Thirtieth anniversary of Berlin Wall's fall remembered 

bwall.jpg

Erika Goetz-Lad grew up in the socialist German Democratic Republic. The Stasi persecuted her family, and as a result she wasn’t allowed to go to university despite her excellent academic standing.

After the Berlin Wall fell, she was able to finally have access to a post-secondary education.

Now living in Victoria, Goetz-Lad shared her story during a panel discussion at a special Germanic and Slavic Studies event that marked the 1989 fall of the wall that separated East and West Germany.

Events included a talk in German regarding art and politics, by Dr. Ulrich Reimkasten, a successful textile artist and painter in  East Germany as well as in the newly unified Germany after 1989.

Professor Peter Gölz introduced the free screening of the award-winning film Gundermann at Cinecenta, which was sponsored by the department and the German Consulate General of Vancouver.

Directed by East German Andreas Dresen, the film focused on the story of East German folk singer and miner Gerhard Gundermann, who was also a Stasi informant.

Co-organizer and Associate Teaching Professor Matt Pollard noted that the film, unlike productions from a dominantly West-German perspective,  “was about East Germans telling their own complicated story.”

A panel discussion among experts and eyewitnesses followed the screening, with participants Goetz-Lad, German Consul General Dr. Klaus Schmidt, Dr. Gerlinde Weimer-Stuckmann, the latter of whom witnessed the events in Berlin in 1989, as well as former diplomat to the EU and Russia Jeremy Kinsman.