UNH Commemorates 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Builds Own Piece of Wall

25 Years: Fall of the Berlin Wall logo

UNH will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall in Germany through a series of lectures, film screenings, and panel conversations. University students will both create and dismantle a representation of a wall segment. All events will take place in October and November, 2014, and are free and open to the public.

The wall that separated East from West Berlin from 1961 to November 9, 1989 was both a physical barrier between East and West Germany and a symbolic one between the democratic and communist countries of the world. The wall’s rapid fall signaled the end of the Cold War.

To commemorate the anniversary of this momentous event, the UNH German program, with the financial support of the German Embassy, will revisit the events of 1989 to both take stock of the major developments of the past quarter century and also to instruct those too young to remember the impact of this historic change in Germany, Europe, and the world.

“The fall of the Berlin wall was a pivotal moment in world history, notable not only for the peaceful nature of the revolution but also because it ushered in changes that are still in play today in our political, economic, social and cultural institutions,” says Professor of German Mary Rhiel.

The program begins on October 7 at 7 p.m. in Murkland Hall with a lecture by UNH professor emerita Nancy Lukens, “Candles in the Wind: East German Nonviolent Resistance and the ‘Wende’ of 1989-1990.” The talk will examine the relationship between the fragile and dangerous yet persistent non-violent resistance practiced in the German Democratic Republic and the events surrounding the opening of the Berlin wall.

UNH professor of art Ben Cariens is working with students to create a representation of a wall segment. The sculpture, intended to provide viewers a physical sense of the wall, will be unveiled in Murkland Hall courtyard on October 9 at 1 p.m. The wall will be dismantled by the UNH community on November 10 at 1 p.m. as a symbolic gesture reflective of what transpired 25 years before on November 9.

For a list of all events and more information, visit cola.unh.edu/fall-of-the-wall.

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