It’s been two decides since the fall of The Berlin Wall, which had divided the city and represented the ugly division of the post-war German state, and symbolized the brutal divisiveness of the Cold War.

In recognition of the anniversary, the German and History clubs at West Virginia University will host a discussion forum, “Remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Twenty Years After,” on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in Room G-4 of Woodburn Hall.

Presenters include Diana Kietzmann, a social worker from Mecklenburg (former East Germany), Marlies Watermann, a social worker from Frankfurt (former West Germany), and Katherine Aaslestad, associate professor of German history at WVU who lived in Hamburg, West Germany in 1989 researching her dissertation. Kietzmann and Watermann are in Morgantown as exchange participants with WVU’s Council on International Programs. Deborah Janson, an associate professor of German at WVU who lived in East Germany in 1987, will moderate.

Built in 1961, the wall embodied East-West hostility. On Nov. 9, 1989, officials of the German Democratic Republic succumbed to popular pressure and allowed East Germans to cross into West Berlin without official papers. As streams of GDR citizens made their way into the West, the dismantling of the Wall began, providing inspiration for revolutionary movements across Eastern Europe that concluded with the dramatic end of the Soviet Union.

The forum will feature brief informal presentations and open discussions with the audience. All interested in remembering and discussing the fall of the wall or learning more about this momentous event in recent history are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

On Nov. 4, “Divided Heaven,” a film by Konrad Wolf will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Wise Library, 104 Media Services. The film, praised by critics as one of Germany’s 100 Most Important Films, is a love story that questions the construction of the Berlin Wall.

A brief introduction will be presented by Lauren Ashcraft, German and international relations major.

From November 2-9 in the quad between the School of Business and Ecomomics and the Life Sciences Building, students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to add their mark to the Berlin Wall exhibit. On the 9th, the symbolic reconstruction will be destroyed. Free graffiti supplies will be available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday-Wednesday.

Other events include:

November 4
“Divided Heaven,” a film by Konrad Wolf will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Wise Library, 104 Media Services. The film, praised by critics as one of Germany’s 100 Most Important Films, is a love story that questions the construction of the Berlin Wall. A brief introduction will be presented by Lauren Ashcraft, German and international studies major.

November 5
“The Lives of Others,” (2006) a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in the Wise Library, 104 Media Services. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR’s secret police. Commentary will be provided by Robert Blobaum, director of the Slavic and Eastern European Studies (SEES) program at WVU.

November 6
Potluck dinner and discussion on the fall of the wall at 6 p.m. in E. Moore Hall.

November 11
“Good-bye Lenin,” (2003) a film’s by Wolfgang Becker, will be shown at 8 p.m. in the Wise Library, 104 Media Services. In the film Alex’s mother falls into a coma for eight months. When she wakes, her heart is weak, so Alex has to keep the secret that the Berlin Wall has fallen. What begins as a little white lie turns into a major scam.

For more information about any events, please contact Katherine Aaslestad at katherine.aaslestad@mail.wvu.edu or Deborah Janson at deborah.janson@mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

11/2/09

CONTACT: Rebecca Herod, Eberly College of Arts & Sciences
304-293-7405 Ext. 5251, Rebecca.Herod@mail.wvu.edu