Between the Lines

Nov 09, 2007

Film Screening at the Woodrow Wilson Center

Between the Lines is among the first German documentaries to explore the complexities and tragedies endured by those who served as border guards on the Berlin Wall. Director Dirk Simon tells the true story of two border guards: Ulrich Steinhauer and Egon Bunge. In November 1980, Bunge decided to carry out his own plan of escape, and in the process killed Corporal Steinhauer, his official partner at the gate.

The panel discussion following the film will feature:

Dirk Simon, an East German born director who himself escaped across the Wall at the age of 21. Simon has a degree from the Academy of Performing Arts in Burghausen, West Germany. The film Between the Lines is his first feature documentary where he is author, director and co-producer.

Hope Harrison, the director of GWU's Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. Dr. Harrison specializes in the international history of the Cold War, German foreign policy, the collapse of East Germany and German unification.

Stefan Meining, a Wilson Center public policy scholar, and editor for German public television. Dr. Meining is also the author of Kommunistische Judenpolitik. Die DDR, die Juden, und Israel, and Versagte Heimat: Juedisches Leben in Muenchens Isarvorstadt 1914-1945.

Christian Ostermann, the director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. He is the author of Uprising in East Germany, 1953: The Cold War, the German Question, and the First Major Upheaval Behind the Iron Curtain.

Andreas Prothmann, the counselor for political affairs at the German Embassy in Washington, DC. Dr. Prothmann joined the German Foreign Service in 1988 and since then has held several positions with the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and Berlin and has served in Moscow, Seattle and Tashkent.

Bernd Schäfer, a senior scholar with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project and a former research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington. Dr. Schäfer’s publications include Stasi Files and GDR Espionage against the West.