In 1989/1990 the German people tore down the division that had separated East and West for more than forty years. Peaceful revolutionaries demanded freedom and changed the course of history. Two decades after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is living up to the challenges of unification. The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 signaled the beginning of the end of Germany's post-war division and national unity came less than a year later on October 3, 1990. Today, Berlin is once again Germany's vibrant capital. In 2009, Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in a spirit of deep gratitude and with a desire to share its historic experience - the vision of hope, of unity, and of freedom without walls.
International Area Studies, 2nd Floor Bostock (near the Asian Reading Room)
In his collection "East Berlin: And the Wall Came Down," Brooklyn-based photographer Vincent Cianni has captured a visual record of an important historic episode. In a statement about his images of the Berlin of 1990, Cianni expressed: "There are certain times in the history of the world that one word has elicited a thousand images. 'Unification' is one such word. The Berlin wall is now a memory — the physical evidence of the barrier between East and West has been removed. The wall and what it symbolized remains in photographs, mementos — those pieces which have been torn down, hoarded, sold and bartered — and in people's consciousness. But as with most memories, it to will fade."
Students in Christophe Fricker's Course German 148 on the Fall of the Wall during a skype video conference with Vincent Cianni, discussing his experiences in Berlin in 1990.
Berlin has become a worldwide symbol for change. Today Germany is in the heart of Europe and serves as a bridge between the West and the new democracies that were formerly part of the Soviet bloc. The be Berlin exhibit combines textual and visual to showcase change in this cultural metropolis.