Fall of the Wall: 20 Years Later

Location: McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame

Fall of the Wall poster

Germany, Europe and the world will celebrate the 20th anniversary of an historic event on November 9—the fall of the Berlin Wall. Along with this event, we will celebrate two decades of freedom for the people of East Germany and the unification of Germany. When Germans in the German Democratic Republic took to the streets in the revolution of 1989, they risked their lives and careers to realize the hopes and principles that had animated the founders of the Federal Republic of Germany four decades earlier. Their demands for a free and fair election and their readiness to accede to the West German Basic Law made negotiations for German unification possible and led to Europe, whole and free.

To give us an insider’s perspective on the Wall’s demise and its consequences, we have invited Horst Teltschik to give our Distinguished European Lecture on Monday, October 12 at 8:00 pm. Teltschik was Helmut Kohl’s national security advisor and the principal architect of the negotiations that led to the unification of Germany. He will share some thoughts with us about the implications of these developments for German-American relations today. In addition, we have invited Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel to lead a panel discussion about the East German revolution at 4:00 p.m. Bindenagel was deputy U.S. ambassador to East Germany in 1989 and then served as ambassador to unified Germany in the mid-1990s. Four of our colleagues from the History Department (Tom Kselman, Mikolaj Kunicki, Semion Lyandres, and Alex Martin) will be respondents.

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Henkels Lecture Series, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame.

4:00 pm, Panel Discussion: Comparative Perspectives on the East German Revolution of 1989

McKenna Hall Auditorium (open to the public)

8:00 pm, The 2009-10 Distinguished European Lecturer

Dr. h.c. Horst M. Teltschik
“The Fall of the Wall and Its Implications Twenty Years Later” (An Insider’s Perspective)

McKenna Hall Auditorium (open to the public)

Fall of the Wall photos by Frederik Ramm

Additional Thoughts and Links on the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall Project ( a contemporary dance event)
Museum: The Berlin Wall
A traveling exhibit commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall visits CSULB.
Celebrating the Fall of the Berlin Wall
BBC – 1989: Berliners celebrate the fall of the Wall
The Fall of the Berlin Wall by Frederik Ramm (Featuring more than 60 photos of personal experience)

Passage through the Wall - 1989 by RESchade

Copyright RESchade
(Richard E. Schade, Professor of German Studies and Honorary Consul of Germany – Honorarkonsul der Bundesrepublik Deutschland)