This event will take place online on 10/10/2020, 11 AM – 12:30 pm (PDT). Registration is required to receive Zoom access information.
October 3, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of German unification. The period between the fall of the Wall in November 1989 and the adoption of the Unification Treaty on October 3, 1990, stands for German political ingenuity in reclaiming a unified nation. At the same time, we need to acknowledge that Willy Brandt’s dictum “Now what belongs together will grow together” has been only partially realized.
While formal unification took barely a year, it turns out that unity takes generations. Continuing differences in living standards, pensions, political orientations, and democratic values indicate that the process of unifying former East and West Germany is a multi-generational project. In what ways do perceived political, socio-economic, and cultural differences impact how Germans of the old and new Länder see and participate in their country? Have Germans dealt adequately with their separate pasts in order to craft a joint 21st century political identity? While there is much to celebrate, what is at stake during the next decade of ‘unifying work’? We will discuss these and other questions with three distinguished experts on German politics, society, and culture.
This virtual event will be moderated by Niko Switek, DAAD Visiting Assistant Professor for German Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington.
This event is co-organized by Goethe Pop Up Seattle and the Center for West European Studies (CWES) at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington (UW). It is supported by the Department of Germanics (UW), the Center for Global Studies (UW), the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies (UW), the Thomas Mann House, and the Germany Embassy to the U.S.