Twenty Five Years Later:

Memory Culture and Political Controversy over the Legacy of East Germany

This symposium brings together two eye witnesses and two professors discussing East Germany, the Berlin Wall, and the East German secret police, the Stasi.


In the morning, Mario Röllig (10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) will discuss life in East Germany, his failed escape attempt and subsequent imprisonment by the Stasi, and Ralph Kabisch (11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.) will share his experience of being part of a group of university students in West Berlin who built a tunnel under the Berlin Wall which helped 57 people escape from East Berlin. In the afternoon session, Prof. Mary Beth Stein (12:40 p.m. -1:20 p.m.) will present her research on controversies surrounding the legacy of the Stasi, and the efforts by its victims and by historians to remember and educate the public at one memorial museum in Berlin. Prof. Hope M. Harrison (1:20 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.), who will have just returned from Berlin as a participant in the official celebrations surrounding the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, will discuss the evolution of Germany’s approach to the history and memory of the Berlin Wall since 1989.

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Washington, DC


  • Mario Röllig
    • former Stasi victim
  • Ralph Kabisch
    • former tunnel builder & escape helper in Berlin
  • Dr. Mary Beth Stein
    • GWU
  • Dr. Hope M. Harrison
    • GWU


Twenty Five Years Later: Ein Symposium an der GWU über die Hinterlassenschaften der DDR anlässlich des 25. Jahrestages des Berliner Mauerfalls
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Dr. Lars Hänsel


Head of the Department Europe and North America +49 30 26996-3526 +49 30 26996-53526

Syreta Haggray

Syreta  Haggray bild

Project Manager +1 202 464 5845