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Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

Patriotic Christmas Decorations

Today: 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

21 November 2020 - 14 February 2021

Little Christmas Show

This year’s small special show will focus on Christmas tree decorations that were made for the time of the two world wars. Christmas in wartime had a special meaning. Most family fathers and sons were at the front. Christmas trees were sent to the front in matchboxes and at home, the Christian message of peace was radically reinterpreted.

During the First World War, the Christmas tree carried national symbols. It became a national affair, which was to evoke patriotic feelings. Images of the emperor and iron crosses made of Dresden cardboard, glass submarines, mines and bombs with painted imperial eagles, as well as black, white and red banderoles were the new secular tree decoration. The top of the tree was often decorated with a structure in the shape of a Prussian spiked helmet.

During the Second World War, the National Socialist leadership appropriated Christmas for war propaganda. In numerous publications, the Third Reich tried to bring the Germanic roots of Christmas into the consciousness of the Germans and called on old Germanic virtues for the new content of the festival. The new rulers took great pains to use this emotionally most important family celebration of the year for propaganda purposes. Every opportunity was taken to reinterpret Christian customs and contents into Germanic origin and content. Christmas decorations, which corresponded to the ideas of the top leadership, were also available for purchase. Glass pressed spheres, containing strongly relieved, old Germanic symbols. These included the tree of life, sun wheel, runes, and swastika. However, it is important to stress that such pieces are rarely found in contemporary photographs. Many families seem to have given priority to the notion of peace.

Patriotic Christmas decorations in the national colours of blue-white-red are still extremely popular today in the US. But this has no ideological meaning. It is just a way of showing that you are proud of your country.

This difficult chapter in the history of Christmas tree decorations should not be ignored. We have succeeded in showing this somewhat different Christmas season thanks to items on loan from the private collection of Mr. Dünnenberger and the Library at Guisanplatz BiG. The exhibition will be shown in this form only in Basel.


Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel

OpenClosed | 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Steinenvorstadt 1,  4051  Basel

Opening Hours

Mo Closed  |  Tu 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  We 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Th 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Fr 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Sa 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM  |  Su 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM

Museum, Ristorante and Boutique:
Tue. to Sun. from 10 to 18, in December, daily from 10 to 18


Toy Worlds Museum Baste

With over 1,000 m2 on four levels, the museum is one of a kind in Europe. lt is located at the heart of downtown Basle and houses the largest collection of antique teddy bears in the world, together with historic dolls, toy grocery stores, dollhouses, carousels, and contemporary miniatures. Visitors from around the world come to marvel at the museum. Special exhibitions on select, fascinating topics are always being featured at the museum. Your own smartphone or tablet can be used as an interactive museum guide. ln-house Wi-Fi makes this service free of charge.


CHF 7.–/5.–
Free admission for children up to 16. Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult

Museums-PASS-Musées Free admission

Swiss Museum Pass Free admission


Barfüsserplatz is just a short stroll of about fifteen minutes from the SBB train station.

Another convenient alternative is the tram – take SBB Tram No. 8 from the train station to Barfüsserplatz or tram No. 11 to the Theater or Barfüsserplatz stop. From Badischer Bahnhof train station, take tram No. 6 to the Barfüsserplatz or Theater stop.

For visitors arriving by car, the carparks near the SBB train station (Centralbahnparking), Elisabethen, Steinen, or Parkhaus Badischer Bahnhof, are highly recommended.


The Museum, Restaurant and Shop are wheelchair-accessible. Access to the restaurant from the entrance area is via a 440 cm long, 110 cm wide ascending ramp (9.41% / 6.24°). A portable ramp can be set up from the entrance area to the shop.

All museum floors are accessible via a lift (door width 79.8 cm, depth 115 cm) with no thresholds or obstructions. The disabled toilet on the 1st floor is wheelchair-accessible: door width 79 cm, sitting height 41 cm, hinged handles and hand-rails are provided. The washbasin is designed for wheelchair users and the mirror positioned lower accordingly.

Floor surfaces:
All museum rooms have parquet floors.
The restaurant and shop have stone floors.

The restaurant presents no problems for wheelchair users and is accessible via a 440 cm long, 110 cm wide ascending ramp (9.41% / 6.24°).

A special mobile, collapsible ramp with side rail (200 cm long, 82 cm wide) is available.

How to get here:
The use of public transport is recommended: From the SBB station, tram No. 8 to the “Barfüsserplatz” stop or tram No. 11 to the “Theater” or “Barfüsserplatz” stop. From the Badischer Bahnhof station, tram No. 6 to the “Barfüsserplatz” or “Theater” stop.

You may also come by car or use the Basle Municipal Disabled Persons Transport Service (Tel. 061 666 66 66, advance notification required!). Stopping briefly in front of the museum to allow passengers to get into or out of the car is permitted. Disabled parking spaces are available in the nearby “Steinen” and “Elisabethen” multistorey car parks.

Special points:
Two wheelchairs are available in the museum for wheelchair users and persons with walking difficulties.

The interactive information systems on the various floors can be pulled down to sitting height.

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