The Brandenburg Gate is something like the political epicentre of our country: monumental witness in the centre of Berlin, stage for political staging. It is the symbol for the division of Germany - and later for the unity of the country. But the history of this special building has much more to offer.
Built in 1793, the Brandenburg Gate has long received little attention. Until Napoleon, after his victory over Prussia in 1806, triumphantly entered the city through the gate - and took the Quadriga to Paris as looted art. Only when the charioteer returned to Berlin in 1814 was the Brandenburg Gate reinterpreted as a triumphal gate and national symbol. It becomes the representative site of German fantasies of great power.
After the Second World War, the gate stands at the interface of two systems, which face each other here and watch each other suspiciously. With the construction of the Wall, GDR propaganda made it a peace gate and a symbol for the successful securing of the state border against Western aggression. The gate has two sides: the gate in front of the wall, the gate behind the wall. Until 1989 the people from East and West crossed the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate and were in each other's arms.
No other architectural monument has had to serve more often as a symbol for the symbolic politics of the powerful, no other has been reinterpreted so often, no other has been used and misused as a backdrop by so many political groups as the Brandenburg Gate. Since the 1990s, the Brandenburg Gate has increasingly become the venue for all kinds of spectacles and celebrations.
Why does this place exert such a magical attraction for the Germans? The film delves into the eventful and eventful history of this special building, it reveals its secrets and its innermost being. The documentary shows people whose lives on both sides of the Iron Curtain were connected to the Brandenburg Gate in a special way. (rbb)