Cultural Program after the German course in Berlin – Museum Story of Berlin

As a part of our leisure program, yesterday we went to visit the museum Story of Berlin after the German course in Berlin. Here we learned a lot about the history of Berlin and improved our German. From the first mentioning of Berlin as a city until the reunification of Germany in 1990, we could learn in the 21 theme rooms of the museum and also got a guided tour through the nuclear bomb shelter right at the Kurfürstendamm. For all the ones who participated at the tour and also for those who want to know the most important parts of the history of Berlin, here we give you a little summary of what we have learned. Below you can also find a list of the most important German words concerning the history of Berlin. We hope that you enjoyed learning German at the museum Story of Berlin. See you at the next leisure program after the German course.

In 1251 Berlin first was mentioned as a city. There used to be a union between the trading towns Berlin and Cölln. From 1415 until 1918 there were electors, emperors, and kings living in Berlin, who all had very different tendencies in their way of ruling. As a result of the French Revolution and the victory of Napoleon, in 1806 Berlin was occupied by Napoleon’s army for two years. After a time of poverty the french troops left Berlin and reformations were initiated, for example now 7% of the people had the right to vote. The first university of Berlin (Humboldt) and the first newspaper of Berlin (Berliner Abendblätter) were founded. The population kept growing, which also led to some social problems. As a part of the Industrial Revolution the first train started operating in 1838.
In 1871 the German Empire was founded. The infrastructure could not keep up with the rapid growth of the population, which led to an economic crisis. In order to manage the traffic, the subway (U-Bahn) was constructed. After the First World War followed the time of the Weimar Republic with a lot of domestic policital confrontations. Berlin now had 3.8 million habitants. The economic situation was bad due to reparation costs of the First World War, though after changing the agreements there was a short economic boom, the “Golden Twenties”, before the global economic crisis in 1929 and Hitler becoming Reich Chancellor in 1933. From then on, Jews were massively persecuted and 50,000 of them were brought to and mostly killed at the concentration camps. In 1939 the Second World War began, during which Berlin was bombed during day and night time and 50% of the downtown area were destroyed. Hitler killed himself in 1945 and Berlin was divided into four occupation zones (Great Britain, France, USA and the Soviet Union). Between the western zones and the Soviet Union there were political tensions, the western part became the BRD (Federal Republic of Germany) and the eastern part became the DDR (German Democratic Republic). The DDR built a wall separating their country from the West until 1989 in order to prevent their citizens to escape into the West. Since 1990 Germany has been a united country again.


die Handelsstadt trading town
die Hauptstadt capital
die Wirtschaft economy
die Aufklärung enlightenment
die Armut poverty
die Reform reformation
der Kurfürst elector
der Kaiser emperor
der König king
die Armee army
die Regierung government
wahlberechtigt (adj.) entitled to vote
die Wirtschaftskrise economic crisis
(Erster / Zweiter) Weltkrieg World War
das Wachstum growth
der Aufschwung (economic) boom
bombardieren to bomb


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