German Department Events

2014 - 2015

Thu, Sep 11, 2014

Miracle of Bern

German Film Series: "Das Wunder von Bern"

Screenings at 4 pm and 7:30 pm.

"The Miracle of Bern" (Sönke Wortmann, 2003; 118 min.)
Touching family drama set against the backdrop of the famous soccer World Cup of 1954: a father returning from POW camp in the Soviet Union finds it hard to adjust to the new realities and to win the love of his 11-year-old son.

Mon, Sep 22, 2014

Study Abroad Fair

Annual Study Abroad Fair

Keefe Campus Center, Friedmann Room

Meet our teaching assistants from Göttingen University who will present the special features of our Göttingen Exchange Program and answer all your questions.

Thu, Sep 25, 2014

The Journey to Kafiristan

German Film Series: "Die Reise nach Kafiristan"

Screenings at 4 pm and 7:30 pm.

"The Journey to Kafiristan"(Donatello & Fosco Dubini, 2001; 101 min.)
Two women leave their home in Switzerland to journey together to Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1939, when Europe is on the brink of war. Based on the lives of Annemarie Schwarzenbach, a socialite and writer, and Ella Maillart, an ethnologist and photographer.

Fri, Oct 3, 2014

Cold War Cultures Symposium

UMass Symposium: Medium, Message and Method in Cultures of the Cold War

Location: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Herter Hall, Room 601

Interdisciplinary symposium which brings together scholars working on Cold War culture. While this symposium focuses primarily on Germany as both a real and imagined site where the Cold War was practiced and performed, transnational encounters and exchanges will be at the core of our discussions. Accordingly, (East and West) German cultural, historical, and theoretical discourses will be considered in connection with Turkish, American, African, and Spanish contexts that influenced and inflected them.

The format of the proceedings is a roundtable discussion with pre-circulated papers. Presenters have been invited from a variety of North American institutions.

This event is funded by the Max Kade Foundation, the Department of Languages Literature and Cultures at UMass, German and Scandinavian Studies at UMass, the Department of History at UMass, the Department of German at Amherst College, the Department of German Studies at Mount Holyoke College and the Five College Faculty Seminar in German Studies.

Thu, Oct 16, 2014


German Film Series: "Rosenstraße"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

"Rosenstraße" (Margarethe von Trotta, 2003; 136 min.)
This powerful docudrama commemorates a little-known act of civil courage during the Third Reich: in 1943, hundreds of non-Jewish German women organized a protest against the deportation of their Jewish husbands outside the main detention center in Berlin’s Rosenstraße.

Sun, Oct 19, 2014

Mead Reads

Discussion & Film: "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Mead Art Museum, Rotherwas Room

Mead Reads: Book Discussion to Commemorate the Beginning of the First World War. Professor Ute Brandes will present the anti-war novel, Erich Maria Remarque’s, "All Quiet on the Western Front".

3:15pm. Campus Center Movie Theater.
Screening of the prize winning 1930 film, "All Quiet at the Western Front", directed by Lewis Milestone.

Mon, Oct 20, 2014

Rothberg and Yaldiz

UMass Lecture: Inheritance Trouble: Memory, Migration, and the German Past

Location: Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies
758 North Pleasant Street, UMass Amherst

In this lecture, Michael Rothberg and Yasemin Yildiz ask what it means to "inherit" and take responsibility for a history of genocide in a multicultural society marked by immigration. Rothberg and Yildiz focus in particular on how Germany's postwar labor migration has inflected—and been inflected by—its confrontation with the Holocaust and National Socialism, and introduce a “migrant archive” of engagements by immigrants with the German past. Turning to recent works of literature that bring together migration from Turkey and the history of German perpetration and suffering during the Second World War, Rothberg and Yildiz explore first how a discourse of inheritance can consolidate an ethnically exclusive national identity. Through the example of a transnational, Turkish-language short story about the German past Rothberg and Yildiz then highlight the fragility of transmission in the absence of inheritance, but also suggest that responsiveness to how the past can be reimagined through attention to how we inhabit history.

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

Family Weekend Reception

Family Weekend Reception

Students and their families are cordially invited to a reception with 
the German Department Faculty in the Barrett Hall Library. Refreshments will be served.

Tue, Oct 28, 2014

Christa Wolf

Lecture to Celebrate the Fall of the Berlin Wall, 25 Years Ago: "Nachdenken über Christa Wolf 2014"

Fayerweather Hall, Pruyne Lecture Hall

Christa Wolf, one of the most important woman writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, died in 2011 in Berlin. With her books "Accident: A Day’s News," "Cassandra," "City of Angels: or The Overcoat of Dr. Freud," "No Place on Earth" and "A Model Childhood," she created a universal type of literature which is always closely related to the contradictions of German and European contemporary life and history. Wolf scrutinizes especially the last 25 years, since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Her literature will remain a memorial against the act of forgetting, a tribute to authentic life which actively posits itself against the act of forgetting.

Our lecturer, Therese Hörnigk, is the noted president of the Christa Wolf Society, recently founded in Berlin. She studied German and American literature at the Humboldt University in (then) East Berlin and has published widely, most recently on Christa Wolf, Bertolt Brecht, Stefan Heym, politics and literature in the Cold War, women authors and American culture in East Germany.

The lecture is sponsored by the European Studies Program, the Department of German and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series at Amherst.

Fri, Oct 31, 2014


Music at Amherst Chamber Series: Sequentia, Medieval Ensemble with Fragments for the End of Time

Tickets Required: Tickets can be reserved through

One of the world’s most respected and innovative ensembles for medieval music, Sequentia is directed by the legendary performer and teacher Benjamin Bagby.

The instruments used in this concert include reconstructions of Germanic harps (based on 7th century instruments from Oberflacht, near Stuttgart), an early medieval triangular harp and copies of medieval transverse flutes (including a flute made from a swan’s bone, based on an 11th century instrument unearthed near Speyer).

This free concert is made possible by Amherst College Music Department, History Department, English Department, European Studies Department, German Department and Amherst College lecture fund.

Thu, Nov 6, 2014

Good Bye, Lenin!

German Film Series: "Good Bye, Lenin!"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

(Wolfgang Becker, 2003; 118 min.)

Enjoy this award-winning international smash hit comedy about the hilarious complications that arise when a young East Berliner, trying to protect his mother-- an ardent communist who went into a coma in the fall of 1989 --sets out to maintain the illusion that East Germany continues to exist, in their own little apartment.

Wed, Nov 12, 2014


UMass: Fall of the Wall Events With Filmmaker Helke Misselwitz

Reception with Director and Film Screening
November 12, 2014 - 6:00 pm
227 Herter Hall, UMass
6:00 pm: Reception in honor of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall
7:00 pm: "MY ’89 – MEIN 89" (special screening)
Dirs: Stepan Altrichter, Esti Amrami, Josephine Frydetzki, Jöns Jönsson, Konrad Kästner, Banu Kepenek; 2009, Germany, 115 min., color.
Six film students—born in East Germany, West Germany, Sweden, Israel, Turkey and the Czech Republic—were between five and ten years old when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. The young directors reflect on their childhood perspectives on the groundbreaking historic event in very personal, sometimes funny stories. Introduced by Katrin Bahr, UMass Amherst
Screening in German with English subtitles, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Helke Misselwitz

UMass: "Herzsprung" Film Screening at Amherst Cinema
November 13, 2014 - 7:30 pm
Amherst Cinema
"Herzsprung" (Dir. Helke Misselwitz, 1992, Germany, 87 min., color.)
Johanna, a young mother and widow, lives in the little town of Herzsprung. Almost nothing has changed since German unification, except the rise in unemployment and racism, which also affect Johanna’s life. Introduced by Barton Byg, UMass Amherst
Screening in German with English subtitles, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Helke Misselwitz
Additional Info
Amherst Cinema

UMass: Meet the My ’89 Filmmakers!
November 14, 2014 - 3:00 pm
Thatcher House Lounge, UMass
A conversation with director Helke Misselwitz and four of her former students, now successful directors, who will Skype in from Germany. Open to all Five College students!

UMass: "Winter Adé" Film Screening
November 17, 2014 - 7:00 pm
227 Herter Hall, UMass
"Winter Adé" (Dir. Helke Misselwitz, 1988, GDR, 112 min., b/w, documentary)
Shortly before the fall of the Wall and the collapse of East Germany, the director traveled the country interviewing women of different ages and backgrounds for this groundbreaking documentary. Introduced by Victoria Rizo-Lenshyn, UMass Amherst
Screening in German with English subtitles, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Helke Misselwitz

Thu, Dec 4, 2014

Cherry Blossoms

German Film Series: "Kirschblüten—Hanami"

Screenings at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

"Cherry Blossoms" (Doris Dörrie, 2008; 127 min.)
Touching tragicomic drama about marital love and dysfunctional families: Trudi always wanted to take her ailing husband on a spiritual pilgrimage to Japan’s Mount Fuji; when she dies unexpectedly, he decides against all odds to undertake the journey on his own.

Thu, Feb 12, 2015


German Film Series: "Schlußmacher"

Screenings at 4 pm and 7:30 pm.

"Schlußmacher" ("Break Up Man") (Matthias Schweighöfer, 2013; 106 min.)
Smash hit comedy about a slick Berlin yuppie working for an agency that helps people end unwanted relationships. All seems to go swimmingly until Paul (Matthias Schweighöfer) meets his match in oddball Toto (Milan Peschel), who simply refuses to give up on ideal love.

Tue, Feb 17, 2015

German Theme House

Open House for German Residential Program

Tag der Offenen Tür: The German Department is now accepting applications to live in the German House (Porter House) for 2015-16. The applications are available on the Residential Life website.

Come to the Open House with your questions and check out the wonderful atmosphere at the German House.

Tue, Feb 24, 2015

Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Screenshot of man touching woman's face with his right hand

German Film Series: "Nirgendwo in Afrika"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

"Nowhere in Africa" (Caroline Link, 2001; 141 min.)
Drama, based on an autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig, about a German-Jewish family who, fleeing the Nazis in 1938, find refuge in Kenya. Their struggle to remake their lives is experienced through the eyes of a young girl. Winner of the 2003 Academy Award for best foreign film.

Tue, Mar 10, 2015

Karyn Levitt

In the Dark Times: Three 20th Century Austro-German Composers Who Worked with Bertolt Brecht

Sung by soprano Karyn Levitt with pianist Eric Ostling

Bertolt Brecht and his historic collaborations with his first translator into English -- Eric Bentley -- and composers Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, and Paul Dessau. The artists will perform several songs and along the way explicate their cultural/historical milieu. The talk will as well touch upon the lives of these extraordinary writers and composers.

Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of German and the Copeland Colloquium.

Thu, Mar 12, 2015

Closeup of a man standing with his arm around a woman

German Film Series: "Gegen die Wand"

Two screenings, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

"Head On" (Fatih Akin; 121 min.)
In this hard-hitting, award-winning drama by Germany’s most prominent German-Turkish filmmaker, a young Turkish woman (Sibel Kekilli), seeking to enjoy the same freedoms as her German friends, enters into a sham marriage with a Turkish small-time crook to escape her family’s oppressive conservatism.

Tue, Mar 24, 2015

Anna Seghers

Mt Holyoke: Five College Guest Lecture

Mount Holyoke College, Ciruti 103

Ute Brandes will speak about her current research, “Anna Seghers’ Rubble Literature, 1947-1949”

Anna Seghers (1900-1983), the most important German woman writer of the 20th century, returned in 1947 to East Berlin. Already since 1942, while in exile in Mexico City, she had published her ideas on how best to reeducate Germans after the war. She wanted to depict the mental and material destruction of the country with the most brutal realism; she believed that previously exiled authors would be best suited to confront post-war Germans with any possibly remaining Nazi thought patterns; and she wanted to capture the inner and outer mentality of persons with her modernist writing methods. With these beliefs, Seghers clashed with the cultural policies of the Soviet Zone of occupation which wanted to promote a socialist perspective. In the Anna-Seghers-Archive in Berlin, Brandes discovered a wealth of unpublished works and literary fragments. These complex and nuanced writings are very close to “rubble literature”, published primarily internationally and in the Western zones. In two recent articles, Brandes published her findings which have led to a new periodization of Seghers’ post-war works.

Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Gustav Mahler

Concert: Gustav Mahler

Peter W. Shea, tenor, Monica Jakuc Leverett, piano, Justina Golden, mezzo-soprano, and Clifton J Noble Jr, piano will perform Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Rückert-Lieder, and selections from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, with readings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn in German by John He '16 and Miriam Ferede '18.

All are invited. Light refreshments will be served after the concert.

Sponsored by the Department of German, the German House, the European Studies Program, the Lucius Root Eastman 1895 Fund and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Fund.

Thu, Apr 2, 2015

Black-and-white image of a woman and man looking out through a broken window

German Film Series: "Die Mörder sind unter uns"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

"The Murderers Are Among Us" (Wolfgang Staudte, 1946; 85 min.)
The first feature-length film produced in Germany after World War II: a traumatized German soldier returns to a Berlin in rubble, only to encounter his former superior officer, a war criminal who has quickly reestablished himself as a successful factory owner. Shown by kind permission of the DEFA Film Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Thu, Apr 23, 2015

Image from "Eichmann's Ende" of a man seated and frowning, wearing a jacket, tie and glasses

German Film Series: "Eichmann's Ende"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

Eichmann’s Fate (Raymond Ley 2010; 89 minutes)

See this stunning docu-drama, based on real historical events, chronicling the series of bizarre coincidences that made it possible to take Adolf Eichmann, the notorious mastermind of genocide, to court. In early 1960s Buenos Aires, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor falls in love with a young German-- who turns out to be the son of Eichmann, comfortably living in Argentina under an assumed identity. Screenings are co-sponsored by the Amherst College Office of the Jewish Religious Advisor and shown in conjunction with the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Black-and-white image of a man looking over his shoulder into a mirror, to see "M" written on the back of his jacket

German Film Series: "M"

Two screenings, at 4 and 7:30 p.m.

M (Fritz Lang, 1931; 111 min.)
Fritz Lang’s legendary early sound film, the granddaddy of all suspenseful thrillers: the police and an organized crime racket conduct parallel investigations to capture a mysterious serial killer (Peter Lorre) terrorizing the big city.