Haus Schwarzenberg is home to several memorial places of resistance to National Socialism as well as a place of artistic activity in the present. It is a place of diversity, openness and civil courage.
Haus Schwarzenberg connects the associations of the past with initiatives and people who are shaping the present and future in making an open space for independent modern art. The initiatives, groups and individuals gathered here, ensure a vision of a peaceful and liveable city.
There are several memorial places in Haus Schwarzenberg. The Gedenkstätte Stille Helden (Silent Heroes Memorial Center) recalls Jewish people who from 1933 to 1945 were in danger of persecution by the Nazis, and those who helped them to go underground to escape this persecution. Approximately five thousand Jews survived in Germany in hiding through help from people who assisted their flight. One example of this support for Jews in Berlin was the owner of a small factory, Otto Weidt. The Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt (Museum of Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind) is a memorial to his actions. He tried to ensure his workers were safe from deportation and persecution and hid several of them in a back room at his factory for the blind. This room is on view in its original state. These supporters show that even in the Third Reich there was leeway for civil courage and solidarity with the persecuted.
A place where plans for the future are connected with remembrance of the past
The Anne Frank Centre commemorates the life of the Jewish girl Anne Frank and offers workshops for young people and training events for teachers. It campaigns for freedom, equality, democracy and fights antisemitism, racism and discrimination.
The Haus Schwarzenberg organisation offers a forum for avant garde art, graffiti and street art and rents studio and gallery space to international artists, thereby helping to maintain a diverse arts scene in Berlin. The Neurotitan Gallery presents works from non-mainstream artists and musicians. History and the present meet at Haus Schwarzenberg. Citizens have mobilised themselves here to honour the past’s living solidarity and to open a space for new cultural life.
Food for thought: What are today’s forms of civil resistance and civil courage?