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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

It is our pleasure to invite you to the Press Conference on Wednesday, 5 July 2023 at 11 am in the Pei Building (ground floor) of the Deutsches Historisches Museum

On the podium:
Raphael Gross, President of the Deutsches Historisches Museum
Monika Boll, curator of the exhibition
Dorlis Blume, project head of the exhibition

You can view the exhibition before the press conference as of 10 am in the Pei Building (1st floor). After the press conference, the curator Monika Boll will take you on a short tour through the exhibition.

Wolf Biermann is one of the best known songwriters in Germany – East and West. His ousting from the GDR in 1976 was a political turning point in the post-war history of divided Germany and an admission of helplessness on the part of the SED leadership. Unlike less well-known artists, Biermann had become too popular to be arrested and too unpredictable to be allowed to perform in public. Many of his songs, ballads and poems have outlasted the original circumstances of their making. “Warte nicht auf bessre Zeiten” (Don’t wait for better times), “Ermutigung” (Encouragement), “Ballade vom preußischen Ikarus” (Ballad of the Prussian Icarus) have become classics.

The exhibition, curated by Monika Boll (curator of “Hannah Arendt and the 20th Century”, 2020/21), deals with the life and work of Wolf Biermann before the backdrop of the special standing that culture enjoyed in the GDR.

The show presents the life and work of the poet and songwriter at the intersection with the (cultural-)political events of “German-German” history. The exhibition follows the stages of Biermann’s life from his move to the GDR and initial artistic successes to the ban that that forbid him to perform and publish in East Germany and the eventual deprivation of his GDR citizenship. This forced resettlement from East to West presented Biermann with a challenge: How was a songwriter to redefine himself who, despite all criticism of the SED leadership, saw himself as a communist? When the civil rights movement in the GDR grew stronger in 1989 and the government began to totter, Biermann first had to remain a passive onlooker. He still maintains a critical distance to the SED’s successor parties: PDS and Die Linke (The Left). An extensive section of the exhibition is devoted to Wolf Biermann’s family history. For Biermann, whose father Dagobert was murdered in Auschwitz as a Jew and member of the communist resistance, this background was of central importance even before his expulsion from the GDR.

Please note the following guidelines and the registration form:

  • The press meeting takes place only within the time slot of 10 am (beginning of accreditation, Pei Building, ground floor) to 2 pm.
  • We request you to register for the press conference. Non-accredited persons can only be permitted to attend if capacity is available.
  • Individual interviews following the press conference are possible after prior application. Please address requests for interviews and video shootings to presse@dhm.de.

Please request your personal accreditation by Tuesday, 4 July 2023, 5 pm, via: https://www.dhm.de/en/accreditation-for-the-press-conference-wolf-biermann/