Virtual museum to immerse worldwide audience in history of German migration

Few issues are as controversial in Germany today as immigration. Why do foreigners come here? Why do they leave? Questions like these can be explored soon at a museum which has no exhibition rooms.

Virtual museum to immerse worldwide audience in history of German migration
A DOMid employee taking a tour of the virtual migration museum in Cologne on Monday. Photo: DPA

A museum which can be “visited” online and looks at the history of migration in Germany was presented at the Documentation Center and Museum on Migration in Germany (DOMid) in Cologne on Monday.

An employee at DOMid, the association which set up the virtual museum, told The Local on Wednesday that although an exact launch date has not yet been set, the museum will likely go live online in two weeks.

“You can visit the museum anywhere in the world where you have Internet access. Virtual reality glasses are not a must, but we designed it so that they can be used,” said leader of the project Fatma Uzun. The DOMid claims the museum is the world's first ever virtual migration museum.

Those interested in taking a sneak peek can view the trailer of the museum in the meantime. Once it opens, if you have your own virtual reality glasses at home, you can use them. Otherwise you can use the virtual reality glasses at DOMid – provided you book an appointment beforehand and visit during regular opening hours.

“With regard to political debates, it is clear that our society is at a crossroads when it comes to migration,” said Robert Fuchs of the DOMid.

“What this debate lacks is remembrance,” Fuchs added.

The online museum will depict three periods in Germany: 1945 to 1973, 1973 until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the time after reunification. Visitors will be able to select different locations, such as a school or a factory, as well as explore the history of everyday objects.

The Cologne-based association DOMiD has been adding to its extensive collection on the history of migration in Germany since its foundation in 1990.

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