The Fall of the Berlin Wall was a monumental moment in history, signifying liberation for East Germans and the reunification of Germany. Now taught as the symbolic end of the Cold War, the collapse of this physical representation of the Iron Curtain abolished the oppressive Soviet regime over East Germany, the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
A fundamental tenet of civil disobedience, which entails deliberately violating the law as a means of exposing injustice, is encapsulated by the following phrase: “If you always do as you’re told, then you don’t ever change anything.” Roughly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall—a physical representation of the regime that fell along with it—these words found their way into a documentary about a peace camp that played a critical role in ending the Cold War.
Dr. Matthew Levin’s Cold War University offers a look at the circumstances that surrounded UW-Madison’s burst on to the national scene in the mid 20th century as one of the most politically active campuses in America. Through an interview with Dr. Levin himself and an analysis of his book, this article discusses how Wisconsin’s politically diverse climate, combined with the blending of in-state and out-of-state students informed what would become an epicenter of anti-war and Civil Rights protests.
The country of East Timor, now better known as Timor-Leste, had been occupied by Indonesia until their independence on May 20th, 2002. The occupation can only be described as violent and brutal, while the resistance focused on a strategy of nonviolent campaigns, both in East Timor and internationally, in order to push forth their agenda for independence.