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THE LEAP – 1961

A 360° virtual reality installation by Boris Hars-Tschachotin

On 15 August 1961 at 4 pm, East German state police officer Conrad Schumann leapt over the barbed wire fence at the corner of Ruppiner-/Bernauer Straße into the Western section of Berlin. The leap was captured by the young photographer Peter Leibing. The photo of the GDR border guard Conrad Schumann fleeing to the West in the year 1961 is considered an icon of the 20th century. In the Deutsches Historisches Museum the film director Boris Hars- Tschachotin carries us from reunited Berlin back to the year 1961 in a 360° virtual reality installation. By means of a virtual reality headset visitors can watch the event from the perspective of the state police officer, of the photographer and of the West Berlin policeman. The 360° full-colour room provides a multi-perspectivist record of the moment of the leap and goes beyond the scope of the original iconic black-and-white photo for the first time. The public thus experiences the events directly from these subjective viewpoints – on the one hand from the West Berlin side, on the other from the East.

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