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Historical and Personal Perspectives on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989: address to 20th anniversary forums.

Duffield, Lee R. (2009) Historical and Personal Perspectives on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989: address to 20th anniversary forums. In Berlin Wall Anniversary: Commemorative Event, 9 November, 2009, Centre for Independent Studies, St Leonard's, Sydney. (Unpublished)

Abstract

The story of the fall of the Berlin Wall was an aspect of the “imagination gap” that we had to wrestle with as journalists covering the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in Europe. It was scarcely possible to believe what you found yourself reporting, and that work became a two-track process. On one hand a mass social movement was dictating the pace and direction of events; on the other, the institutional business of politics as usual, to provide a framework for all the change that was happening, had to be managed – and reported on. In later analyseds we could see, that crisis in the Soviet Union led to the crisis over the Berlin Wall; and from the fall of the Wall, came Germany’s reunification, and with that also, formation of the European Union as it is today. The government of the Federal Republic of Germany convinced its neighbours that a reunited Germany, within an expanded EU, would be a very acceptable “European Germany” -- not the leader of a “German Europe”. It committed itself financially, supporting the new Euro currency. The former communist states of Eastern Europe demanded to join and expand the EU; in order to remove themselves from the Soviet Union, enjoy human rights, and share in Western prosperity. So today, following on from the events of 1989, the European Union is an amalgam of 27 member countries, with close to 500 million citizens and accounting for 30 % of world Gross National Product.

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ID Code: 28905
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: This address was delivered, with some differences in content and emphases, at two forums: Berlin Wall Anniversary: Commemorative Event; at the Centre for Independent Studies, St Leonard's, Sydney, Monday 9 November 2009. "The Fall of the Wall and Me", public forum; at the National Film and Sound Archives, Acton, ACT, Sunday 22 November 2009.
Keywords: Berlin Wall, Journalism, Eastern Bloc, Gorbachev, Kohl, German Reunification
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 please contact the author
Deposited On: 26 Nov 2009 10:06
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2013 10:58

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