Tag Archives: Remembrance

May 8 – Celebrating the End of World War II as a German

By Kai-Arne Zimny

75 years ago, the world sighed in relief. After six grue­some years and over 70 mil­lion lost lives, World War II was final­ly over. May 8, 1945, marked both the end of a ruth­less regime and the war in Europe. The Allied Forces had brought the Ger­man Wehrma­cht to its knees, and at 11:01 p.m., the war in Europe was offi­cial­ly over. In the U.S. and the UK, the day is cel­e­brat­ed as “Vic­to­ry in Europe Day,” and for decades, May 8 (and in some cas­es May 9) has been a hol­i­day in var­i­ous Euro­pean coun­tries – but not in Ger­many. How­ev­er, for its 75th anniver­sary, the Day of Lib­er­a­tion has been declared a one-time hol­i­day in Berlin.

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Personal Recollections: The Fall of the Wall Part Two

By Bobbie Kirkhart, Evangelia Kindinger, Lynette Kirschner, Maria Moss, Monica Ortez, Cheryce von Xylander

This week’s installment concludes our series on the fall of the Berlin Wall. Enjoy!


Pho­to cred­it: Doris Antony
Bobbie Kirkhart, Los Angeles

When I was very young, I imag­ined there was a wall just beyond my view, mak­ing sure I could not ven­ture into the for­bid­den world. It made a strange shape, sur­round­ing all the ter­ri­to­ry I could explore and block­ing every­where I could not. Per­haps it was that I was by far the youngest in my fam­i­ly, so that every­one else was an adult in my eyes and there­fore free. What­ev­er the rea­son, I accept­ed as sim­ple truth that I was banned from a world where every­one else was free to go. As I grew old­er, I real­ized that the wall was a metaphor, but I saw it as no less a real­i­ty in my life.

I was well into my 40s when that changed.

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Personal Recollections: The Fall of the Wall

By Marlena Voigts, Andreas Hübner, Michaela Keck, Christoph Strobel, Roger L. Nichols

Pho­to cred­it: Doris Antony
Marlena Voigts, Hamburg

Nov. 9, 1989: I was lying in bed when I thought I heard the phone ring. The next morn­ing, there was in fact a mes­sage on my answer­ing machine from about 3 a.m. “Hi Mar­lena! You won’t believe where I am. (Pause) I’m in the West, at my Aunt’s house in West Berlin! It’s just unbelievable!”

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Remembering the Fall of the Wall

By Martina Kohl

In hon­or of the 30thanniver­sary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Blog will remem­ber this spec­tac­u­lar event in his­to­ry through the eyes of peo­ple from around the world dur­ing the next few weeks.

Bran­den­burg Gate Today. Pho­to cred­it: U.S. Embassy


When Every­thing Changed

“Your friend Jörg called. There’s some­thing going on at the bor­der.” “What bor­der, the Hun­gar­i­an?” I was tak­ing off my coat think­ing of the pic­tures I’d seen of Hun­gar­i­an bor­der patrols cut­ting the wire fence and let­ting East Ger­mans through only a few months before. “He said you should turn on the TV.” And so I did, and there they were, the cel­e­brat­ing Berlin­ers climb­ing on top of the wall, wel­com­ing stunned East Berlin­ers, joined in deliri­ous joy for the first time in four decades. And here I was, almost 7,000 kilo­me­ters away in Ann Arbor, Michi­gan, where I’d been teach­ing for the last four years.

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