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Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, visits the German Exile Archive of the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main

Press release:  May 12, 2017

During a visit to the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters acquainted herself with the collection of the German Exile Archive 1933-1945.

Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, said: "The collection of the Exile Archive 1933-1945 of the German National Library provides impressive testimony to the fate of people who had to flee from Germany and live in exile. It is important to keep such memories alive in view of the current geopolitical situation in which artists, too, are increasingly being pushed away from their homeland in countries such as Iran, Turkey but also European countries such as Hungary and Poland. I am therefore especially pleased that the DNB is now presenting its collection to the public in a permanent exhibition.

The Federal Government has already launched various initiatives to highlight the subject of exile. For instance, a virtual 'Arts in Exile' museum hosted by the German National Library has been funded from my cultural budget.‎ A centre for exile in Berlin will provide a further important opportunity for presenting the exile experience in all its different facets."

In particular, a permanent exhibition, which is planned to open in 2018, will represent a further place of remembrance in Germany which focuses on exile in the years 1933 to 1945. The cooperative "Arts in Exile" network funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media is complementing this approach through the addition of a virtual exhibition.

"The German Exile Archive 1933-1945 has decades of experience and is part of a remembrance culture network in Germany which is broad in scope in terms of its content and geographical focus," said Elisabeth Niggemann, Director General of the German National Library. "The German Exile Archive has amassed broad expertise by heading the 'Arts in Exile' project and through its in-depth exploration of the topic of exile."

"Our permanent exhibition, including exhibits from our own collection, focuses on the experience of exile," says Sylvia Asmus, head of the German Exile Archive 1933–1945.

In the future, the German Exile Archive 1933–1945 will address current topics relating to exile and emigration in temporary exhibitions. "Arts in Exile" takes into account different artistic disciplines and contrasts the historical perspective on exile (focusing on the Nazi dictatorship) with an exploration of current phenomena. The cooperative network project benefits from its thematically varied representation based on the holdings of the respective institutions; further exhibits and entries have gradually been added since 2013.

Background

For over a century now the German National Library has been collecting, documenting, archiving and making publicly available all written publications and sound recordings issued in Germany, or in German, since 1913. The German Exile Archive 1933-1945 of the German National Library collects printed and unprinted testimonies of German emigration from 1933 to 1945.

The German Exile Archive 1933–1945 of the German National Library was founded shortly after the War by exiled writers and publicists. With its events, exhibitions and talks, it plays a significant role in actively communicating the preserved past, helping to bring it alive and restoring to the collective cultural memory what was forgotten due to exile and emigration.

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Schriftbanner mit Deutscher Nationalbibliothek Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main