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Against All Odds, The Precipitous Path To Reunification 1961/1990

  • Thursday, October 06, 2022
  • 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 23, 2023
  • 9:00 PM
  • 1st Floor, Gallery & Online



In July/1987, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev told West German president Richard von Weizsaecker that German reunification might come about “in a hundred years.” In Jan/1989, East German leader Erich Honecker declared that “the Berlin Wall might survive for 50 or even a hundred more years.”

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher privately told Gorbachev, “Britain and Western Europe are not interested in the unification of Germany.” That one united, strong Germany was “not in Europe’s best interests.”

Talk of German reunification sent tremors of fear across the Warsaw Pact lands behind the Iron Curtain. On 9 Oct/1989, Soviet foreign policy advisor Anatoly Chernyaev recorded in his diary, “Throughout Europe everyone says in single voice—nobody needs one Germany.”

Some of West Germany’s leading intellectuals claimed that the German people were not ready for and did not deserve reunification.

Nevertheless, in two amazing years, 1989 and 1990, the Wall fell and reunification came!

Just what was it, then, that not only brought down the Schandmauer--what West Berliners called the “wall of shame“--but brought about the Wiedervereinigung? Ostpolitik? The 68er movement? Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this Wall“ speech? Helmut Kohl’s and Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s astute statemanship? The economic power of the Deutschmark? Mikhail Gorbachev’s Realpolitik of Glasnost and Perestroika? The foreign policy of George Bush and James Baker?

Join us on an exciting historical journey through the barbed wire of geo-political intrigue, as we explore all the incredible events from the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to the reunification of East & West Germany in 1990.

Course Moderator Mike Haas

German American Cultural Center 

4740 North Western Ave. 
Chicago, IL 60625

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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