Tibet and the museum's history
In 2014, the Haus der Natur presented a critical portrayal of its history in a special exhibition entitled "The Haus der Natur 1924 to 1976 - The Tratz Era". Already at that time, the decision was made to incorporate this historical analysis into the permanent exhibition at a later date. The area of the Tibet dioramas was an obvious choice for this - an exhibition area whose genesis goes back directly to the history of the museum during the Nazi era.
The original Tibet dioramas were conceived for the so-called "Tibet Show", which opened in January 1943 in the old Haus der Natur in the Hofstallkaserne. They depict scenes from Tibet in the 1930s and were the result of collaboration between museum director Eduard Paul Tratz and Ernst Schäfer and his staff, who visited the country, which was hermetically sealed off from the outside world at the time, in 1938/39 as part of a Tibet expedition co-financed by the SS.
Although their genesis places them in a historically loaded context, they represent a unique, masterful presentation of ancient Tibet and have no ideological connection to the Nazi era.
After 60 years, all the dioramas have been restored. At the same time, the Haus der Natur integrates an exhibition on the history of the dioramas and the museum from 1924 to the present day into this area.