Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) has announced August 13 2021, a day of remembering the construction of the Berlin wall 60 years ago with an online event under the theme; ‘The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall’
KAS is a political foundation closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany(CDU) .
The event aims to bring together artists from different backgrounds, African scholars, civil society players, especially those with a keen interest in politics, governance and democracy, as well as political scientists/historians.
The overall objective is to use history as a lens of understanding how to build stronger societies that are united towards achieving common goals for the benefit of all citizens.
Officials explained that all round history, art has been used as a powerful tool to push for positive change in society, send inspirational messages, express emotions and also cope with lifetime circumstances.
The event will be opened with a short documentary film about construction, presence and fall of the Berlin Wall to give the audience, especially those that are not familiar with the theme, a picture of the situation from 1961 to 1989.
Sixty years ago, on the August 13 1961, the Berlin Wall that cut off West Berlin from the surrounding east Germany was constructed and it was built as a symbol of the cold war to prevent East Germans from fleeing, thus stopping an economically disastrous migration of workers.
Berlin soon went from the easiest place to make an unauthorised crossing between East and West Germany to the most difficult and families were separated for a generation and East Berliners working in the West were cut off from their employment.
Once the wall was gone in 1989, Berlin was united yet again and the East German government called the wall “anti-capitalistic protection wall” and explained to its citizens that it was built to protect them against the Western capitalism
Whereas from a Western perspective the wall was clearly built to impede people from fleeing to the Western part, so it was declared a “protection” on the one side whereas it acted as exclusion and was experienced by many as a jail.
The construction of the Berlin Wall was themed on exclusion and outside Germany, exclusion continues to play out.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was a hallmark of unity and inclusivity, it symbolised the birth of a new Germany, one where the hopes and aspirations of its citizens would be met and valued.