Berlin – Recent European and World History
November 9, 1989. “East and West Berliners flocked to the wall, drinking beer and champagne and chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). At midnight, they flooded through the checkpoints.” The wall fell, the cold war ended. Few places embody recent European and World history as Berlin does. It is still palpable in the streets. We will talk about these defining times with academic experts. But Berlin is more than its divided past. It is increasingly a city of culture, politics, media and science. Of festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife and contemporary arts. The cold war bleakness has worn off. Tolerance, progression and openness are the new colours.
Legal Program on Friday
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by a small group of renowned human rights lawyers, in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions, by juridical means. ECCHR engages in innovative strategic litigation, using European, international, and national law to enforce human rights and to hold state and non-state actors accountable for egregious abuses. We will attend a presentation on the general work of the center and a more focused presentation on business and human rights. Amongst other activities, ECCHR works to ensure that legal action is taken on human rights violations caused by corporate activity. Part of the objective of such action is to trigger political debate. What role do transnational corporations play in our globalized world? What laws do we need in order to hold companies accountable for human rights violations? In any proceedings we undertake, we look to the broader economic, social and political dimensions and attempt to subvert existing power relations through the use of innovative legal approaches.
Freie Universität Berlin was founded in 1948 by professors and students, in response to the persecution faced by students who took a critical eye of the system at Universität Unter den Linden, at that time located in the Soviet sector of the divided city. The idea of founding a free university found widespread support in the international community, including financial support. This outpouring of aid helped pave the way for Freie Universität to become a university with an outstanding international reputation. The principles of freedom and internationality have guided the university’s development ever since. Since the university’s founding, in December of 1948, the academic ethos of Freie Universität Berlin has always been defined by three values: truth, justice, and freedom.
Cultural Program on Saturday
Berlin Tour Overview by bus