Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Further settings

Login for editors

Historic Signs of Freedom. Interpretations of the Peaceful Revolution in Interdisciplinary Perspectives

© Wikimedia Commons

© Wikimedia Commons

© Wikimedia Commons

Short Description

Immanuel Kant once referred to the French Revolution as a "historic sign" because it was capable of instilling hope for the fundamental improvement of human conditions even in the most distant observers. Such an unforgettable event could always be "brought to mind among nations" and inspire new attempts of a similar nature. According to Kant, the reflective retrospective on 1789 should serve as a remedy against the paralyzing power of pessimism and resignation.

Especially in our times, characterized by a proclaimed crisis of the liberal democratic rule of law and the Western liberal societal model, such a countermeasure seems more necessary than ever. Could the still somewhat marginalized memory of the political revolution that began in East Germany and Europe over thirty years ago not make a crucial contribution here? The presented project is dedicated to addressing this question - with explicit consideration of religious aspects.

Public Lecture Summer 2024

In November 2024, the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall  will be commemorated. We want to seize this occasion to look back at the transformative events of 1989 and explore their potential relevance  through an interdisciplinary lecture series. Titled "Signs of Freedom in  History: Interpretations of the Peaceful Revolution in the Present,"  the series aims to bring forth perspectives from philosophy, theology,  sociology, law, history, literature and theatre.

Also via live stream:


  • „Sie trifft die Zeit“: Ringvorlesung mit Vortrag von Joachim Gauck gestartet, Campus Hallensis, Mittwoch 10.04.2024 Link   
  • Vorsicht Gauck!, Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, Donnerstag 11. April 2024, S. 21

Planned Publication

  • Geschichtszeichen der Freiheit. Deutungen der Friedlichen Revolution in der Gegenwart, Tübingen 2025 Link   

Contributions so far

Oktober 2023 C. Plaul / K. Tetzlaff: "Freiheit ist Mühsal und Hoffnung. Was die Erinnerung an die Friedliche Revolution von 1989 gegen die gegenwärtige resignative Stimmung ausrichten kann", FAZ, 2. Oktober 2023, Nr.  229, S. 13 Link   

January 2023 "Ostdeutsch als negative Identität", Workshop at the Theological Days of the Faculty of Theology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Wintersemester 2022/23 "Geschichtszeichen der Freiheit. Theologie der Friedlichen Revolution", Seminar at the Faculty of Theology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Project Leader

Further Assistents

  • Dr. Jan Kostka (Scientific Assistent)
  • Constanze Kothmann (Student Assistent)