Not too long ago, I visited the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford for their The Past is a Foreign Country exhibit. I was back today for their latest exhibit The Wall in Our Heads. The exhibition, curated by Haverford Postdoctoral Writing Fellow Paul Farber, features artworks by American artists reflecting on social political boundaries during the Cold War in Berlin and throughout American history leading up to today’s issues. 2015 also marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany.
On Wednesday, my Topics in 20th Century European History: National Proj, Socialist Dream class, along with the Topics In German Cultural Studies: Remembered Violence class, had the opportunity to talk to Holocaust survivor Pete Stern. My history class had just wrapped up World War I, and we are currently learning about the interwar period and the rise of Nazism.
Mr. Stern was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1936. His brother Samuel, born in 1939, was named Samuel because of the Nuremberg Laws, which required all Jewish children to be named after the Bible’s 1st Testament. His father was a well known auto mechanic, a detail which would greatly affect the family’s story. When his father’s auto mechanic place went out of business, he shifted to teaching auto mechanics to the Jewish school.