On November 9, 2009, Professor of history and political science, Timothy Thibodeau, and students from Nazareth College's Berlin Residential Program, stood in Pariser Platz next to the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Watch the video that takes you to the heart of Berlin for the historic celebration.
In Their Own Words
Katie McFarland '12
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
November 9, 2009 was the 20th Jahre Mauerfall celebration. We were able to be some of the lucky 30,000 people allowed in Pariser Platz (a square in the former east right next to the Brandenburg Gate). There was a prediction of about 500,000 people expected to show up in total and it certainly looked like it. We were standing in the square for about 8 hours but it was amazing.
There are truly no words to describe the atmosphere at an event like this. We were able to see Daniel Barenboim conduct, and the various dignitaries and political figures that showed up for this occasion. To hear the various representatives speak was amazing. The Russian President Medvedev, the French President Sarkozy, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the President of the European Union Jose Barroso, the former Soviet President Gorbachev and the former Polish President Lech Walesa and the Bundeskanzler Angela Merkel were among a few of the speakers to talk before the start of the dominoes. Bon Jovi sang his new song, other groups sang and then the dominoes continued in a great symbolic fall. This was a momentous, once in a lifetime experience that I shall never forget.
Professor Timothy Thibodeau
Department of History and Political Science
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I met with our students today and Dr. Jacobsen showed them the video from YNN. They were all hooting and laughing and very happy with it!
I got amazing video last night. I was there from 10:40 a.m. on and stood in the rain from 3:00 pm - 9:20 pm. It was surreal and pictures will prove it. The students didn't get too worked up for Placido Domingo, but when Bon Jovi showed up, they went nuts.
Tomorrow will be my last full day, I'm spending it in East Berlin visiting the ruins of communism.
Professor William Hopkins
Coordinator, Berlin Residential Program
Friday, November 6, 2009
This weekend our colleague Tim Thibodeau will be flying to Berlin Germany, along with thousands of others, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the "Fall of the Berlin Wall." While there he will visit Nazareth's Berlin Residential Program to interview our students about their academic experience and to meet with the faculty and staff of the host institution, Studienforum Berlin.
I am sending you this email and part of another (below), from Dr. Hanns-Dieter Jacobsen from Studienforum, because our own students will be witnessing a world class event on Monday in the middle of Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate. Tim is scheduled to meet the students at Starbucks - where else? - on Pariser Platz at the Brandenburg Gate, which is not far from the new U.S. Embassy and the now well-known Holocaust Memorial. They will meet just inside the former East Berlin.
Just twenty years ago - give about a month - there was a Nazareth group in Berlin for New Year's (1989/1990), when the city went wild with joy. Just ask Sharon Murphy, who has her very own, hard hammered pieces of the Wall, chipped off right behind the old - now new - Reichstag (the Federal Parliament building). On December 31, 1989, our Nazareth students - about 15 of them and Dr. Murphy - danced on the top of the Wall, just in front of the Brandenburg Gate. (That was the only place where the Wall was flat on the top, where people could demonstrate or dance). But this time our students will celebrate about 150 yards to the east, behind the old Iron Curtain. My, how times have changed.
In 1990, Nazareth Professor of History and Political Science, Sharon Murphy, was interviewed by NPR affiliate WXXI Radio, a few days after witnessing the fall of the Berlin wall. Listen to an excerpt from the interview.
Dr. Hanns-Dieter Jacobsen
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Dear all, This is to remind you that we meet on Monday, 9 November, at 3pm next to the Starbucks Coffee Shop on Pariser Platz (around the corner towards the French embassy). More on the program, the domino pieces and much more you find at http://www.mauerfall09.de/en/home.html. The concert of Barenboim starts at 7 pm.
Politically, this event is the most important one in Berlin this year. We will probably not see them, but there are statesmen that will also join this event: the Russian President Medvedev, the French President Sarkozy, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the President of the European Union Jose Barroso, the former Soviet President Gorbachev and the former Polish President Lech Walesa (the two latter ones are Nobel laureates). I will not forget to mention that Bon Jovi will also be there.
It is strongly recommended to be on Pariser Platz early because only 30,000 people can stand there. The organizers expect, however, at least half a million people to visit. True, most of them will be on the other (the Western) side of the Brandenburg Gate.