25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall



The concrete wall (with barbed wire & guard towers) separating East and West Germany (and East and West Berlin) opened on Nov. 9, 1989. Join in these campus week 25 years of reunification events,  sponsored by the UA Dept. of German Studies:

Wednesday, Nov. 12th at 5:00 p.m., Poetry Center (and reception):

“Die Mauer and Memory: Looking back at the Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall” (Susan Crane, Department of History)

Thursday, Nov. 13th at 7:30 p.m., ILC (Integrated Learning Center) 130:

“Der Tunnel / The Tunnel,” directed by Sise Richter (2001) Movie Showing with snacks and drinks provided

Friday, Nov. 14th at 2:00 p.m., EDU (Education) 211:

Panel Discussion: “The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall”

Helga Walsh, Wake Forest University

Crister Garrett, University of Leipzig

Craig Whitney, Former Assistant Managing Editor and Foreign Correspondent, The New York Times

Moderated by Paulette Kurzer, SGPP

Carolyn’s notes: UA Poetry Center is at 1508 E.Helen St (west of Cherry Ave., north of Speedway Blvd.), ILC is the underground facility, just west of Cherry Avenue by E. University Blvd., and the Education Bldg, is at 1430 E. 2nd St. (west of Cherry Ave.).

We saw the gripping movie “Der Tunnel” years ago and highly recommend it for the drama and desperation of East Berliners living under Communist rule.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Gripping/harrowing true movie last night about West Berliners tunneling under a sector to help East German loved ones escape to the West. It was a long 3 hour drama but fully showed the repression the Easterners lived under, the building of the wall in Berlin in 1961. Today the 3 speakers on the panel provided different perspectives of the rise & fall of the wall, what happened with reunification (favorable and not due to the uncertainty and shock in 1989), the memory of East Germany, and the “wall in the head” attitude.

  2. Fascinating talk by Dr. Susan Crane about the rise & fall of the Berlin wall, and she happened to be living there in the fall of 1989 when this all occurred. She showed her own photos of what it was like in the months after the fall. Then German Studies students read memoirs from East Berliners about their experiences with this change in their lives. Prizes were then given out to students for poster creations on this topic.

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