Tens of thousands of refugees have crossed into the EU, into Austria and Germany in the last couple of weeks. Migrants have died on the highways of Austria, on the rail tracks of Serbia, and in the tunnel linking the UK to the European mainland. European member nations react very differently, from opening up the borders (Germany) to calling for an immediate halt and deportations (Hungary). German chancellor Merkel is alternately vilified and declared a saint, as the recent Spiegel cover suggests.
What are the historical, political, human rights, and global connections here? Join a faculty/student discussion on Tuesday, September 22, 5-6pm, in Lower Evans Dining Hall to learn more, contribute your perspectives and experiences. Start the discussion now by contributing links, photos, etc. via #agnesglobal.
National Public Radio today had an interview with German author Peter Schneider, asking him about his views of Berlin 25 years after those stirring days in November 1989 that brought down the wall and changed Europe’s history.Schneider has just finished a new book, called “Berlin Now,” where he brings to bear his experience of 50 plus years in Berlin on the current situation. Among German readers, Schneider is well known as the author of several by now canonical works. Most notably with regard to the Berlin Wall is his “Wall Jumper” [Mauerspringer], which addresses life in a divided city. But his literary accounts of the student revolution, published in his “Lenz” and, much more recently, in the semi-documentary novel “Rebellion und Wahn,” are equally popular.
There is an Agnes Scott connection:
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about history and culture in an international perspective: Three of our German exchange students, Anna Beier, Carolin Hehl, and Hannah Ziehm will discuss how Germans view the East – West relations in Germany 25 years after the wall came down. (Event will be in English, for more information consult the poster.)
Clyde Tuggle, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president and chief public affairs officer, knows what he talks about when he describes foreign languages as crucial skills in today’s global environment: He states that his undergraduate degrees in German and economics (as well as a master’s in divinity) made him better prepared for his career at a globally operating corporation than many business majors. ASC German students have their various German professors emphasize the importance of foreign language learning quite often, but in Clyde Tuggle you encounter someone who knows what the competition out there looks like when it comes to hiring, and read what he says about foreign language learning:
To serve an organization like Coca-Cola, “you need to speak a minimum of two foreign languages,” he said, “and have international experience. You need to see yourself as a citizen of the world — think like a Moroccan and see the world from that point of view — or you are behind the curve. You need the cultural skill to walk into any space and be comfortable, to blend into the environment.”
Yes, that’s a “minimum” of two foreign languages! You want to read more? Check out what Mr. Tuggle said to the students at Washington and Lee University.
Courses and finals are over, the grading continues. What makes it fun are examples of creative and inspiring student work. Here’s an example from the final projects in German 330 “Postwar German Cinema”:
This year’s German film series will begin tonight, Monday, January 28, 7-9pm, in Buttrick Hall G-4, with a screening of The Murderers Are Among Us (1946). The screening is open to the ASC community and the film is subtitled. You can download the entire program of the filmseries here.
Wolfgang Staudte’s 1946 release Die Mörder sind unter uns [The Murderers Are Among Us] was the first German film produced after the end of World War II. The film tells the story of Hans Mertens, a traumatized ex-soldier and doctor, who returns to rubble-strewn Germany unable to get over his participation in an ordered execution of civilians on the Eastern front. When he coincidentally finds out that the former commander who ordered the executions has repositioned himself as an orderly citizen and successful business owner, Mertens hatches a plan to kill him.
Die Mörder sind unter uns has become a classic not only because it asks hard questions about what to do with the Nazi-perpetrators, but also because it offers impressive vistas of the destroyed urban landscapes in postwar Germany. The film also started the career of actress Hildegard Knef.
In May 2012 a group of ASC students spent two weeks in Germany, exploring the country and also working on a series of interdisciplinary projects. One student, for instance wrote a blog focusing on public health; another student explored art and the commemoration of the Holocaust. Politics and campaign financing were at the heart of another student.
To learn more about these projects, join us for a mini-conference on Tuesday, October 16, from 1 – 2pm (community hour) in Dana Fine Arts 101. See how a study-abroad trip to Germany can help you think interdisciplinary!
The Agnes Scott German (Faust) Club and ASC Hillel have teamed up to organize a lecture by a Holocaust survivor on March 22. See the flyer below for details and spread the information widely:
Christa Wolf, one of Germany’s iconic 20th-century writers, died Thursday at the age of 82. Born in then-Polish Landsberg in 1929, Wolf began her career in East Germany as a supporter of the Communist regime. Over time, she developed into a critic of the “realsozialistische” government in the GDR. One of her many novels, The Divided Sky [Der geteilte Himmel], deals with divided Germany in the form of a love story, and became her most famous text. In the 1990s, Wolf was discovered to have been an informant for the East German secret police (Stasi). Obituaries can be found in the German daily Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, in Der Spiegel, and in The New York Times.
There’s a longer obituary about Christa Wolf in today’s NYT.
Here is a brief clip of the DEFA’s film version of Christa Wolf’s novel “Der geteilte Himmel” (Dir. Konrad Wolf, 1964):
What are German students producing in their language classrooms? As the semester draws to a close, we will share some examples of the work going on. Here is a start: