Angel, Swastika, Dome of the Rock
Christmas Tree Decorations from the 19th Century until Today
30 November 2018 to 3 March 2019
A seasonal intervention in the permanent exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum
The Deutsches Historisches Museum has for some time actively collected Christmas tree decorations and has most recently acquired a part of the Stille Collection from Frankfurt am Main, containing modern pieces, often of foreign origin. That these objects of popular culture are both banal and beautiful is a given – they are, in fact, much more than that, as this curatorial intervention in the permanent exhibition shows. For instance, the Nazi regime politically appropriated the illuminated Christmas tree, and, as part of the Christmas tradition, it subsequently became a point of contention between the generations in some families in the Federal Republic of Germany during the 1960s and 1970s. Besides shedding light on the economic, technical and educational aspects of the Christmas tree, the mini-display principally showcases design and takes visitors on a voyage of discovery of truly global proportions. For now, in the early 21st century, the baubles and assorted decorations for the "German Christmas tree" have become global, shaped and positively enriched by tourism, the Internet, and major migration flows of people and their respective cultures.