Commemorating the Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Sina Nitzsche, Visiting Assistant Professor of German

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 was an event of epochal significance. It not only changed the existing world order, it also had a deep impact on the people who lived in East Germany. Tonight, Oglethorpe students and others will have the opportunity to hear an eye-witness account of the events that changed Germany, Europe, and the world.

Sina Nitzsche, visiting assistant professor of German, and Tamás Novák, who were both children in the GDR and adolescents in the unified Germany, will share their personal experiences about the cultural aftermath of 1989.

“It is important to understand the significance of what happened and make the connection between history books and today,” said Nitzsche. “We would like to share our personal experiences, engage in dialogue—and also enjoy a fine selection of German food.”

The evening starts off with a selection of German food at 6:00 p.m., followed by a viewing of the award-winning film Goodbye, Lenin! (2003), and a Q&A discussion with Nitzsche and Novak. The event will take place tonight, November 9, in the Skylight Gallery of the OU Museum of Art in the Philip Weltner Library. All are welcome to attend this special event.

OU German Classes Visit the Atlanta Goethe Zentrum

This past month the German classes at Oglethorpe were invited to tour the Atlanta Goethe Zentrum, a center that promotes the German language and culture in the U.S., as well as other countries around the world.

The tour featured a modern and very popular subject: comics!  We learned about many prominent and well received—and some so not well known—German comic artists. The gracious guide elaborated on how the rise of German “comic culture” was almost revolutionary because of their handling of many political issues and some taboo topics. The comics showed how the German culture was influenced by other countries and how they took these influences and created a new form of political satire.

The tour was capped with the showing of a short animated German film titled The Raft, a macabre comedy on the trevails of two lost sailors on a hand-built raft. The Raft displayed the universal concept of karma with a hilariously somber ending.

All in all, the excursion was truly an interesting experience. To some, comics are just the colorful sections in the newspaper, but while touring in the Goethe Zentrum one learns that they are truly a form of literary expression—and for the comic artists, a means for cathartic release against the backdrop of increasingly global culture.

Photo: OU German students outside the Atlanta Goethe Zentrum.