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May 7, 2022

"Historical Memory" - How Dr. Jim Doti Brought the Berlin Wall to Chapman University

"Historical Memory" - How Dr. Jim Doti Brought the Berlin Wall to Chapman University

There are many pieces of the Berlin Wall on display all around the world. How did universities, museums and other places secure these sections of what was once the most intimidating symbol of the Iron Curtain? In this episode of Radio GDR, I have the...


There are many pieces of the Berlin Wall on display all around the world. How did universities, museums and other places secure these sections of what was once the most intimidating symbol of the Iron Curtain? In this episode of Radio GDR, I have the privilege of being joined by Dr. Jim Doti, Professor and President Emeritus of Chapman University (chapman.edu), to tell us how he secured for Chapman what is today the second largest piece of the Berlin Wall owned by an American university. In 1997 after seeing the Berlin Wall at the Reagan Library, Dr. Doti was inspired to procure a piece of the wall for Chapman. Over many months he and his colleagues worked through the Mayor of Berlin's office to secure one of the last sections available. Known colloquially as "the Candy Bomber," Dr. Doti describes the painstaking process of securing the wall to shipping it to California to building their own Berlin Wall memorial known as Liberty Plaza. Upon receipt of the wall, art professor Richard Turner, who we interview in our next episode, designed Liberty Plaza to contrast totalitarianism and freedom - the Berlin Wall sits in an oval reflecting pool surrounded by cement engraved with Abraham Lincoln's quote "A House Divided Cannot Stand." A stone chair sits on a mound facing the wall encouraging students and visitors to consider the importance of freedom. Thank you, Dr. Doti and Chapman University, for this amazing story.

It’s not just a piece of art—it’s become something that evokes historical memory. - President Emeritus Jim Doti

For more information on Chapman's piece of the wall, check out these stories below

How Chapman University Brought a Piece of the Berlin Wall to Campus

Chapman scholars and students reflect on the Berlin Wall as anniversary approaches

Doti’s quest for a piece of the Berlin Wall

 

Photos below

liberty-plaza

Liberty Plaza at Chapman University

Chapman University - Fall of the Berlin Wall

Doti

President Jim Doti, shown in 1998, gives a speech after...

Dr. Doti at the 1998 opening of Liberty Plaza

A 2.5-ton chunk of the Berlin Wall is lowered into...

The Berlin Wall's installation at Chapman

Chapman University President Jim Doti stands in front of a...

How Chapman University Brought a Piece of the Berlin Wall to Campus |  Chapman Newsroom

Dr. Doti with artist Richard Turner, who designed Liberty Plaza and who will be our guest next week

Turner

chair


Richard Turner found inspiration in the chair at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.