The Berlin Wall: From Construction to Demolition – clip
Vejas Liulevicius / University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Built by East German Communist forces without warning in 1961, the Berlin Wall became the iconic structure symbolizing the decades-long Cold War. It stood for 28 years, dividing the capital of Germany and housing armed border guards standing ready to shoot escapees. Then, in the unexpected upheavals of 1989, it was torn down by eager crowds. This lecture examines why and how the Berlin Wall was built, how it was challenged, subverted, tunneled under, spray-painted, and mocked, and then how and why it was toppled. In this course, we’ll explore the ideological meanings given to this concrete structure, the lived experience of those separated by it, and how the Wall continues to play a role in collective memory long after its collapse.
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