June 8, 2010

Having recently seen the movie Valkyrie, I was very intrigued by the idea of German resistance prior to my arrival in Berlin as it is not something that I have ever really known much about.  Though all assassination attempts on Hitler failed, it is interesting to know that there were a total of 17 known plots between 1939 – 1945 indicating resistance was not only present in Germany during World War II but also much more active than most people may realize.  Having a long-time interest in non-violent political movements, he bulk of my knowledge related to resistance comes from the perspective of non-violence so I’ve been very interested to take some time and study other variations of resistance, including dramatic and violent resistance as has taken place in Germany.

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend a guided tour of the permanent exhibition Resistance to National Socialism; it was incredibly interesting and emotionally inspiring, however, all of the information and documentation was in German so I found the following website to be helpful in gathering some additional information related to this historical center as well as German resistance in general: http://www.gdw-berlin.de/themen/bereiche-e.php.  I also found the readings from this course which are related to resistance to be helpful in understanding more fully the monolith theory related to violent resistance as we see in German history during both WWII and throughout the era of the Cold War.

Another interesting part of our trip which included the various roles of German resistance through the years was the Friedliche Revolution 1989/90 (or Peaceful Revolution 1989/1990) exhibit located in the heart of Alexanderplatz installed to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  We were lucky to have the opportunity to visit this as it is only open for a very brief time from May through October 2010.  From peace and environmental movements to the mass protest leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, this exhibit was exceptional.  For more details (which I needed once we got home as the day we visited the outdoor gallery, it was cold and rainy which made it a little difficult for me to take everything in) I found a great website with more info on this commemorative gallery honoring peaceful revolution: http://revolution89.de/?PID=static,Index_en.


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