Our museum was founded shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall(August 13th 1961), on October 19th, 1962. The founder of our museum, Dr. Rainer Hildebrandt, believed that it was vital in the non-violent struggle for human rights „to be as close as possible to the injustice itself, where human greatness fully unfolds“. He came to Checkpoint Charlie to express his protest against the Wall and to provide assistance to the persons seeking help. Gradually the museum increased its exhibition space and contributed to the fall of the Wall. The museum had a vital role in history.
The objects on display in the museum attest to this. They are original artefacts from successful escapes: a hot-air balloon, a mini-submarine, cars, aeroplanes. People helping East Germans to flee used our museum as a base from which to plan the escapes and organise resistance to the unjust GDR regime. Our museum was the last bastion of freedom before the border. After escaping, the refugees and their helpers donated their various means of conveyance and other objects to our museum. As the number of escapes grew, so our museum expanded to document the escapes and the historical developments.Our history