May 7, 2022
There are many pieces of the Berlin Wall on display all around the world. How did universities, museums and other places secure these sections of what was once the most intimidating symbol of the Iron Curtain? In this episode of Radio GDR, I have the privilege of being joined by Dr. Jim Doti, Professor and President Emeritus of Chapman University in Orange, California (chapman.edu), to tell us how he secured for Chapman what is today the second largest piece of the Berlin Wall owned by an American university. In 1997 after seeing the Berlin Wall at the Reagan Library, Dr. Doti was inspired to procure a piece of the wall for Chapman. Over many months he and his colleagues worked through the Mayor of Berlin's office to secure one of the last sections available. Known colloquially as "the Candy Bomber," Dr. Doti describes the painstaking process of securing the wall to shipping it to California to building their own Berlin Wall memorial known as Liberty Plaza. Upon receipt of the wall, art professor Richard Turner, who we interview in our next episode, designed Liberty Plaza to contrast totalitarianism and freedom - the Berlin Wall sits in an oval reflecting pool surrounded by cement engraved with Abraham Lincoln's quote "A House Divided Cannot Stand." A stone chair sits on a mound facing the wall encouraging students and visitors to consider the importance of freedom. Thank you, Dr. Doti and Chapman University, for this amazing story.
For pictures and more information about Chapman's piece of the Berlin Wall, please visit https://www.eastgermanypodcast.com/s3e5
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