Berlin Symposium: A City Divided: Life and Death in the Shadow of the Wall"

Today’s post comes to us from NDC blogger Neil Carmichael.

On October 16, 2013 at 0900 a.m. the National Declassification Center at the National Archives, in partnership with the Historical Review Program of the CIA, will host a one-day symposium at the McGowan theater at the Archives building in downtown Washington, D.C. to tell the story of the people of East Berlin and their struggle for freedom. The symposium will highlight newly published and released declassified documents that reveal the human struggle for life and death in the shadow of the wall. The documents detail the many aspects of life focusing on the resolve of the human spirit for freedom and equality.  With his iconic speech on June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy united the citizens of Berlin with the United States by his statement that “he too was a Berliner.” Twenty-four years later when visiting Berlin, President Ronald Reagan declared in his speech that “…Yet I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph.” 

We have gathered on DVD just under 3,000 newly declassified documents on various topics and activities on Berlin from 1962-1986.  The 3,000 documents represent only a portion of the actual release of 12,000 pages in our total release. We have covered the period between two of the most famous speeches by the visiting American presidents Kennedy and Reagan. Included in this joint publication are newly released documents that recorded the life and death struggle with the quest for freedom and the triumph of the human spirit.


Berlin Poster


National Declassification Center – Ms. Sheryl Shenberger

Archivist of the United States – David Ferriero

Director, Information Management Services, CIA – Joseph Lambert

National Declassification Center – Mr. Neil Carmichael

Historian at the George Washington University and the Woodrow Wilson Center – Dr. Hope Harrison

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – Dr. Christian F. Ostermann

Central Intelligence Agency – Dr. Donald P. Steury

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and reserve your seat please contact .


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2 Responses to Berlin Symposium: A City Divided: Life and Death in the Shadow of the Wall"

  1. Z says:

    How does one obtain the DVD mentioned in this post?


    • ncarmichael says:

      The event will be held on October 16, 2013. The DVD is part of joint NARA/CIA publication titled “A City Divided, Life and Death in the Shadow of the Wall.” If you register for the event or drop by in the morning you can get a copy.


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