USF commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall

An award-winning writer, a German immigration attorney and USF students are bringing recognition to one of the most important events in the Cold War.

German author Holger Teschke, who has written several award-winning volumes of poetry, plays and novels, will speak at the Freedom Without Walls gala celebration held today in Marshall Student Center Room 2708 at 6 p.m. said Lauren Townsend, the student organizer of the gala.

“He is a renowned German author and he is actually from the former East Germany,” Townsend said. “He is going to be talking about the time back then and how he experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

Norma Henning, a German immigration attorney and Honorary Consul to the Federal Republic of Germany, will also be at the event, which is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Townsend said.

A student-built replica of the Berlin Wall will be on display at the gala, said Margit Grieb, an associate professor of German at USF.

During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to separate East Germany from West Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall began in 1989 and was completed by 1990 with the reunification of the country.

Students were encouraged to submit presentations that demonstrated their interpretation of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Grieb said.

The entries, which include essays and poems, from the Freedom Without Walls Public Expression Competition will be on display at the gala, she said.

“We are going to feature the winner of the public speaking competition,” Grieb said. “We are selecting one to three entries to receive prizes.”

The first place winner will receive $100, the second place winner $50 and third place winner $25, she said.

The event is sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. along with the USF College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of World Languages, the German Culture Club and the Humanities Center.