Episode 02: The Wall: Legacy of Divided Berlin
When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, it was a surprise to many. For an entire generation, the Berlin Wall was the most iconic physical manifestation of the Cold War: a flashpoint in the conflict between East and West, a scar across a city, a reminder of division of Germany after the Second World War.
In Episode 2 of The Zeitgeist, AICGS President Jeff Rathke talks with Mary Sarotte, author of 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe and The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, about the events that led the East German police to open the border that November night, about how Germans and Americans alike reacted to the news, and about the broader legacy of the Berlin Wall for today.
Jeff Rathke, President, AICGS
Mary Sarotte is the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professorship of Historical Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sarotte is also a faculty member of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and a research associate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies.
In the mid-1990s, AICGS acquired a piece of the Berlin Wall now on display at JHU’s School of Advanced International Studies. It stands “in tribute to the success of the German-American partnership and as a reminder that freedom can never be taken for granted.”
Support for this episode is provided in part by the Steven Muller New Initiatives Fund.