Khrushchev's Son Headlines Center for Politics Event on Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961

October 31, 2011 — The University of Virginia Center for Politics will examine the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Crisis of 1961, which culminated in East Germany's erecting the Berlin Wall in August 1961, in a panel discussion to be held Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture and Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

The building of the wall came after a meeting in Vienna between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on June 3 and 4, 1961, failed to end a diplomatic impasse.

Khrushchev's son and biographer Sergei Khrushchev, a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, will lead a panel discussion along with scholars Hope M. Harrison, professor of history at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs; and Jackson Janes, executive director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, a professor of politics in U.Va.'s College of Arts & Sciences, will moderate the discussion, part of the center's Golden Anniversary series, a series of events, productions and publications illuminating the landmark political events of the 1960s.

The program is free and open to the public with advance registration. (Register here.)

For information, e-mail cfp-programs@virginia.edu or call 434-243-3540.

About The Speakers

• Sergei Khrushchev had a long career as an engineer at the Control Computer School in Moscow and was involved in the Soviet "Proton" rocket program, which at the time was the largest booster rocket in the world. He has written over 350 books and articles on topics as varied as U.S. foreign relations, engineering, economics and history. He currently teaches at the U.S. Naval War College and Brown University.

• Hope Harrison served on the National Security Council from 2000 to 2001 as the director for European and Eurasian Affairs. She is a preeminent expert on Cold War history, foreign policy of Germany and Russia, and the collapse of East Germany, among other areas. She has held research positions at the Davis Center at Harvard University, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. She is working on a book about the status of East Germans dealing with their communist past.

• Jackson Janes has served as director of the German-American Institute and as director of the European Office of the German Marshall Fund. In 2005, he received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Germany's highest civilian award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Atlantic Council.

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