Elias Richter interned at The Wende Museum for two weeks before the start of his junior year of high school. He shares his experience and highlights some of his favorite discoveries.
During the last two weeks of August I worked as an intern at The Wende Museum on the TASCHEN project. During this time I saw a lot of what the Museum has to offer. For the first couple of days I spent a lot of time scanning old GDR menus.
This may seem boring but when you take the time to read through them and appreciate the art and graphics they become fun to look at.
The next couple of days I worked on the new Stasi surveillance objects. The first time I walked through the door to the storage facility for this equipment, I was blown away by what I saw. There was a wall of machinery going around the entire room; I had no idea what they were or what they were used for. We then proceeded to unpack some boxes for the TASCHEN review session. We unpacked numerous briefcases that all had some sort of surveillance equipment in it, including radios and even one that had a passport forging kit inside. We also unpacked a lot of cameras and even a Stasi recording device that was disguised as a pen. One of the days that I was working I was put on a separate side project in response to a research request. My job was to look through a cabinet that was located at one of the allied check points for Stasi files on Americans. On the very top of all the documents, most of which were copies of passports, were three pictures, all of the same person; however, the names and birthdates were all different.
During my time at The Wende Museum I learned a lot about the way a museum is organized and runs. This experience also exposed me to a variety of careers that I might be interested in looking into once I get to college.