NCC Symposium Studies Religious Suppression in Germany

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 7, 2014 | Go to article overview

NCC Symposium Studies Religious Suppression in Germany


Byline: Nancy Dunker North Central College

North Central College will host a distinctive two-day symposium, "Religious Opposition to Suppression: German Traditions," Monday and Tuesday, April 7 and 8, featuring a documentary screening, guest speaker, exhibition of historical posters and colloquium.

The guest speaker both days is Michael Lunberg, Consistorial Councillor in Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany. Born and raised in East Germany under a repressive communist state and political party, he was active in the opposition movement in the late 1980s, leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Because his father was a pastor in the Lutheran Church, his family was marginalized and denied advanced education. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and Germany was unified, Lunberg studied theology. In his current role, he's responsible for establishing, implementing and overseeing all aspects of Protestant religious study in the state of Brandenburg.

On Monday, April 7, Lunberg will introduce the critically acclaimed 2004 documentary "Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace" starting at 7 p.m. in Koten Chapel at Kiekhofer Hall, 329 E. School St., Naperville. The event is free.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Protestant pastor and theologian and one of the most well-known resisters to the Nazi regime, was executed in 1944, just weeks before the end of World War II in Europe. After the film screening, Lunberg, Campus Chaplain Lynn Pries and Gregory Wolf, North Central's Dennis and Jean Bauman Professor in the Humanities and professor of German, will lead a discussion about the film and resistance to oppression.

Also on Monday, Lunberg will open a special exhibition, "Wir wollen freie Menschen sein! Der DDR-Volksaufstand vom 17. Juni 1953" (We want to be free people: The peoples revolt in the German Democratic Republic in 1953), on display through Monday, April 14, in the foyer outside Koten Chapel.

Sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany, the exhibition features 25 posters that chronicle the popular uprising against the Soviet-backed East German government in 1953, just months after the death of Josef Stalin. …

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