WCC faculty member presenting her experience growing up behind the Iron Curtain

October 14, 2019 Richard Rezler

When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War, East German-born Elisabeth Thoburn was living in Michigan. She met an American exchange student a decade earlier, fell in love, was married and moved to the United States in 1985.

WCC faculty member presenting her experience growing up behind the Iron Curtain

“That was a very difficult thing. I literally had to watch something on television that I wish I had been in the middle of,” says the 25-year Washtenaw Community College faculty member. “I felt like I missed my own revolution, a revolution I had been waiting on for 25 years.”

The subject matter remains important and personal to Thoburn, who is presenting a lecture titled, “The Walls That Fall & The Walls That Remain” to mark the 30th anniversary of the historic event. The lecture – which is free and open to the public – will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in the college’s Towsley Auditorium. No registration is necessary.

“This is a very personal lecture, very taxing. It goes into some unpleasant history and people I lost to the circumstances,” said Thoburn, a WCC Humanities faculty member who was born in Halle and raised in Dresden, a city leveled during World War II. “It’s an historical overview interspersed with personal experiences of growing up behind the Iron Curtain.”

The lecture is described as a way to learn about the history of a divided post-war Europe and understand how this historical event and its impact is relevant today.

The event will include an art exhibit and refreshments and conclude with a question-and-answer session. The Towsley Auditorium is in the Morris Lawrence Building on WCC’s main campus (see campus map).

Tags: Berlin Wall, Elisabeth Thoburn, Iron Curtain, ousearch_News_2019