On Nov. 9, 1989, the winds of history toppled the Cold War’s Berlin Wall that divided Germany’s once and future capital between democracy and totalitarianism. Thirty years later, autumn gusts across Franklin & Marshall’s Hartman Green blew down a cardboard replica.
The Wall was assembled early Nov. 8, the day before the anniversary, by students and faculty in the German program. Professor of German Jennifer Redmann intended Die Mauer to stand until late that afternoon when students would tear it down. But thanks to the high winds, the Wall was gone in a few hours.
“But we did get to do some graffitiing,” Redmann said.
Assistant Professor Meagan Tripp’s German 101 class, along with members of the German Club, assembled the Wall, and throughout the morning, students painted graffiti in German using phrases reminiscent of those expressed by victims of the actual Wall that blocked freedom for Berliners for 28 years.
“We’re calling it ‘No More Walls Week’ because we want to be clear about the perspective that walls hinder mutual understanding by dividing people,”Redmann said.
Germany was reunified less than a year after the dismantling of the Wall that divided Berlin and the country since the end of World War II in 1945.
Later this month, the American Association of Teachers in German will honor F&M’s Department of German with its Center of Excellence Award for having a “well-established and growing German program with strong support from the administration, colleagues, alumni, parents and students.”