“Berlin: Before & After the Wall Fell" at the German American Heritage Center -- October 12.

Saturday, October 12, 2 p.m.

German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second Street, Davenport IA

One of the most iconic images of the 20th Century – the fall of the Berlin Wall – will be contextualized in a fascinating October 12 presentation at Davenport's German American Heritage Center, with historian Russell Baldner's presentation Berlin: Before & After the Wall Fell exploring the causes and ramifications of those unforgettable actions of November 9, 1989.

Set in the context of pre- and post-World War Germany and the Cold War, the richly illustrated Berlin: Before & After the Wall Fell presentation features interpretive historical commentary and personal photography of Berlin and the infamous Berlin Wall in 1969 (eight years after the wall was erected), compared and contrasted with many of the same locations as seen today. Among the presentation's other included images are: Sunday morning Gottesdienst (divine worship) at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (Emperor William Memorial Church); the historic and beautifully restored Reichstag national capitol building and dramatic ascent of its spectacular, sparkling glass dome; the iconic Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate); poignant memorials to the murdered Jews of Europe and victims of war and dictatorship; additional sites of historical interest on a stroll along Unter den Linden (Under the Linden Trees), Berlin's Main Street that runs across the heart of the city; and even some more lighthearted Berlin fare both historical and current. Berlin: Before & After the Wall Fell concludes on a reflective note with historical ironies and prophetic words – Including those spoken five days after the erection of the wall – plus photographs that will no doubt require no added commentary.

Presenter Russell Baldner holds BA and MA degrees in history, performed graduate study in German and archaeology, and specializes in Lutheran and ethnic German history, historical documents, German cursive script, genealogy, and Native American archaeology. By profession an educator, Baldner formerly taught German and history, with his research publications including 19th Century German Lutheran historical and archaic cursive manuscript studies and several publications on the late-prehistoric Native American rock art legacy (petroglyphs and pictographs) of northeast Iowa. Baldner is a frequent public speaker who presents on a wide range of archaeological and historical subjects, among them The War Within: World War I & the Assault on German-American Identity in Iowa, which he presented this past April at the 43rd Annual Symposium of the Society for German-American Studies in Madison, Wisconsin.

Berlin: Before & After the Wall Fell will be presented at 2 p.m. on October 12, the lecture is free with $3-5 admission, and more information is available by calling (563)322-8844 or visiting GAHC.org.

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