Border Museum Demonstrates the Effects of the Berlin Wall

| November 6, 2014

This month celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 09 November, 1989. It’s the perfect time to visit a border museum such as the Grenzland Museum in Eichsfeld.

Before our visit to a nearby hotel, I had no idea what a border museum was, but it’s just that: a museum demonstrating the effects of the Berlin Wall’s border lands.  Eichsfeld is the region around where we were staying, and it was divided by the Inner German Border. The museum sits at what became a border crossing that eventually allowed those families and friends tragically separated by the fence to visit one another before the German-German border was torn down.

 Grenzlandmuseum Eichsfeld

It’s a very well-done museum for being in the middle of nowhere. I enjoyed the reminder of the difference between German museums and American museums. Americans would never allow barbed wire fence exhibits along the aisle, within reach of adults and children alike.

 Grenzlandmuseum Eichsfeld

You couldn’t pay me to touch the electric fence to see if it was live.

An excellent interactive map allowed you to choose different dates to watch, by light and color, how Germany was divided, or emigration patterns, unemployment, or whose military bases were where; and so on.  It was one of the best interactive maps I’ve ever seen.

In one exhibit, you could pretend you were a border guard. I did let Paul pass, but he went quietly, so I did not have to get rough with him. I walked around the corner to find a second window and I jumped, letting out a (hopefully low) shriek, as I did not expect to see a uniformed mannequin seated in the window. A speaker asked in German for your pass. His voice was more intimidating than mine in a window.

The museum was small, but certainly not without plenty of information and good, interactive presentation.  Outside is a 6-km informational trail.  The museum is worth visiting at any time of year, but this month would be a great time to learn more about the Wall.

I have also seen this museum referred to as the Borderlanmuseum.

Should I take my children to museums like this?

Looking for a local hotel?  We stayed at the Victor’s Residenz-Hotel Teistungenburg, Klosterweg 6, 37339 Teistungen, which borders the museum.  Totally recommend.

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Category: Family Travel, Germany, Hiking in other regions, Museums, Travel, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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