Campus honors Berlin Wall fall

Ernesto Lopez

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One side of the wall represented the West side of Germany, which was the free side, and the other East Germany, which was under communist rule from 1952 to 1989.

During the week of Nov. 9, German Club advisor Astrid Ronke, members of the club and her students from German 101 and 202 had a Berlin Wall exhibit at the A building Quad. Together, they educated the campus community about the exhibit and the history of the Berlin Wall.

At the informational table, the group had postcards, pictures, books and pieces of the original Berlin Wall as part of their material to share.

Ronke said that the wall was put up on campus as part of her “learning into action” plan. She also wanted to remind and educate the campus community about the impact of the wall’s opening and how its collapse is a symbol of world peace.’

Both German classes conducted research on the Berlin Wall in order to prepare for this exhibit and collected the facts pasted throughout the exhibit.

Benjamin Hart, German 101 student, said, “I was oblivious to the history of it. I did not know what it really stood for.”

After his investigations Hart said that he felt the entire existence of the wall in Berlin, “(was) a big nasty. Just knowing how many lives were lost and that families were split up; it’s a tear jerker.”

The German born professor reported having lived in West Germany during the existence of the wall. At one point, she held a job with the German Academic Exchange Service as a guide offering tours of the Berlin Wall.

“I always felt like being in the zoo and being forced looking at the animals on the other side–people just like us,” Ronke said.

Ronke also said that while living in Germany, traveling out of the Western sector of the city was difficult. She and her family waited for hours at the borders leading to East Germany and thereon.

Regarding the exhibit built by her students, Ronke said that they “hope so much that maybe City College can take the historical art object and leave it on campus for a longer time or permanently.”

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