By Professor of History Dr. Sander Diamond
Epic-making change rarely comes without conflict. Such was not the case 25 years ago this month when the Berlin Wall opened.
Some people approached 1989 with consternation, subscribing to the vision held out by George Orwell in his bestseller, 1984. In truth, what happened Nov. 9, 1989, set in motion a train of events that would have caught Orwell short. It is a day when nearly all of the legacies of the 20th century began to dissolve, literally overnight, and without conflict.
On that fateful day, one may say that the Cold War ended, the German Question was put to rest with the reunification of the two Germanys the following October and the re-establishment of a long-divided Berlin as its capital, the retreat of the Red Army from Central and Eastern Europe, the creation of democratic nations in place of communist ones, the unimaginable collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 and soon its dismemberment into independent states, and China, drawing lessons from the fate of the USSR, emerging into an economic giant leaving its communist political leadership intact. Just as the outbreak of World War I marked the end of an age, so did the opening of the Berlin Wall.
The history of the Berlin Wall began in 1945 when a defeated Germany was divided into Four Zones of Occupation: one each to the British, French, Americans, and Russians. In 1949, the French, British, and American zones were collapsed into the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). In turn, the Russians created the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Berlin was also divided into four zones and on Aug. 13, 1961, Berliners awakened to find a wall of separation being built and soon it divided the city in two, a small version of the Iron Curtain. Escape was nearly impossible from the Eastern sector. The western occupiers protested; there was talk of war, but soon the Berlin Wall became a fact of life.
However, in the mid-1980s, internal changes in Moscow—with the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev and his policy of Glasnost— set into motion an unexpected tidal wave of changes helped along by the election of a Polish-born Pope and Ronald Reagan’s more aggressive foreign policy. In the late 1980s, the winds of change swept into the shipyards of Gdansk, the former city of Danzig, Hitler’s casus belli for war in 1939; into Budapest; and in 1989, the Lutheran churches of East Germany. In short order, the Houses that Stalin Built in the wake of World War II started to waver on their foundations and the GDR fell off its pedestal. With the Old Guard gone, the GDR’s guards stepped aside as people with pick axes chipped away at the hated wall Nov. 9.
The end of the Berlin Wall opened the path to rebuild a divided nation. Today, Germany is an economic giant and Berlin is again a world-class city with its museums, theaters, off-beat sections, and rebuilt Parliament— the old Reichstag with its glass dome as a symbol of its new transparency.Rarely has a transition from one period to another gone so smoothly.
Only a small section of the Berlin Wall still stands, a tourist attraction, while a bronze line in the pavement reveals where the entire wall stood.
Nearby this last piece of the wall are the former Luftwaffe headquarters; the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the Prussians who unified Germany in 1870; the newly built Memorial to the Six Million Murdered Jews of Europe; a memorial to those killed trying to flee East Germany; and below the surface, the Fȕhrerbunker, where Hitler committed suicide.
While unity permitted Germany to move on, it will never escape its past.
Brittany Heysler believes in accountability.
The criminology and criminal justice major just completed an extensive project to help Ontario County’s STOP-DWI office research and document a list of unpaid DWI fines dating back to 1986. It turns out nearly a quarter million dollars is owed to the county by some 156 individuals convicted of DWI charges.
On Oct. 31, each defendant was sent a certified letter to their last known address – carefully researched by Heysler. But to ensure no stone went unturned, the full list of delinquent fines, with names, year of conviction and case numbers, was published by the Daily Messenger newspaper in Canandaigua a week later. WHEC-Channel 8 in Rochester also broadcast the launch of “Operation Personal Responsibility,” highlighting Heysler’s work. Those with delinquent fines have 60 days to pay in full or arrange a payment plan with the STOP-DWI office before court action begins to collect what they owe.
STOP-DWI Administrator Sue Cirencione said her office has already collected $8,000 of the total $238,533 unpaid in the first week of the public phase. Cirencione, a Keuka College Class of ‘96 graduate herself, took the helm of the STOP-DWI office in May after 10 years as a probation officer for Ontario County. She said coming in, she knew recovering unpaid fines was a significant need, given fines fund the program budget. Such a time-intensive project would probably take Cirencione alone a year or more, given the many responsibilities of her new post, she said.
Instead, Cirencione knew it would be the perfect project for an intern. Enter Heysler.
As a senior criminology and criminal justice major, Heysler is required to complete a full-semester internship of 490 hours. She already boasted three previous internships at the Sherrill, N.Y. police department in her hometown; the Oneida Tribal Indian Nation police near Canastota; and with the U.S. Marshals office in Syracuse. That’s because the Keuka College Field Period™ program requires every undergraduate to devote at least 140 hours a year to a hands-on internship, cultural study, artistic endeavor or spiritual exploration.
“When I met Brittany, I knew right away she’d be great and she’d be able to tackle this,” said Cirencione.
Eager to “take charge of a project of my own and make a difference for the county,” Heysler said she began digging through the data, spending Aug. 25 – Oct. 29 building and refining the list. She removed the names of those who had passed away, any youthful offenders, and any who had made even sporadic payments. She also ran checks on all 156 names to see if they had a valid license or any other judgment filed against them. Ultimately, the list of delinquent fines represents those who never made an effort to pay what they owed. (more…)
From the moment he walked onto the Keuka College campus, the soccer talents of Austin Gerber (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili) were immediately apparent to head coach Matt Tantalo.
Gerber, who played sweeper in high school, scored only two goals during his time as a Churchville-Chili Saint. He wasn’t heavily recruited by area colleges, as only Keuka College and Medaille College expressed any interest in the tall, athletic, speedy Gerber.
Gerber eventually opted to play soccer for the Wolfpack and to study business/accounting at Keuka, and four years later, Gerber has turned himself into the most lethal goal scorer in the country.
Gerber is the leading goal (26) and point (58) scorer among all student-athletes who compete in Divisions I, II and III, and he has led the Wolfpack (11-4-1, 7-2-1 NEAC) into the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) semifinals as the tournament’s No. 3 seed.
Maybe that is why Gerber was tapped as one of six athletes from across the country who will be featured in the Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section, which can be found online beginning today, Monday, Nov. 10 at http://www.si.com/faces-in-
“Leading the country in goals scored is a tremendous honor, and its that much sweeter that I can have this successful season while my team is winning a lot of games, too,” said the humble Gerber, who was named the NEAC’s Player of the Year after his record-breaking campaign.
“It’s a dream come true for me to win games and also have my success scoring goals. With the team I have around me, they’ve been behind me the whole season, feeding me the ball anytime they get the chance and I couldn’t thank them enough for this year. My teammates are the reason why I’ve been able to accomplish what I’ve been able to accomplish.”
While Tantalo recognized Gerber’s vast potential early on, there was no way that the longtime head coach could have predicted Gerber’s record-breaking senior season that has sparked Keuka to its winningest regular season since 2008 (12-4-2).
Gerber, a four-time All-NEAC forward, has rewritten the men’s soccer record book during the 2014 season. Gerber broke Keuka’s single-season goals and points records, and during a 6-1 triumph over Penn State-Berks (Oct. 24), Gerber broke the single-game scoring record, recording five goals (including four tallies in a span of 18:55 in the second half) in the win.
Gerber is one of five Division III student-athletes to score five goals in a game, and one of just seven at any level of NCAA competition to reach that milestone.
The scoring outburst was Gerber’s second time scoring four or more goals in a game this year — he also scored four goals with an assist during a win over D’Youville College on Aug. 30 — and the fourth game with four or more goals in his illustrious career.
For Tantalo, seeing Gerber shatter school records while leading his team into the postseason is validation that his soft-spoken senior leader has completed his transformation from holding midfielder (primarily a defensive position) to the most prolific scoring threat in the country.
“When Austin first got here, he definitely wasn’t a goal scorer. While we knew he had to potential to be very good, he was a pass-first guy,” said Tantalo, who has guided the Wolfpack to a 92-58-13 record in his 10 seasons as head coach.
“He’s a very unselfish player, and early on, there were moments in matches where Austin would be isolated, and with his quickness and pace, he could either get around a defender or could create enough space to get a shot off. But that was never Austin’s first thought. We had to teach him to look out for his own scoring chances. Austin started to become a goal scorer last year, but the step from last year to this year is all about his improved confidence. Great goal scorers think every time they shoot the ball, they’re going to score, and now Austin has that belief, and the goal appears much bigger for him now that he’s finishing with tremendous confidence.”
From an early age, Gerber had proven himself tough off the pitch. He had dealt with Crohn’s disease —a type of inflammatory bowel disease — his whole life before undergoing surgery during his junior year at Churchville-Chili. As a result of the surgery, part of his small intestine was removed.
He arrived in Keuka Park with a chip on his shoulder. Gerber wanted to make his Churchville-Chili teammates proud of his soccer skills, and he also wanted to prove to the colleges that passed on him that he was a talented playmaker capable of making a difference on the pitch.
Gerber claimed the NEAC’s Inaugural Rookie of the Year honor during his freshman season after scoring three goals with two assists while starting all 16 games.
During his sophomore season, he scored 13 points on 6 goals with one assist, and followed up by earning first-team All-NEAC with 23 points on 10 goals scored with three assists during his junior season.
But despite the accolades, there were games early in his career where Gerber would make a nice run down the sidelines, receive the ball in space, take aim at the goal…and his shot would miss the mark.
Often, these early missed scoring opportunities would linger with Gerber for much of the game, preventing him from shaking off the misses and hindering his ability to score goals.
Gerber and Tantalo started working on Gerber’s mental makeup, hoping to help Gerber move past those missed opportunities and instead focus on netting the next big goal.
Eventually, Gerber was able to keep those missed shots where they belonged: in the past.
“I credit my maturity and my growth as a person and as a soccer player,” said Gerber, who lists potent goal scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar as his favorite professional soccer players.
“I learned to realize that nothing is ever going to be perfect. If you mess up one scoring opportunity, you have to just put it behind you. And when you get another chance later in the game, that’s your chance to move on by finishing that goal. There are still times I get down on myself, just not as much as I used to in the past. That’s all because of maturity.”
Gerber is also making his way up the career record books as well. He currently has 102 career points on 45 goals with 12 assists, and ranks third all-time in both career goals and career points.
But his senior season, Gerber has elevated his game with eye-popping numbers. Gerber leads the nation in goals per game (1.62) and points per game (3.62). He has four game-winning goals, has scored at least one goal in 13 of 16 games, and had at least one point in all but two games this year.
Gerber has scored a goal in Keuka’s final nine games, and was named the NEAC’s Offensive Player of the Week four times.
But none of the individual accolades will matter to Gerber if the Wolfpack fall short of the team’s goal: claiming the NEAC postseason title, and a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.
“I’m glad we’re having this turnaround, especially during my senior season,” Gerber said. We’re trying to win NEAC’s and we plan on going all-out and leaving everything on the field. For us to win, we have to keep working hard during practice, and never be satisfied with what we have accomplished. Winning NEAC’s would be amazing, a dream come true and the perfect way to end my Keuka career.”
The Wolfpack face No. 2 seed Lancaster Bible College (11-5-1) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals at Morrisville State. The NEAC championship is 1 p.m. Sunday at Morrisville State.
“Austin’s play has earned him a lot of respect from this conference,” Tantalo said. “While the other coaches have always respected his ability as a soccer player, last year Austin opened eyes with what he was doing, and this year, everyone knows how dangerous he is. Coaches now have to game plan specifically for Austin, and that makes our whole team that much more dangerous. But as proud as we are of Austin as a soccer player, he’s an even better person and teammate. What he has done for this program will last for quite some time.”
For the latest stories, schedules and results from Keuka athletics, visit www.KCWolfpack.com, go to the Keuka Athletics Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/KeukaAthletics, and like us on Instagram and Twitter @KeukaAthletics.
A boat whose style hearkens back to the time of the Vikings, more than 1,000 years ago, is finding new life on Keuka Lake. Through a community craftsmanship program offered in the spring of 2014, Keuka College students and local residents had a hand – literally – in bringing the boat to life.
The 22-foot-long beauty now on display in Lightner Gallery in Lightner Library at Keuka College, boats a gleaming royal blue hull, with crisp white and wood interiors. Members of the public are invited to join those from the campus community at a celebration reception, to be held from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11. Light refreshments will be served. A showcase of images, ship-building terms, and historic attributes will guide guests through a visual timeline of the build. This special exhibit will continue through April 10.
Built by hand over six months on the campus of Keuka College, the St. Ayles skiff is a modern re-crafting of a boat first designed by the Vikings, circa 800 A.D., then imported from Norway to the Shetland Islands during the 1800s. The Shetland Islands lie halfway between Norway and Scotland, and these skiffs originally served as fishing boats along treacherous tidal areas in the North Sea. According to folklore, three men at the oars of the skiff were sure to reach their destination no matter the weather.
Now, thanks to a resurgence of community rowing and crafting programs worldwide since 2009, its popularity reaches far beyond its origin, and builds for some 200 of these historic boats are in the works. Hull 93, a reference to the 93rd such build, was commissioned by the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, with support from Keuka College. Grant funding provided through NYS Council on the Arts and the Yates Community Endowment Fund made it possible for three College students to join community members during the build.
Each Saturday, participants gathered in the College garage near the facilities plant to work on the watercraft, under the direction of Keuka Park resident Craig Hohm, a retired ER physician, who guided the labor of taking the skiff from wood kit to watercraft. When nearly complete, final touches were added, including a Viking-like lettering of the boat’s name along the top plank of the boat, known as the sheerstrake. Named for the animal who returned to the Finger Lakes region after a 100-year absence, the Otter had its maiden launch on Keuka Lake in August.
Panashe Matambanadzo, a native of Zimbabwe and a junior environmental science major spent four weekends last semester helping to glue segments together to create the base of the boat and crafting the old-fashioned oars.
“It was a great learning process,” she said with a smile. “Where I come from, only [boat] guides would do such work.”
Sophomore Eric Yax, a native of Guatemala, also participated in the craftsmanship program and said he felt welcomed as Hohm shared his boat-building expertise. While Yax recently switched his major from environmental science to political science, he enjoys projects involving nature and the outdoors.
The build was “very interesting,” Yax said, expressing gratitude for a new experience through hands-on learning. “There is nothing better than learning by doing.”
For his part, Hohm is thrilled more members of the community can see and experience the results of the unique collaborative building project through the exhibit.
“It’s hard to improve on a near-perfect design that’s almost 1,000 years old,” Hohm said.
During the public reception, any students who are interested in opportunities for a possible rowing program utilizing the Otter will be able to sign up to receive more information as the collaboration between the College and Museum continues.
Keuka College will mark Veterans Day Tuesday, Nov. 11 with a 4:15 p.m. ceremony in Norton Chapel.
Local veterans, their families, and friends are invited to join the College community in the ceremony honoring veterans who have served our country.
College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera is expected to deliver remarks along with Chris Leahy, associate professor of history, who will speak on the meaning of Veterans Day; and Denise Duby, administrative assistant for the Office of Alumni and Family Relations. The founder of a support group for military families, Duby’s son is serving in the Marines. Duran Allen, a member of the Class of 2018 and a veteran, will also speak. Eric Detar, College chaplain, will offer a prayer of remembrance.
The program also includes Jeff Miller ’15 singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and Olivia O’Boyle ’15 singing Hero. Veterans’ names and pictures will be part of a special musical PowerPoint tribute, and each veteran will receive a flower.
The ceremony will conclude in front of the chapel with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps by members of the Penn Yan V.F.W. Color Guard.
After the service, local veterans are invited to have dinner in the Geiser Refectory, Dahlstrom Student Center. The first 50 veterans who show their military I.D. will receive their dinner compliments of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider. Meals can be purchased by other guests for $10.60 each.
Anyone from the community interested in honoring a veteran during the College’s ceremony can contact Laurie Adams, assistant director of alumni and family relations, at (315) 279-5653.The deadline for including a veteran’s name in the program is Friday, Nov. 7.