefan Roloff’s Red Orchestra audio-video guide, you can follow the traces of the Red Orchestra resistance network. The tour is made up of reports by resistance fighters, read by their descendants in the fourth generation. The Spanish musician Felix von Harnack and the German actor Kolja Unger take you from the Tiergarten park, where the Red Orchestra activists often met, along Wilhelmstraße, the former heart of National Socialist power, to the abandoned torture chambers of the Topography of Terror. Users slip constantly back and forth in time: amid today’s reality and the sounds of the Tiergarten, where a large part of the tour takes place, they experience the events of around 75 years ago in the same places on their screens.
In addition, over 3000 commemorative plaques around Berlin have been integrated into the app, with additional information (where available). These show where and how the city officially commemorates those who fought against National Socialism and other historically significant individuals, places, and events. The content for the "Commemorative Plaques in Berlin" section was provided by the German Resistance Memorial Center and the Aktives Museum of Fascism and Resistance in Berlin, in conjunction with Holger Hübner.
The themed content is continually expanded, with new thematic focus areas added regularly.
Information on berlinHistory.app is available here: www.berlinhistory.app/english
You can download the berlinHistory.app via the following links: