Life on Both Sides of the Wall (Berlin 1945-1989)
Three faculty members lived in Germany, two were born on the opposite sides of the Berlin Wall, the third was an American conducting research during the time leading up to the fall of the Wall.
Nov 09, 2009
from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
|Contact Name||Heike Alberts|
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Michelle Mouton (History), Heike Alberts (Geography) and Monika Hohbein-Deegen (Foreign Languages) will provide background information about the Berlin Wall and describe their experiences of living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War.
Dr. Heike Alberts: My talk will focus on what it was like to live in West Berlin when it was completely surrounded by the Wall. The Wall was very close to where I grew up, so it was always present in our lives. At night we could see the lights from the fortifications and hear the patrols. A childhood friend of mine lived right at the Wall, so when we were at her house, we literally played at the foot of the Berlin Wall. I accepted the Wall as something normal—in fact, it was strange to me to think that other cities did not have a Wall. Of course when I was a child I did not really understand why the Wall was there—its importance only really became clear to me when it was gone. I have plenty of childhood memories of the difficulties of traveling to West Germany or other countries because of having to pass through the checkpoints, and of visiting our relatives in East Berlin. My talk will focus on personal experiences with the Wall, and will be illustrated with photos and documents from this time period.
Dr. Michelle Mouton: Why was the Berlin Wall built? What brought the Berlin Wall down? This talk will provide a historical overview of what led to the construction of the Berlin Wall, how it affected German society, and what led to its demise.