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– Federal ministries, the Federal Press Office and the European House are shining for freedom –

The Federal Government was present on multiple buildings with the heart motif of the campaign “30 Years of Peaceful Revolution and German Unity”. A total of 10 federal ministries and the Federal Press Office participated in the Festival of Lights. The Federal Foreign Office, for example, showed video scenes of Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s legendary words from 1989 on the balcony of the Prague Embassy. On the facade of the Federal Ministry of Finance, a digital wall, designed by the wall artist Thierry Noir, was gradually torn down with an interactive campaign.

The European Commission and the European Parliament were illuminating their productions in the European House on Brandenburger Platz.

A free bus tour connected the various locations.

Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI)

The Federal Government intended to use the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and German Unity to promote a deeper understanding of the achievements of citizens in the GDR, which made the fall of the Berlin Wall and unity possible. But also the transformation processes of the following 30 years were honored, and debated honestly and critically. During the Festival of Lights, a black, red and gold heart was on display at many of the buildings. The logo of the anniversary year symbolized the joy of this unique fortune in German history and invites us to engage in dialogue.

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The Press and Information Department of the Federal Government (BPA)

Two of the light projections used to illuminate the Federal Press Office were about freedom of the press – directly on the River Spree, at Friedrichstrasse station. Freedom of the press, threatened in many places worldwide, is a cornerstone of democracy and protected in Germany by Article 5 of the Basic Law and Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

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Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

With its contribution to the festival, the Federal Ministry of Finance told the stories of its office building, which are closely linked to 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 center 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 occurred at the site where the GDR was founded: “Nobody intends to erect a wall,” said Walter Ulbricht, Chairman of the GDR State Council, at a press conference. Only a few months later, East Berlin construction workers begin to erect the Berlin Wall, which runs 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 takes 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. This was the message of a spectacular interactive festival campaign by the ministry, in which everyone could participate via social media.

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Federal Foreign Office

“I’ve come to inform you that today your departure…” The rest of the speech of the then Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher was delivered in autumn 1989 in frenetic jubilation and the “Freedom! Freedom” cries of the nearly 4,000 GDR citizens who had sought refuge in the building and garden of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague.

When these women, men, and children began their journey by train from Prague to a new life in the West, this was a milestone on the road to the fall of the Wall – and a milestone for the diplomacy of our country. With moving images, the light installation on the façade of the Federal Foreign Office recalled the exciting days of 1989, the end of German division and the power of freedom.

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Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

It’s the biggest Arctic expedition ever: The German research icebreaker Polarstern is currently drifting frozen through the Arctic Ocean. Scientists are exploring the Arctic to better understand the Arctic’s influence on the global climate. The MOSAiC expedition thus can be seen as a milestone for climate research. The data will be of great value for generations to come. Hence our motto: “Let’s go to the Arctic – Stop Climate Change”.

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Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture staged the historic facade of the house in Wilhelmstraße in its contribution to the festival. The artistic projection motifs illuminated important themes of the Ministry of Life and brought the forest into the city.

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Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)

Patient safety, healthcare professions and 30 years of German unity – These were the topics of the projections on the building of the Federal Ministry of Health.

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Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV)

A projection motif dealt with the BMJV’s current campaign on the rule of law. The campaign aims to raise public awareness of the importance of the rule of law and to highlight the advantages it offers for each individual and society as a whole. The abstract concept of the rule of law is to be experienced and grasped at the same time, also by explaining the functioning of the democratic rule of law and subsequently conveying an understanding of the complexity of the legal system.

Other motifs on the facade of the BMJV during the festival dealt with the 70th anniversary of the Basic Law and the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)

Roads connect people. Roads overcome borders. Roads bring freedom. The 17 transport projects German Unity on Rail, Road, and Water are new paths through a united Germany. At the Festival of Lights, the Federal Ministry of Transport portrayed the luminous paths of unity on its historic facade.

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Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi)

The current headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) are located on historically significant ground: Directly at the former Invalidenstrasse border crossing. This was reason enough to dedicate oneself to the historical events surrounding the Peaceful Revolution 30 years ago and to participate in the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS 2019 under the motto “Lights of Freedom”.

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Experience Europa

In the immediate vicinity of the Brandenburg Gate is the European House with its permanent multimedia exhibition Experience Europe. It is also the home of the European Parliament Liaison Office and the Representation of the European Commission. Both institutions wanted to draw attention to the importance of Europe with common projection motifs. In the free permanent multimedia exhibition Experience Europe, festival visitors can visit the 360° cinema every evening and take a journey through history, politics, and life in the European Union.

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Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The BMZ is concerned with subjects that are important for the future of humanity. The BMZ works, for example, for the cessation of hunger in the world, for education and health, for peace and freedom, for the preservation of our environment and for human rights.

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