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a border through Germany
The Wall 1961 - 1989

November 9, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was the ultimate symbol of the division of Germany and its fall and the accompanying reunification of Germany one of the most important and concise historical events of the 20th century. 

Menschen auf der Mauer am 9.November 1989

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate on 12 June 1987

November 9th...

... also marked the end of the Cold War. Humanity let a sigh of relief. On this occasion, the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur has produced a contemporary historical exhibition, which the Goethe-Institut Montreal will be showing until November 29, 2019.

The history of the Berlin Wall and of the inner-German border is documented on 20 large-format posters. On display are a number of impressive photographs and documents from the two newspapers’ archives. Addressed themes are the GDR’s border regime and its victims, escape helpers and flight, everyday life along the inner-German border and within the partitioned city, as well as the joyful overcoming of Germany’s partition during the Peaceful Revolution in 1989.

Read on to learn more about the Wall, its history and the people who had to live with it.

The wall will still be there in 50 or 100 years.

Erich Honecker on January 19, 1989


Historic Accounts

Einreisende

In any case, it wasn’t for the bananas

While the leaves on the right and left of the Berlin Wall are turning autumnal, the Peaceful Revolution is beginning in the GDR. One year later, Germany is again one country.

The facts are familiar - but how did autumn 1989 really feel? On Monday demonstrations and the sale of chunks of the Wall to tourists.

Experience this era in 7 chapters with reports and photos from the time, told and photographed by contemporary witnesses. 


More stories about the wall

Tacheles © Martin Reiter/Kunsthaus Tacheles

Podcast
The Big Pond #48: Legacies of the Berlin Wall

“It was chaos, it was total chaos.” When the Berlin Wall unexpectedly fell in 1989, it triggered a time of massive flux for the newly reunited capital of Germany. For The Big Pond, KCRW Berlin speaks to Berliners who helped build the city’s lasting legacy.


Events

Die Mauer © BSA

Exhibition | September 28 to November 29, 2019 | Goethe-Institut Montreal
The Wall - a border through Germany

On display are a number of impressive photographs and documents from the archives of two German newspapers. Addressed subjects are the GDR’s border regime and its victims, escape helpers and flight, everyday life along the inner-German border and within the partitioned city, as well as the joyful overcoming of Germany’s partition during the Peaceful Revolution in 1989.

mauerfall30 © Schaerfsystem/Pixabay

Film Series | October 10 to November 11, 2019 | Goethe-Institut Montreal
The fall of the wall on November 9, 1989

When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, this set the domino in motion leading to the reunification of the two Germanys on October 3, 1990 and the downfall of some of the most oppressive regimes in Eastern Europe. This historic event became a source of inspiration for many decades for filmmakers from both East and West Germany. The Goethe-Institut presents four films, two from East Germans and two from West Germans, to mark this important anniversary.  

Berlin, ich denk an dich © Birgit Kinder, Photo: Candice Mermet

Open House | Saturday, September 28 to Friday, November 29, 2019 | Goethe-Institut Montreal
1989-2019/ Berlin, je me souviens – Berlin, ich denk an Dich

Opening at the Open House as part of the Journées de la culture

The Goethe-Institut and the Faculté de communication de l’UQAM cordially invite you to come and mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall as part of the Journées de la culture.


Exhibition

The Wall - Brochures  

The Wall - a border through Germany
Download brochure

The wall was a building of fear. On 9 November 1989 it became a place of joy.

German President Horst Köhler on November 9, 2009

Die Mauer© BSA

For Teachers

The exhibition „The Wall – a border through Germany“ was produced by the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship East Germany (Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur) and by the newspapers BILD and DIE WELT in the year 2011 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

The Goethe-Institut Montreal will be showing this contemporary historical exhibition from 28 September 2019.

On display are a number of impressive photographs and authentic documents. Teaching materials that allow you to integrate the subject into your classes are available here. 

The material is divided in three parts:

Introduction to the subject of the Berlin Wall
Your students will be introduced to the theme of the Berlin Wall in a general way. It is best to use these activities as a preparation for the visit.

Activties during the visit
These activities refer to the content (text and photographs) of the posters and should be used during the visit of the exhibition. More about the Berlin Wall
Here you will find some assingments to deepen the knowledge of your students about the Berlin Wall. They can find the answers either on the posters or by researching multimedia sources.

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