Reflections on Teaching Abroad
How Berlin Remembers Trauma and What it Means for American Sense-Making of the Past
Keywords:activism, Germany, nationalism
Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, fliers appeared on our university’s campus that uncannily resembled Nazi propaganda posters of the early 1940s. Custodians cleaning the campus facilities found the majority of the fliers and removed them before the general student population saw them. Still, a handful were photographed by students and quickly made their rounds via social media inciting a heated debate about free speech versus hate speech, racism, and white supremacy. Shortly thereafter, several student groups organized a Not My President rally near a campus work of art by the Mexican-American sculptor Luis Jiménez entitled “Border Crossing.” Protesters chanted affirmations for minoritized students on campus, such as “you are welcome here,” and “not my president,” in an attempt to disassociate from mainstream political rhetoric and the newly elected President Trump’s campaign slogans that centered on deportation and building a border wall.
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