CGES and CERES Commemorate a Changed Europe
Throughout the fall 2009 semester, the BMW Center for German and European Studies (CGES) and the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES) hosted complementary programs focusing on the ways the world has changed since 1989. Events sponsored by CGES commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and those hosted by CERES reflected on the 20th anniversary of the end of a divided Europe. The programs sought to demonstrate that the end of the Cold War was not inevitable or logical, but the result of many dangerous and highly personal decisions made by ordinary citizens and government officials in the vast area spanning the German Democratic Republic, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. In 2010, CGES is hosting a related series of events focusing on the unification of Germany.
Highlights of the fall series included CGES' fifth annual Quandt lecture delivered by Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former Foreign Minister of Germany, entitled "Fall of the Wall: End of History or a New Chance for Mankind?" and a two-day conference co-sponsored by the two centers, "The 20th Anniversary Of the End of a Divided Europe." It featured keynote speakers Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor, and LTG Brent Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor, as well as former President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland and Jack Matlock, former U.S. Ambassador to Soviet Union, 1987-1991, among others.