The Berlin Wall:
From Construction to Demolition
Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius / University of Tenn
(Includes Live Professor Q & A!)
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.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Dr. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius is Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, where he has won multiple teaching awards and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship. A native of Chicago, he earned his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Liulevicius has produced nine recorded lecture series on topics including: turning points of modern history, global explorers, espionage, World War I, diplomacy, dictatorships, the history of Eastern Europe, and Communism. He is the author of two books on German relations with Eastern Europe.