The permanent exhibition "Ausgepackt" (Unpacked) presents an overview and explores in detail the history of the Germans, who – driven by lack of land, bad harvests, high tax burdens, and persecution as religious and political minorities – travelled to Russia in search of a better life. Most found a new homeland in the rural areas of Russia. The exhibition primarily focuses on these emigrants, but also traces the history of the returnees and their descendants, who now live in Germany.
The title of the exhibition is intended to be associative: Emigrating, immigrating, resettling – time and again, the Russian Germans found themselves packing and unpacking suitcases, chests, boxes and bags. Pieces of luggage like this, or items from them, form many of the museum's exhibits. People have kept these items and brought them back with them as a reminder of their history and of their different homelands.