The View from the Gate
Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, begins his series examining 600 years of German history through with a reflection on Germany's floating frontiers.
Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, begins his series examining 600 years of German history through objects, with a reflection on Germany's floating frontiers.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the reunified modern Germany, Neil visits the Brandenburg Gate.
In November 1989 the East Berlin crowds gathered there and cheered and then poured into West Berlin as the Berlin Wall fell and the world changed. It was there in July 2014 that a huge crowd celebrated Germany's victory in the World Cup in Brazil. In 1950 the first major demonstration was held there to protest against Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe: the crowd pulled down the red flag that flew over the Brandenburg Gate and demanded free elections. And in 1806 Napoleon made his triumphal entry into Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate, after humiliating the Prussian army.
From this focal point of modern Germany, Neil begins a 30 part series which reveals the profound influence of Germany's history, culture and inventiveness across Europe, as well as the catastrophic events of the 20th century.
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Napoleon riding through the Brandenburg Gate
© Deutsches Historisches Museum