The Museum Berlin-Karlshorst began systematic collecting activities in 1994 along with preparations for the permanent exhibition. The museum’s collection is organized along the following categories:


The time frame of this collection extends from the end of World War I or the October Revolution to the present; it documents primarily German-Soviet relationships. The focus is on the war period 1941-1945. The document collection includes flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, personal identity cards, maps, all types of written documents, certificates, food ration cards, stamps and albums.


The poster collection consists primarily of Soviet wartime and postwar posters.

Everyday Culture

The presentation about everyday life for a soldier on the front sets an important accent in the permanent exhibition which is also reflected in the museum’s collection activities. The objects on display include items the soldiers had with them on the front.


The militaria collection includes weapons and armaments, uniforms, flags, decorations and medals. One focus is on military medicine.

Photo Archive

The museum’s collection of photographs is a major part of its total holdings. War photographs dominate. This part of the inventory includes both works from the estates of Soviet photographers like Nikolai Chandogin, Timofei Melnik, Mikhail Savin, Ivan Schagin and Boris Vdovenko as well as amateur German photographs (black-and-white/35 mm format and color transparencies). Another part of the collection is devoted to the postwar period and the Soviet troops in the GDR.

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The museum has a library specializing in German-Soviet relations with a focus on the war on the Eastern Front. The library is specifically designed to fill the tasks of a historical museum and is primarily for the use of museum staff. But with the prior agreement of the museum it is also available to other interested parties for research purposes. It is a reference library, not a lending library, and so far contains 3,000 volumes as well as a supplementary collection of essays.