Contradiction Studies

Ostwärts in den Westen. Die Flucht von DDR-Bürger:innen über die bundesdeutsche Botschaft in der ČSSR im September 1989

Natalia Wollny („Euthanasie“-Gedenkstätte Lüneburg e. V.) & Klaas Anders (RTG Contradiction Studies, Bremer Bündnis für deutsch-tschechische Zusammenarbeit e.V.)

04/17/2024 07/05/2024

U Bremen GRA 2

In the summer and fall of 1989, thousands of citizens left the GDR in an attempt to emigrate to West Germany via the West German representations in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. The dissatisfaction of the people in the GDR was great at the time and led to an unprecedented wave of refugees. The escape story of these people is part of the “East German Autumn” of 1989, which led to the opening of the Berlin Wall and the German-German border.

This exhibition is dedicated to a group of 13 people whose escape led them to Palais Lobkowitz, the seat of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague, and tells their story.

These contemporary witnesses – photographed by Manja Herrmann – look back from today on the conditions in the GDR, their escape route and their stay in the West German embassy and reflect on the influences of their escape story on their current life situation. The result is an exhibition that looks back from the present to the events of summer and fall 1989 and recalls a decisive chapter not only in German-German but also in European history.

Homepage of the exhibition

The exhibition was financed by:
Karin und Uwe Hollweg Stiftung
Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung
Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen
Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds

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ideal of a contradiction-free world

“Science has long been animated by the ideal of a contradiction-free world in which logical orders could merge with society, politics, culture and language. In the GRC Contradiction Studies we are working on ways of describing the multiplicity and complexity, the danger and beauty of our worlds that clearly go beyond concepts of freedom from contradiction.”

Michi Knecht

“The city is a laboratory not only of modernity, but also of contradiction.”

Julia Lossau
l’illusion d’une unité

“Foucault speaks of contradiction as l’illusion d’une unité.”

Ingo H. Warnke
problem to be solved

“Contradiction is not primarily a problem to be solved but a motor we cannot do without.”

Martin Nonhoff
decolonial scholarship

“Creating decentralizing and decolonizing scholarship on contradiction, contradictory phenomena, and contradicting processes is a challenging task.”

Kerstin Knopf