On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of one of the most important events in German history, the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November, we encouraged our students to engage with this subject throughout September and October. Every week, the German & History Departments published a photograph from the post-World War II era with questions and notes for students to think about and discuss.
On 6th and 7th November a film viewing and quiz, based on the pictures and questions, will take place. All students are encouraged to take part and be in for a chance to win a fantastic prize for their class!
Below are the questions and links published each week. A big thank you goes to Frau Niederprüm (Secondary School) for running this and other initiatives on the occasion of the anniversary of this important event.
Click here to find out what other projects are run by the school in commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Week 1: (9/9/19)
Picture for Week 1:
Children playing in destroyed Berlin. Available here.
Questions for Week 1:
- Who occupied Germany after World War II?
- How was Berlin divided?
- Which games did the children play at this time?
- Many families were reunited only years after World War II. Why was that?
- What does “fringsen” mean?
- What was “Stalinschmiere” supposed to remind people of?
Videos for Week 1:
Week 2 (16/9/19)
Picture for Week 2:
Berlin Airlift with raisin bomber. Available here.
Questions for Week 2:
- What was a Raisin Bomber (Rosinenbomber)?
- What were the children waiting for in the picture?
- What is the special term used for the period the Raisin Bombers were used?
- Why were Raisin Bombers used?
- Why were they so important for Berlin?
- What problems were encountered during their use?
- Which monument reminds us of this time?
Videos for Week 2:
Week 3 (23/9/19)
Picture for Week 3
German soldier Conrad Schumann jumps over GDR border (iconic photograph by Peter Leibing, 1961). Available here.
Questions for Week 3:
- What kind of person is shown in the photo? Why is he jumping over the barbed wire?
- How did his life continue?
- Who made the famous statement, “No one plans to build a wall,” and in what context?
- What were the reasons for building the wall?
- How was the Berlin Wall secured?
- How was the border outside of Berlin built?
Videos for Week 3:
Week 4 (30/9/19)
Picture for Week 4
J.F. Kennedy in front of Brandenburg Gate. Available here.
Questions for Week 4:
- Who are the three men in the foreground of the picture? And what was their role/position?
- What can you recognise in the background?
- Who said the famous phrase „Ich bin ein Berliner“ and why?
- What else could the word „Berliner“ mean?
- Why did Ireland play a role on the journey and in the life of this president?
- What happened to this president in the same year?
Videos for Week 4
Week 5 (7/10/19)
Picture for Week 5:
Warning sign at waterway in Berlin. Available here.
Questions for Week 5:
- What is a Wasserstraße?
- What was its importance in Berlin?
- Why was it so dangerous for children?
- Which language is used on this signpost and why?
- What does the term „Schießbefehl“ mean?
- Find information about Günter Litfin, Ingo Krüger, Holger H. and Winfried Freudenberg.
Videos for Week 5:
Week 6 (14/10/19)
Picture for Week 6
Jutta Gallus at Checkpoint Charlie. Available here.
Questions for Week 6
- Who was Jutta Gallus and why did she have to fight to see her daughters?
- Why was there forced adoption of children in the GDR?
- What were the most commonly used children’s names in the GDR?
- Which children’s TV personality has survived to this day?
- What is a Datsche?
- What does the abbreviation FDJ stand for?
- What was the GDR’s counter model to religious Confirmation?
- Who was allowed to sit the Abitur (Leaving Cert) in the GDR?
Links/Videos for Week 6
Week 7 (21/10/19)
Pictures for Week 7
Questions for Week 7:
- Why were people trying to flee the GDR?
- What were the ways in which people tried to escape? Look at the pictures to answer this question.
- What is meant by Häftlingsfreikauf (prisoner ransom)?
- What role did the Glienicker Brücke play?
- Who is Wolf Biermann and how did he leave the GDR?
- As a West German, how was one able to visit the East?
Recommended websites and videos for Week 7:
Week 8 (28/10/19)
Picture for Week 8
New Year’s Eve 1989 at Brandenburg Gate. Available here.
Questions for Week 8
- Why is the fall of the Berlin Wall referred to as a peaceful revolution?
- Which of the slogans of the 1989 demonstrators is being used again nowadays but in a very different context?
- Why did a misunderstanding lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall?
- What role did Michail Gorbatschow play?
- Why is the 9th November called the Schicksalstag (Day of Destiny) of the Germans?