Commemorative Berlin Wall Torn Down on Campus

Students Celebrate 20 Years Since Berlin Wall Came Down

by B.J. Koubaroulis

On Monday Nov. 9, 2009, students at George Mason University celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by tearing down a replica that was built on campus.

The wall, complete with graffiti, was built by students as part of Freedom Without Walls – a series of events organized by Mason’s faculty and students.

Monday, students and faculty gathered in front of the clock tower near the Johnson Center at Mason’s Fairfax campus.

The tearing down of the wall was to commemorate the unification of East Germany and West Germany and the peaceful change that can happen throughout the world, organizers said.

“It’s really great to see this day since we’ve been planning it for eight months and I’m really proud of the way that it evolved,” said Jacob Kohut, a 23-year-old graduate student in the school of music. “We had this idea of making it about social action. That’s why we have all these signs here because there are still issues in the world that are similar to the ones we experienced with the Berlin wall.”

Signs at the event called for peace, social justice, tolerance and change.

Before the tearing down of the wall, students and faculty were encouraged to speak out with the use of a microphone that was positioned in front of the replica.

Monday’s event was a culmination of Freedom Without Walls, which was a series of events that included art exhibits, lectures, debates, a discussion with the German ambassador and more.

George Mason University was one of more than 25 universities to receive a grant from the German Embassy to participate in the national Freedom Without Walls campaign.

IconoClash! Preview from David J. Miller on Vimeo.