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Bundesministerium der Finanzen (BMF)

The festival contribution of the Federal Ministry of Finance told the stories of its office building, which are closely connected with the history of the Berlin Wall: On 7 October 1949, the GDR was founded in the large hall of the building and the “House of Ministries”, a centre of the GDR government, moved in. Only three and a half years later, on 17 June 1953, a popular uprising took place in front of the building, which was bloodily suppressed. Today, the square on Leipziger Strasse commemorates the victims. On June 15, 1961, one of the best-known lies in history came to pass at the site where the GDR was founded: “Nobody intends to erect a wall,” said GDR State Council Chairman Walter Ulbricht at a press conference. Only a few months later, East Berlin construction workers begin to erect the Berlin Wall, which ran right past today’s Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus and can still be seen there in parts as a memorial. On the night of July 28, 1965, a spectacular escape from East to West took place from the roof of the building: the Holzapfel family flees the East German regime with a wire rope over the Berlin Wall to freedom. All these events remind us that freedom cannot be taken for granted and that we have to defend it every day. That was the message of a spectacular interactive festival action by the ministry, in which everyone could participate through the social media and tear down the wall once again.

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