Remembering Second World War Technologies - Museums, Exhibitions, Technological Objects and Visitors

Marc Hansen
Mittwoch, 21. März 2018 bis Freitag, 23. März 2018
Freitag, 16. März 2018

More than 70 years after the end of the Second World War, its innovations in military technology are still remembered with fascination and unease. Particular focal points of ambivalence have been the so-called "Wonder Weapons" and other resource-intensive developments of Nazi Germany such as the jet fighter Messerschmitt 262, the "Tiger" Panzer, or the A4 rocket ("V-2"). While the A4 was mass-produced at the concentration camp of Mittelbau-Dora and fired at Antwerp and London, it has also been considered a technological forerunner of both the nuclear missiles and space rockets of the Cold War era. Unease and ambivalence have often turned into discontent when these weapons were displayed in exhibitions and museums in Germany and abroad, arousing questions about how to contextualize these objects between feats of engineering and remembrance of their victims.

This conference, organized by the Research Group "Meta-Peenemünde" (Technische Universität Braunschweig) at the Historisch-Technisches Museum Peenemünde (Germany) brings together scholars and representatives of museums and memorials that display Second World War technologies, particularly German weapons, in the US, Russia, and Europe. Its goal is to enable discussions about local and international differences in the remembrance of wartime technologies, diverging cultures of memory, and visitor expectations, as well as the challenges and opportunities encountered when restoring, displaying, and contextualizing technological objects.

Participants are invited to share their experiences and didactic approaches. Has popular fascination with technology been a chance or challenge? Has a "gender technology gap" influenced visitor expectations? How can we deal with or utilize claims of "authenticity"? How influential is "technological nationalism" today? The workshop aims at fostering and intensifying international cooperation between museums and institutions.

If you wish to attend this conference, please register with

Conference Venue.  Historisch-Technisches Museum Peenemünde,  Im Kraftwerk, 17449 Peenemünde



Thursday, 22 March 2018

10.00   Registration

11.00   Philipp Aumann | Christian Kehrt  -  Welcome and Introduction

11.30   Panel I  -  Exhibiting Peenemünde

Chair:  Philipp Aumann (Peenemünde)

Daniel Bandau (Braunschweig):  Technological heritage and remembrance in rural East Germany

Constanze Seifert-Hartz (braunschweig):  What connects us? Visitor expectations in Peenemünde

12.30   Lunch Break

13.30   Museum Tour

15.00   Coffee Break

15.30   Panel II  -  Technology in War Museums – The War in Museums of Technology

Chair:  Christian Kehrt (Braunschweig)

Jens Wehner (Dresden):  Military Technology and Cultural History. Experiences at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden

Michael J. Neufeld (Washington, DC):  Exhibiting the V-2. Struggles with History in the U.S. and Germany since 1984

Heiko Triesch (Berlin):  Present and Future. German Air and Space Artifacts of World War II on Display at the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin

17.00   End of Day 1

Friday, 23 March 2018

10.00   Panel III  -  Remembrance and Education at Historical Sites

Chair:  Constanze Seifert-Hartz (Braunschweig)

Stefan Hördler (Nordhausen):  Research and Education on Nazi Forced Labor and Crimes in the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp

Laurent Thiery (La Coupole, Pas-de-Calais):  Documentation Centre at La Coupole. Researching about 9 000 deportees of France in the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp

Wiesław Jeleń (Blizna):  Blizna - From missile testing ground to historical park

11.30  Coffee Break

12.00  Panel IV  -  Fascination with Technology as Chance and Challenge

Chair:  Daniel Brandau (Braunschweig)

Ralf Raths (Munster):  “Clenching the Fists of Dissent“ - The Transformation of the German Tank Museum

Marcus Meyer (Bremen):  Technology Attraction, Dark Place or Memorial. The Bunker “Valentin” in Bremen-Farge

13.00   Lunch Break

13.30   Feature Presentation

Chair:  Christian Kehrt (Braunschweig)

Hannah Fitsch (Berlin):  Why technology fascination is not neutral. On gendered practices in museums of technology

14.00  Panel Discussion  -  Hannah Fitsch (Berlin) | Michael J. Neufeld (Washington, DC) | Christian Kehrt (Braunschweig)

15.00   End of Conference



Daniel Brandau | Constanze Seifert-Hartz

Research Group "Meta-Peenemünde"

Institute of History

TU Braunschweig