On September 19, 2007, the House celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of its famous building, the Congress Hall. Every week, beginning on 3 October 2006 – on the fiftieth anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone – and finishing just before the jubilee, we published one episode for each year in the history of the Congress Hall on our German web pages. Following you find a selection of these episodes in English.
The episodes show the Congress Hall as history unfolded around it: in the maelstrom of the Cold War and the normality of détente; the lethargy and phlegmatism of Adenauer and Erhard’s world; the student revolt and the upheavals that accompanied the great changes of 1989 and the reunification and reunions that followed.
Among those appearing are Eleanor Dulles, Kurt Georg Kiesinger, Thornton Wilder, Kinski and Dürrenmatt, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy and many more besides. Jet fighters and excavators also play their part.
As so many different people have read very different things into this building, which is so rich in symbolism, we feel justified in speaking of the spirit of the place. And it is exciting to rediscover this spirit in the Congress Hall’s architecture and the fifty fateful years of its existence. The series began with articles by Axel Besteher-Hegenbart, and Dina Koschorreck, Marie-Anne Soyez, commissioned by the House of World Cultures. Later, when the House of World Cultures came into play, other authors joined us in telling the story.
... More episodes following soon ...
Episode 1958 The Golden Key, Dialogue and the Defiance of a Front-Line City
West Berlin has a new building – The Berlin Film Festival opens with Gina Lollobrigida and Sidney Poitier Episode 1958 >>>
Episode 1963 "West Berlin is my country."
President John F. Kennedy attends the Trade Union Congress of German Construction Workers in the Congress Hall
Episode 1963 >>>