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Newseum  A top museum attraction in Washington, D.C. We champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment.

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"It's not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war," President John F. Kennedy confided to an aide when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. The wall may have staved off war, but it also kept "dangerous" ideas and information from flowing into communist East Germany. Nearly 30 years later, however, the Berlin Wall was torn down, and oppressed East Berliners regained access to a free and open society. #FreeSpeechWeek

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Step by step.

In honor of #FreeSpeechWeek (October 16 - 22) we're highlighting messages from the Berlin Wall, one of the world's most infamous barriers to freedom. The wall kept residents of communist East Berlin from fleeing to the West - and freedom. East Berliners brave (and desperate) enough to attempt escape had to get past the "Death Strip" first. This was a stretch of land in front of the wall, planted with buried mines and beds of nails (referred to as "Stalin's Lawn"). Floodlights raked the area, and it was constantly monitored by guards who stood ready to shoot anyone trying to cross.

Sections of the Berlin Wall can be seen at the Newseum. Visitors can also try our new virtual reality experience, "The Berlin Wall," which allows people to experience what it was like to break down the wall when the Soviet bloc crumbled.

ACT UP! This spectacular graffiti appears on a portion of the Berlin Wall that can be seen at the Newseum. The forbidding barrier was meant to plug the "brain drain" of East Germany, when tens of thousands of people - mostly doctors, teachers and engineers - flooded into the West in search of freedom. Once the wall went up, though, East German intellectuals were effectively cut off from the world they sought.

In our countdown to #FreeSpeechWeek, we're exploring the Berlin Wall, one of the world's most infamous barriers to freedom, piece by piece. The colors here indicate that this side faced West Berlin, a free and open society. The other side of the wall, which faced communist East Berlin, was completely bare. Threat of death kept East Berliners from approaching the wall, whether to graffiti it or attempt escape. The stark difference between the two sides can be viewed in the Newseum's Berlin Wall Gallery, which displays the largest portion of the wall outside Germany.

"You can," says the Berlin Wall. It's a somewhat ironic statement for a wall, especially one that was built to prevent people from escaping an oppressive Communist regime, but perhaps it was meant to encourage East German defectors looking for freedom. They resorted to all kinds of measures to get to the West side, including forging documents, ramming the wall, jumping from nearby buildings, and even flying balloons. About half of an estimated 10,000 defectors made it to West Berlin.

You see part of the Berlin Wall (and touch a piece of it!) at the Newseum. And while you're here, try out our virtual reality experience "Berlin Wall," which puts you in the shoes of an East German defector.

Next week is #FreeSpeechWeek, so this week, we're highlighting one of the world's most iconic barriers to freedom, several pieces of which are displayed at the Newseum. Can you guess what it is? (Hint: it was a wall built to keep people IN, not out.)

A group of teachers examine tools for teaching students how to battle fake news and misinformation during @newseumed's Teacher Open House Day.

Over 3,000 digital journalists are in the city this weekend, attending the Online News Association conference (#ONA17). Tonight, they celebrated being together + the history of journalism at @newseum. Follow along on our stories. 🥂 to the first amendment!

You don't have to look too far for Halloween costume inspiration for our #NewseumNights '60s-inspired bash on Oct. 27 - our new exhibit #CreatingCamelot has you covered with classic looks from #JFK and #JackieO 👻🎃👒👔

This week, over 3,000 journalists will be meeting in Washington, D.C. for the @online_news annual conference. We’re so excited to be hosting #ONA17’s opening night on Thursday! They’ll be taking over our Instagram to share candid moments from the gathering.
ONA is the world’s largest association of digital journalists, which means that top minds will be in the city to discuss the biggest issues in journalism right now — including reporting in this unusual political climate and using new technologies like virtual reality to tell stories. Check out what’s on the agenda: http://bit.ly/ONA17program #ONA17

Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country 🇺🇸
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Fall Member Open House was a huge success! 🍪☕️ #Newseum #NewseumMember #membershiphasitsprivileges

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