Students re-enact Berlin Wall destruction 20 years later
Students from The University of Texas and other local schools came to the South Mall one evening last November carrying cardboard boxes that evoked the wall that once divided East and West Berlin.
Like the eastern side of the wall, one side of each box was bare. The other side was covered with colorful graffiti that carried messages of freedom and hope.
Twenty years to the night after German citizens tore down the Berlin Wall, the students set up and then tore down their own wall. In recreating the historic event, they celebrated the end of a divided Europe and the rise of democracy and hope in that part of the world.
“The wall symbolizes the loss of freedom so tearing that down pretty much shows that people can achieve something,” said Germanic Studies graduate student and event organizer Judith Atzler, who was a girl in West Germany when the wall came down.
“We really want students to create something they want to change so we can connect what happened 20 years ago to our own lives.”
The event also commemorated the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom against Jews that took place across Germany in 1938. The event was sponsored by the Department of Germanic Studies; the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies;Department of Government; Department of History; Center for European Studies; and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
PHOTOS BY MARSHA MILLER