1945 – Defeat. Liberation. New Beginning.

Twelve European countries after the Second World War

24 April 2015 to 10 January 2016

The Second World War ended in Europe on the 8th of May 1945 with the capitulation of the Wehrmacht. Six years of war had cost the lives of millions of victims and brought a previously unknown degree of destruction. War and occupation, crimes, expulsions and forced resettlement had left a lasting mark on the countries and populations. The consequences can still be felt on a political, social and individual level. Today’s Europe cannot be understood without knowledge of the events of the war as well as the phase that followed the war and the end of the Nazi terror.

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the German capitulation, the exhibition will focus on a snapshot of Germany and eleven other countries – Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the Soviet Union – at the end of the Second World War until 1950.

Side by side, liberation and the end of the war as well as the immediate consequences for the inhabitants of these countries are pointed out — without comparing or relativizing what they experienced and suffered. Political and social developments are examined and an impression is conveyed of the everyday life of those who went through this time of upheaval. 36 individual biographies are featured to illustrate the complexity of what happened during this time.


Download (PDF)

Funded by

Pictures from the exhibition

Opening hours

daily 10 am to 6 pm


Free up to 18 years
€ 8, reduced € 4

Tour booking

Permanent exhibition
Tel.  +49 30 20304-751

Special exhibitions
Tel. +49 30 20304-750

Museum shop



In the museum

Cedon MuseumShop
Tel. +49 30 20304-621


All entrances are wheelchair accessible

Public transport

Hackescher Markt, Friedrichstraße

Französische Straße, Friedrichstraße, Hausvogteiplatz

100, 200, TXL Staatoper or Lustgarten

Underground car park below Bebelplatz
City Quartier Dom Aquarée


Deutsches Historisches Museum

Unter den Linden 2
10117 Berlin