University Launches Commemoration of 25th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall
In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, enabling all German citizens to travel to West Germany and West Berlin and ultimately leading to the reunification of East and West Germany. Nearly 25 years later, approximately 4,000 miles away, Syracuse University is commemorating this historic occasion with a three-month-long series of events and activities, including lectures, screenings, a digital story contest and a re-enactment of the building and tearing down of the wall.
“To say the fall of the Berlin Wall was a pivotal moment in German history would be a dramatic understatement,” says Mary Lovely, who holds multiple titles at Syracuse, including professor of economics and chair of international relations. “The schedule of events we’ve compiled will help students understand the historical significance of the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and will spark a meaningful dialogue about the factors that made peaceful revolution and reunification possible.”
Students are invited to participate in the building of a replica of the Berlin Wall on Monday, Oct. 20 (time TBA), outside of Maxwell Hall. All week long, students are also invited to express their feelings about the Berlin Wall—and physical and symbolic barriers, in general–by decorating the wall with graffiti. The wall will be torn down on Saturday, Oct. 25 (time TBA), and will be followed by a brief reception, featuring authentic German refreshments.
Funded by a grant from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the commemoration is co-sponsored by the Department of International Relations and the Moynihan European Research Centers, all in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; the Department of Languages, Literatures; and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences; and the School of Architecture.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Conversations in IR: “The Streets of Berlin 9 November 1989: Chance and Contingency”
Presented by Laurie Marhoefer, professor of history at Syracuse University
Monday, Sept. 15, 12:45 p.m.
225B Eggers Hall
Screening: “The Lives of Others”
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 5:30 p.m.
110 Bowne Hall
Lecture: “Fall of the Wall: Did Economics Play a Role?”
Presented by Irwin Collier, professor of economics at the Free University of Berlin (Germany)
Monday, Sept. 22, 4 p.m.
220 Eggers Hall
Lecture: “Commemorating a Revolution: Public Memory and National Identity in Germany after 1989”
Presented by Ralph Jessen, professor of modern history at the University of Cologne (Germany)
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m.
220 Eggers Hall
Screening: “The Burning Wall”
Followed by a discussion with the director, Hava Kohav Beller
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 5:30 p.m.
Kittredge Auditorium, H.B. Crouse Hall
Lecture: “1989 and the Remaking of the European Political Order”
Lecture presented by Jeffrey Kopstein, professor of political science and director of the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m.
220 Eggers Hall
Conversations in IR: “German American Relationships since the Fall of the Berlin Wall”
Presented by Jakob von Wagner, Counselor for Cultural Affairs, German Consulate General, New York
Monday, Nov. 3, 12:45 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 7, 5:30 p.m.
421 Hall of Languages
Screening: “Der Mann auf der Mauer”
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.
209 H.B. Crouse Hall
Students are also invited to participate in a digital story contest, for which they will create and submit a video or photo essay, detailing their perspective on the Berlin Wall, its impact on them, and how it has influenced their view of boundaries and borders. The deadline for submission is Sunday, Oct. 12; winners will be announced on Saturday, Oct. 25.