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German Unification 1990 – Retrospective and Outlook after 30 Years

This live panel discussion was recorded on October 8, 2020, as part of our ongoing series "Berlin Talks", a cooperation of international short-term study programs FU-BEST (European Studies) and FUBiS (International Summer and Winter University) at Freie Universität Berlin.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of German reunification, four experts discussed its cultural, political, social, and international dimensions, offering a retrospective as well as an outlook for the future. The audience participated via online chat during the live-stream broadcast. The panel discussion addressed questions on, for example, how the events from 1989 to 1990 should be seen in historical perspective – was it a case of reunification, unification, or accession of the GDR? What were (and perhaps still are today) some of the most important societal dynamics and consequences? Where can we still identify a lingering East-West divide in Germany? And to what extent does unified Germany have to grapple with a “return of the past”?

Panel members:

  • Dr. Dirk Verheyen (Moderator): Academic Director, FU-BEST Program
  • Dr. Marita Meyer: German studies expert; specializations include discourse on globalization and ecology in art and literature
  • Dr. Martin Jander: Historian and journalist; specializations include political opposition in the former GDR
  • Dr. Klaus Müller: Sociologist; specializations include post-communist transformations and international political economy
  • Rolf-Dieter Schnelle: Political scientist and former German diplomat; specializations include public diplomacy, foreign cultural policy, and transatlantic relations