Our politics, it seems, is increasingly determined by emotions. We live in times of permanent excitement. Facts are being challenged by perceived truths. Radicals of all stripes are gaining popularity with simple answers to complex questions. The political centre often does not know what to do with the heated emotions. It is shaped by the political culture of the old Federal Republic, in which the commandment of sobriety applied. This is where the exhibition »The Power of Emotions. Deutschland 19 | 19«, which Ute and Bettina Frevert created for the Foundation »Remembrance, Responsibility and Future« and the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship.
The exhibition uses an emotional-historical perspective to show how fear, hope, love and anger had a political and social impact between 1919 and 2019. The occasion was numerous anniversaries dealing with the history of democracy and dictatorship in Germany: 100 years of the founding of the Weimar Republic, 90 years of the Great Depression, 80 years of the beginning of the Second World War, 70 years of the double founding of the German state, the change of government in Bonn 50 years ago, 30 years of the Peaceful Revolution ... Emotions, according to the thesis of the exhibition, were the motor of political and social reform and democratisation processes. But they have also always been the object of political instrumentalisation and manipulation, especially on the part of the political extremes of the 20th century. On the basis of 20 emotions, the exhibition illustrates conjunctures, changes, ruptures and continuities in 100 years that shaped the emotional worlds and whose intensity challenges politics and society today.
For the opening on 6 October 2022, we are pleased to welcome the curator of the exhibition, Prof. Dr. Ute Frevert.