Permanent Exhibition

Division and Unity,

Dictatorship and Resistance

Please note: From 29 January 2018 until the end of the year, we will completely revise our permanent exhibition. It will be closed to visitors throughout the construction period.

Our permanent exhibition offers many an insight into the history of dictatorship and resistance in the Soviet Occupation Zone and Communist East Germany. Find out more about the price of opposing the regime, which courageous opponents of the Communist dictatorship in East Germany paid for decades. What was everyday life like in Communist East Germany? What events shaped the relationship between the authorities and the citizens? The trip back in time starts at the end of the Second World War in 1945 and moves through the Peaceful Revolution of 1989 into present-day reunified Germany.

Exhibition items tell exciting stories. In the context of other objects as well as historical tape and video recordings, the exhibits document the work of the state apparatus and the State Security Dept. (the Stasi) or commemorate courageous people in Communist East Germany who repeatedly opposed the government, even though they risked their lives.

The model of a radio jammer recalls the attempt by school students in Altenburg to jam a radio broadcast held in 1949 in honour of Stalin. A courageous deed that cost one of the boys his life.
Part of the embassy fence from the German Embassy in Prague, over which thousands of people clambered fleeing Communist East Germany in the summer of 1989, leads us into the heady days of the radical changes in Communist East Germany, which culminated in the Peaceful Revolution.

Experience in fast-forward a day in the life of a female worker in Communist East Germany. Learn all about everyday life in a factory and what family life at the weekend was like, and the holiday destinations in summer. Explore the goods on the shelves in stores in Communist East Germany – short supplies repeatedly left more than a few housewives despairing .

Here, you can experience history close up: Choose a virtual contemporary witness who will confide their personal memories to you at various stages during your tour of the exhibition, and tell you about their wishes, fears, and joys – during the 40 years that Communist East Germany existed.


Our permanent exhibition will be closed due to construction until 5 November. All other exhibitions can be visited throughout the construction period.

Visitors stand in front of a Barkas.
A young man looks at the draft of the memorial in Buchenwald
A girl stands in front of a picture of the bombing of Dresden
Two visitors are listening at a media station at the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum in Leipzig
A girl is looking at a CARE package in the exhibition
Poster: Permanent exhibition at the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig