German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2050
Fax: +44 (0)20 - 7309 2055 / 7404 5573


calendar & information

Breadcrumb navigation:

Exhibition "Faces of the Peaceful Revolution 1989/90"

Photographs by Dirk Vogel

3 November 2011 to 27 January 2012
at the German Historical Institute London.

Exhibition Opening:
2 November, 5 p.m.
at the German Historical Institute London

  • Prof. Andreas Gestrich and Angela Schattner in conversation with Prof. Jens Reich and Eva Reich.
  • Viewing of the Exhibition with Dirk Vogel
  • Reception

Read Dirk Vogel's report on the opening of his exhibition at the German Historical Institute (in German only, this Link will take you to Dirk Vogel's blog)


Who were the men and women who fought for peace, human rights, freedom and democracy in the GDR, who took part in the Peaceful Revolution that ultimately resulted in the fall of the system and led to German reunification? Many of them are not famous today or have been forgotten. Twenty years after the Revolution, the photographer Dirk Vogel from Dortmund has portrayed sixty-three of these people in black and white, among them icons of the GDR opposition such as Bärbel Bohley (co-founder of the New Forum movement), Roland Jahn (journalist) and the German songwriter Wolf Biermann, others less well known, such as Gesine Oltmanns from Leipzig or Erika Drees from Stendal.

The exhibition composed by the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft based on the photographs by Dirk Vogel portrays people from different regional, professional, political and social backgrounds, all connected by their struggle for democracy and a free and self-determined life in the GDR. Some of them were politically active for decades in the East or the West. They were all pioneers and protagonists in the social change of 1989–90. In his photographs, Dirk Vogel captures the individual story behind the person. He portrays people at places of their choice: in their homes, at their places of work, in natural surroundings or at sites of the Peaceful Revolution. The portraits are complemented by biographical texts highlighting the individual’s part in the revolution.

Download poster (PDF file)