Revolution! Break of an era! Turning point!
The autumn of 1989 is often described with such similar strong words by anyone 40 or older. Strikes, demonstrations and elections in Warsaw. Genscher on the balcony of the Prague Embassy. Crowds of people on the Berlin Wall. The images of the end of socialism can be retrieved at any time from the collective memory of this older generation – as can the corresponding emotions.
For younger Europeans, on the other hand, border controls, the people’s republics and the East-West conflict are nothing but grey theory. The fact that Poland was once ruled by a remote-controlled general sounds to them like the plot of a wacky Netflix series. No wonder: this year Germany has been reunited for longer than it was divided by the Wall.
The European Academy Berlin is taking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall as an opportunity to remind of the events of 1989 with the European Freedom Weeks, to make them accessible to younger people and to question some legends.
Together with you, we want to collect stories, (re)discover places, awaken emotions and revive images from these times from summer to late autumn.
To mark the start of the European Freedom Weeks, we will first trace the spirit of the summer of 1989. On 30 August, in memory of the picnic in Sopron, Hungary, the European Academy Berlin invites you to its beautiful garden for a Pan-European picnic!
In September we will continue with a cross-generational storytelling evening (16 September) in the Buchbund.
If you want to actively experience history, you can join us on the 22nd of September and discover places of the peaceful revolutions in Berlin and Europe by bike.
Film, music and podcast fans as well as amateurs of city walks and quizzes will also be able to discover the time of the fall of the Wall from new, exciting and surprising angles before the European Freedom Weeks come to an end on 20 November with a special panel discussion accompanied by music.
All events and much more can be found on a specifically set up pageflow platform as well as simply in our calendar of events.
The project takes place in cooperation with the Institut in.Europa in Warsaw, the Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague and the Deutsche Nationalstiftung as well as with the kind support of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, the German-Czech Future fund, the Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany and the German Federal Foreign Office.