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We want to be free! East Germans Rise Up, 1953

This message was sent to Students, Faculty, and Staff on April 05, 2013 by Jane Canova, Ctr-ForeignLangs,Lit&Culture.

Message:
We want to be free! East Germans Rise Up, 1953 Prominent political activist and filmmaker, Freya Klier will screen her documentary on Monday, April 8 at 7PM at Images Cinema. This film is an important contribution to the historical evaluation of the Socialist Unity Party's dictatorship. June 17, 1953 marked a watershed moment in the Cold War... MORE: http://web.williams.edu/messages/show.php?id=23851 from Jane Canova, Ctr-ForeignLangs,Lit&Culture
Message details:
and in the annals of East German communism: in Berlin and elsewhere, factory workers and other dissatisfied citizens of the GDR organized mass demonstrations against their Stalinist leader Walter Ulbricht and his government. The demonstrators' demands for reforms, free elections and the abolition of borders within Germany were violently crushed. For many years, Berlin was the focus of accounts about the uprising on June 17th, 1953. Few know that thousands of people took to the streets not only in the capital, but also all over the German Democratic Republic. This film shows how the 1953 uprising unfolded in the city of Leipzig --the very same city where subsequently in 1989 weekly "Monday demonstrations" were to ring in the fall of the Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker's regime. Among the youngest victims were Paul, 15, who was shot by the Russian army, and a middle schooler who was shot in the stomach but survived his serious injuries. This is a premier of the RTL Television Production to be released in May 2013 in Germany. Free and open to the public. Freya Klier is a prominent German political activist and documentary filmmaker. In 1988, the teetering East German government imprisoned and deported Klier for her dissident activism. She is well known for her documentaries about resisters against communism and fascism. Klier spends a good part of every year traveling to schools to teach the young generation about the GDR, and she also represents incarcerated writers for PEN. Along with other former East German dissidents, she was invited to attend the White House ceremony at which Obama bestowed the Freedom Medal to Angela Merkel. Last October 2012 she was awarded Germany's highest award for her life work and civic engagement, the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundeverdienstkreuz). Her visit is made possible with generous sponsorship from the Departments of German and Russian, History and Political Science, the Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, the Program in Jewish Studies, the Bronfman Fund, and the Wiener Lecture Fund, the Gaudino Fund, the W. Ford Schumann '50 Program for Democratic Studies, and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

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