Ernst Reuter Archives Foundation

Stiftung Ernst-Reuter-Archiv
c/o Landesarchiv Berlin
Eichborndamm 115-121
13403 Berlin

Dr. Michael Bienert
Tel. +49 (0)30 90264-231


The Foundation's work focus is to explore the life and work of Ernst Reuter (1889-1953), the first Governing Mayor of Berlin. In addition, the Foundation contributes to the academic research of Berlin's and Germany's history in the 20th century. Here, the main focus is on contemporary history from 1945 until the present day.

The Ernst Reuter Archives Foundation is non-partisan, and is connected to its trustee, the Landesarchiv Berlin (Berlin State Archives).

Cold War Interests: 

Although the research profile of the Foundation focuses on the general history of Berlin throughout the 20th century, we turn our attention especially on the time of the German division and the Cold War. The main focus is on the development of West Berlin under the special conditions resulting from its status as an "island" since 1948/49.

At a time when the Berlin Wall did not exist, it went from the city a very specific charisma within the competition between the Western and the Eastern systems, which reached far into the GDR. This special relationship is examined in a study by Sven Schultze that deals with agricultural exhibitions in West Berlin and in the GDR (Sven Schultze: "Land in Sicht"? Agrarexpositionen in der deutschen Systemauseinandersetzung. Die "Grüne Woche" und die DDR-Landwirtschaftsausstellung in Leipzig-Markkleeberg 1948-1962, Berlin 2015).

The Foundation is also interested in the links between West Berlin and the Federal Republic in the decades of German division. This very close bond was funded by demonstrative acts and through the establishment of several federal authorities in West Berlin since the 1950s. Based on a conference that took place in 2010, the Foundation published a volume on this topic (Michael C. Bienert/Uwe Schaper/Hermann Wentker (Hrsg.): Hauptstadtanspruch und symbolische Politik. Die Bundespräsenz im geteilten Berlin 1949-1990, Berlin 2012).

The Foundation is generally interested in cooperation with other research institutions that deal with the significance of the Berlin question in the context of the Cold War in all its facets. The Foundation is also able to support such projects with grants.