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Volunteer of the month: Dieter Geidel

4. March 2020

Dieter, please introduce yourself in two or three short sentences: Where are you from, what do you do for a living, what are your greatest interests and passions?

Dieter: I grew up in the GDR; I was born in Sachsen, but since many years, I am a Berliner at heart. In “another” lifetime, I was a forest engineer and have a degree in business management. In my free time, I love to keep busy with music, opera, sports, cycling, and gardening. And I spend a lot of time in the museum, actually.

How did you come into contact with the Schwules Museum? 

Friends told me about the SMU in 2005 and I took a look, back then the museum was still at Mehringdamm in Kreuzberg. I was really impressed that something like this exists, it seems very important to me. For this reason, I decided to lend my support and become a volunteer.

What are your tasks in the museum?

In the beginning, I took up leftover shifts in the exhibitions. Meanwhile, I work regular shifts at the front desk and the cash register. I meet many different people, I like that a lot.

Why is the museum an important and special place for you?

The SMU became a kind of home for me – I feel like I am among like-minded people, and dedicate a lot of my free time. This museum is unique; it is important that it is preserved.

Which exhibitions do you remember in detail?

I cannot forget the different exhibition about the “Manns” – Thomas Mann, in 2005, Golo Mann 2009, Klaus and Erika 2016. I was also very impressed  about “Homosexualität_en” in 2015. The museum never got so much public attention before.

Is there anything you miss in the museum?

I am not always satisfied with the communication between the administration, the board and the volunteers’ collective. This “construction site” needs constant work. But constructive work can also be fun.