Zug der Freiheit: Program

The program in the train, as well at the stations was developed in a preparation time of two years. Our first principle was a broad offer from actors of the civil society. So we sought contacts to other NGOs, initiatives and artists, who developed projects by self for the 20. Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution. This was to allow as many synergies and to involve more people to share this unique opportunity. As second principle of the choice for the projects in and on the train was the internationality. This was to underline with the Train of Freedom the importance of the peaceful revolution for whole Europe, especially the role of the Czech neighbors in 1989, but also to point out current problems in the democratic development in Eastern Europe. The third principle was the diversity of genres, the offers varied from music, literature, performing arts, to lectures, interviews and action-oriented art, in order to make the issue understandable especially for young people. The fourth principle focused on the offers at the stations, where program was dedicated to local specifics from 1989.

By that an extensive program was developed in a long time. For a long time, no one knew how we could finance the program, so that we could finish the program just shortly before departure.

Program in the train:

Waggon 1: Radio-Play-Lounge – Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt / Germany
Waggon 2: 1989-2009 – exhibition Agentur Anzenberger / Austria
Waggon 3: „The refugees on their travel from Prag to Hof“ – exhibition by BStU Dresden / Germany

Waggon 4: Dresdner Sinfoniker / Germany
Waggon 4: Orange Alternative (Pomarańczowa Alternatywa) / Poland
Waggon 5: „partisanen – Almanach für Unangepasstes“ – Holger Wendland and Detlef Schweiger / Germany … and many more…

Accompanying program:

AR’Train*89 – International youth exchange, Dresden, 20.09.-04.10.2009
Project „mc mampf versteht Bahnhof“
Simulation game by Europäische Wirtschafts- & Sozialakademie, EWS Dresden

Train of Freedom in numbers:

Total: 385 travellers

Visitors at the stations:
Dresden 800
Freiberg 1,300
Chemnitz 450
Plauen 300
Gutenfürst 300
Hof 2,500

The feedback in the medias was amazing. Beside to the extensive reports in Japan, the train went into all well-known German media. Highlights were the reports in the Deutschlandradio, mdr Figaro and the Deutsche Welle abroad, what raised the effect of the train in some Eastern European transformation states. Medial highlight at the national level was a (short) report in the ZDF news “heute” and a live broadcast at “mdr aktuell”.

The multifaceted program was a big success and reached the visitors in the train and at the stations. Just the arrival of the train at the stations caused big emotions and let the impressions from 1989 feel again. Consisting of historical wagons together the original locomotive, for many older visitors the train was an important part of active remembrance to the Peaceful Revolution.

The programs at the stations in Dresden, Freiberg, Chemniz, Plauen, Gutenfürst and Hof had different characters and by that the Train of Freedom – in sense of democratic from bottom up principle – actively supported civil society activities.

Once more, Kultur Aktiv could approve that we can realize projects, which seems impossible to others. That includes a big THANK YOU to all our partners, who made it happen!

Train of Freedom documentary movie:

With friendly support and in cooperation with:

Landeshauptstadt Dresden, Partnerstädte Plauen & Hof, Universitätsstadt Freiberg, Deutsche Botschaft Prag, Freistaat Sachsen, Sonderprogramm „20 Jahre Friedliche Revolution und Deutsche Einheit“, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, Deutsche Bahn AG, Opona NGO – Prag, Projektschmiede, Sächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Bayern, Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds, Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit, Bürgerstiftung Dresden, „Wir für Sachsen“, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, EU-Programm JUGEND IN AKTION, Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR/Außenstelle Dresden, QAD mbH – Qualifizierungs- und Arbeitsförderungsgesellschaft Dresden, Shangri La Flugvermittlung Freiberg, DREWAG

Project team: Mirko Sennewald, Hubert Zahn, Tobias Käppler, Gabi Weser, Tina Wünschmann and Marie Lauffer.