Tag Archives: Wende

20 Jahre Mauerfall

Der Tag ist da, heute ist den 9. November 2009, 20 Jahre nach dem Fall der Mauer also, und überall auf der Welt wird es bedacht und gedacht.  Ich kann mich an dem Tag erinnern:  1989 war ich fünf Jahre alt, und da waren die Bilder von den Berlinern auf der Mauer im Fernseher.  Meine Eltern, die jahrelang in Deutschland gelebt hatten, waren natürlich ganz aufgeregt, soviel habe ich mitbekommen.  Sie haben mir erzählt, was in Berlin vor sich ging, obwohl ich natürlich die historische Bedeutung dieser Ereignisse nicht begriffen habe.

Zwei Jahrezehnte später bin ich Graduate Student in einem German Departement.  In einer Stunde trifft sich der Deutschkurs, den ich unterrichte und dessen Studenten gar keine Erinnerung an das Jahr 1989 im Gedächtnis haben.  Wir haben schon unsere erste Generation von Studenten, die nach dem Mauerfall auf die Welt kam.

Die New York Times hat heute einen interessanten Kommentar von Zizek zu diesem Thema veröffentlicht. Dies hat mir am beste gefallen:

This is why today’s China is so unsettling: capitalism has always seemed inextricably linked to democracy, and faced with the explosion of capitalism in the People’s Republic, many analysts still assume that political democracy will inevitably assert itself.

But what if this strain of authoritarian capitalism proves itself to be more efficient, more profitable, than our liberal capitalism? What if democracy is no longer the necessary and natural accompaniment of economic development, but its impediment?

If this is the case, then perhaps the disappointment at capitalism in the post-Communist countries should not be dismissed as a simple sign of the “immature” expectations of the people who didn’t possess a realistic image of capitalism.

Diese Aussage ist natürlich ziemlich problematisch, weil er die Tendenz von einem autoritären Kapitalismus eher anderswo verortet.  Ich würde auch nicht behaupten, dass wir vor der Gefahr stehen, Kapitalismus und Demokratie müssen sich nicht mehr begleiten, denn wann, bitte schön, haben sie sich je außerhalb der Fantasie von Milton Friedman begleitet?  Aber Zizeks gedanken lese ich mit großen Interesse angesichts der Debatten über Gesundheitsreform hierzulande.  Angeblich geht ein bekanntes Gespenst hier in den USA um, auch wenn die Reform, die unser House of Representatives Samstag Abend verabschiedet hat, nichts als ein verwässertes Geschenk an die Gesundheitsindustrie ist.

20 Jahre seit dem Mauerfall.  Der Kapitalismus hat gesiegt, die Konsumkultur schreitet weiter, kurze Zeit lang war die Geschichte zu Ende.  Hurra.

Berlin Wall Memorial Week at Cornell

Our Berlin Wall Memorial Week at Cornell kicks off on Tuesday, September 22nd! The following is a list of the events that will be taking place. Come out to the Arts Quad and check it out!

On Tuesday, September 22 a replica of the Wall will be placed on the Cornell Arts Quad. At noon we will begin the wall art competition “Über-Free,” for which a select group of students will cover each section with graffiti art. The winner will enter a national competition with a chance to win two free tickets to Berlin.

On September 22nd from 4:30 – 5:30 PM a themed charity race – Breakthrough! – will take place on Cornell University’s Arts Quad. Donations from local businesses and raffle proceeds will go to the downtown food bank and kitchen, Loaves and Fishes. The event will involve teams of students creatively navigating obstacles and tasks that deal in various ways with the history of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War.

A public speaking competition entitled “Tear Down This Wall!” will be held from 12:20-1:10 PM on Wednesday, September 23 in front of the replica of the wall. Each participant, playing the role of a U.S. president, will speak on the topic of freedom.
On the evening of Wednesday, September 23 at 5:00 PM there will be a screening of select films relating to the Berlin Wall will and its subsequent fall in Kaufmann Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall on the Cornell Campus.

Thursday, September 24 there will be a panel discussion on the fall of the wall held in 142 Goldwin Smith Hall on the Cornell Campus. The conversation will be led by guests from campus and beyond, including eyewitnesses from Berlin.

Saturday, September 26 at 11:00 AM begins the DAAD Weekend “1989 for the 21st Century.” Sponsored by the Department of German Studies and the German Academic Exchange Service, papers presented at this conference will treat upon the year 1989 in German culture and politics.

The week will conclude with a gala event on September 26th at 6:00 PM themed “Ich bin ein Berliner.” The event is by invitation only.

Raffle tickets for airfare from New York to Berlin will be sold at all events. The drawing will take place at the gala on Saturday. Proceeds will also be donated to Loaves and Fishes.

Announcement: Fall of the Berlin Wall Memorial Week

The Cornell German Department has received funding to organize a memorial week celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall! I am a part of the committee helping to organize the event, which will be happening from Sept. 22 through Sept. 26! We have several exciting events planned, including the construction of a replica wall on the Arts Quad complete with a graffiti competition and a public speaking event! We will also be screening films, hosting a panel discussion, and organizing a charity run. Anybody who is interested in actually participating in the public speaking event as a speaker, or in running in the charity run, should contact me. Otherwise, keep your eyes open at the end of this month!