On Monday, students and faculty listened as Jürgen Ewert, a Vermont native and former resident of the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990), gave a German Club sponsored presentation on what life was like behind the Iron Curtain in divided Germany.

Mr. Ewert's presentation, which was entitled Walled in: Life Behind the Berlin Wall, included a close-up view of the German-German border which prevented 17 million East Germans from leaving the socialist regime for the West and cost hundreds of people their lives as they attempted escape.

As a direct witness to East German border protection, Mr. Ewert also shared personal childhood memories. Growing up in a small village on the Baltic coast, the then 12-year old boy witnessed among others the closing of previously public beaches, the increased patrols of the coast guard and the thwarted attempts of local ferrymen to help people leave the GDR regime by water.

"Personally, I knew of only one person from my village who was successful in leaving the country for Sweden," Ewert said. "Even more unbelievable, that man later returned with a foreign car in his possession which caused much surprise among the local children."

Mr. Ewert's presentation was followed by a lively student discussion on various issues concerning the topic of border protection.