Montag, 10. August 2015

A different Museum of the Allies

I consider myself quite a knowledgeable person when it comes to every hidden museums of Berlin, but it seems that as in the case of many other issues, it is hard to keep up always with the changes. As usual, the more I walk in less known place, the more I learn about the city. No wonder then, almost one month ago, while doing research before the European Maccabi Games, I discovered the West Alliirte in Berlin Museum. It is a free private museum, hosted in a small house with a view over the tennis courts of the Stadium, open only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays or by request. 
For a rainy Sunday afternoon, the museum was quite full of visitors, from all over the world. Situated in what once used to be the British sector, it offers a variety of objects from the everyday life of the troops and the military stationed in this part of the city. Noteworthy, compared with the similar museum from Clayallee, it focuses more on the British and French sections. 
Do not expect surprising revelations or some information that may change dramatically your perception abou the post WWII times. The visitor will find a lot of basic documents - in the sense of the new history trends - about that times, from uniforms to issues of the French Gazette, warning signs and objects used in the daily life of the military. 
The space is not that big and the materials not necessarily punctilioulsy organised, but someone with already a basic knowledge about those times will have a better picture about the daily life on that part of the Curtain.
By using objects provided by private collections, various camp facilities were rebuilt.
A lot of documents and reconstructions are dedicated to the time of the blockade when, among others, Hershey's chocolates landed in Berlin, throwed up with white napkins as parashutes from the Allies airplanes. 
Walking the museum was an interesting applied lesson of history, always interesting, especially when it comes to facts that are still part of the everyday life. Sometimes, in order to understand complex things, you need to start by basic daily facts and this small museum has the potential to bring something different to its visitors. Cold War histories are still popular in Berlin.