In 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic began constructing a 96-mile-long dividing wall in attempt to prevent Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state. The Berlin Wall, made of concrete and barbed wire, prevented emigration and more than 170 people were killed trying to cross or get around the wall. On Nov. 9, 1989, the head of the East German Communist party opened the checkpoint, allowing thousands of East and West Berlin residents to pass through. Elated residents, later known as “wallpeckers” used hammers and picks to break apart the wall.
In 1990, East and West Germany reunified into a single German state. To date, the wall serves as a symbolic boundary between democracy and Communism during the Cold War.
In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German Studies Department is hosting a series of lectures.
At noon, Sept. 24, Eric Grimmer-Solem will speak on