Fall of Berlin Wall photo exhibition on display at URI international engineering center

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 17, 2009 – An exhibit of photographs taken during the days leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall is on display at the University of Rhode Island’s Texas Instruments House, the home of the University’s International Engineering Program.

The exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through January. The Texas Instruments House is located at 61 Upper College Rd., Kingston.

Entitled Freedom Without Walls, the photographs depict the jubilant crowds that gathered on both sides of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago to celebrate the opening of the border crossings between the eastern and western parts of the city. The tearing down of the symbol of the Cold War and political oppression led to national unity for Germany less than a year later.

“This exhibit is a great reminder of the postwar division that took place in Germany, of the peaceful revolution that finally reunified the country, and how precious freedom truly is,” said John Grandin, executive director of the International Engineering Program and a URI professor of German.

The exhibit was opened on December 11 by German Consul Friedrich Loehr, who marked the occasion by knocking down a symbolic wall built from cardboard boxes by URI engineering students.

The exhibit is part of a yearlong celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, sponsored in part by the German Embassy and the German Information Office.

In launching the celebration, German Ambassador Klaus Scharioth said: “We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in a spirit of deep gratitude and with a desire to share our experience – the vision of hope, of unity, and of freedom without walls.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact Sigrid Berka, associate director of the International Engineering Program, at 401-874-2472 or sberka@uri.edu.