Jon Greenwald, a former U.S. foreign service officer and witness to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, opens Lawrence University’s annual Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies Thursday, Jan. 14 with the address “The Unification of Germany: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective.”
The presentation, at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium, is free and open to the public.
Still active in foreign affairs, Greenwald is vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based International Crisis Group, the world’s leading conflict prevention non-governmental organization. He served as head of the U.S. Embassy’s (East) Berlin political section throughout the tumultuous period of the fall of the Wall and Germany’s reunification. He is the author of the 1993 book “Berlin Witness: An American Diplomat’s Chronicle of East Germany’s Revolution.”
In his presentation, Greenwald will share an eyewitness perspective on how and why the Wall fell, explore what Germany is 20 years later and discuss what role it may play today on such issues of concern to the United States as the building of the European Union, the war in Afghanistan and the nuclear crisis with Iran.
The address brings Greenwald back to the Lawrence campus, where he held the college’s Scarff Professorship for the 1998-99 academic year.
During a distinguished diplomatic career Greenwald held embassy and consular posts in Belgrade, Budapest and Madrid in addition to East Berlin, where he supervised the incarceration of Nazi leader Rudolf Hess. In the early 1990s, he served in the Department of State’s Office of Counter-Terrorism, where he devised diplomatic strategies for dealing with Libya, negotiated U.N. sanctions against Mu’ammar Qadhafi for the Pam-Am 103 bombing and led a State Department/CIA/Special Forces response team on a classified counter-terrorism mission during the Gulf War.
The lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.