After the transfer of power to the National Socialists in 1933 about half a million people fled from the German-speaking area to escape disenfranchisement, exclusion and persecution. With its collection of exile publications, personal literary estates and holdings from various institutions, the German Exile Archive 1933-1945 of the German National Library is dedicated to safeguarding and preserving works and historical testimony from this time.
After holding numerous temporary exhibitions and setting up the globally accessible Arts in Exile virtual exhibition, the Archive has now redesigned the permanent exhibition area to provide a permanent base for exploring the topic of exile.
In various thematic chapters, the exhibition will focus on exile from 1933 to 1945 in all its diversity. At the same time it will call for an increased attention to detail and for history to be represented from multiple perspectives. This will allow visitors e.g. to take a biographical approach when exploring the exhibition. The paths into exile and the resulting experiences were highly diverse depending on the time of escape, the receiving country and the individual situation. Another aspect of the exhibition highlights the importance of the archive as a place where history is collected, organised and made accessible.
In the age of global refugee movements, the permanent exhibition of the German Exile Archive 1933-1945 is taking a broad view of the term exile and providing a basis for exploring current issues, too.