Document Actions

You are here: Home Newsroom Press Releases 2019 Traces of History, Life, and …

Traces of History, Life, and Diversity

The latest edition of the university newspaper "uni'life" is ready to read

Freiburg, Oct 22, 2019

Traces of History, Life, and Diversity

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

A disputed legacy

Citizens of what was then Communist East Germany came out of the Nikolai Church in Leipzig with candles in their hands on the evening of 9 October 1989. The army and combat troops were waiting for them as tens of thousands of people passed by the state secret police, or Stasi, building and the town hall. They were chanting "Wir sind das Volk!" – "We are the people!" The demonstration passed off peacefully. The Berlin Wall fell four weeks later. These scenes seem ever-present in newspapers, films, and on TV as the thirtieth anniversary of what is likely the most important event in recent German-German history approaches. The events of 1989 are presented as a hard and fast success story, but University of Freiburg historian Dr. Anna Lux emphasizes that this wide-spread interpretation is only partially consistent with actual facts. In the project "The Disputed Legacy of 1989" ("Das umstrittene Erbe von 1989") she investigates, among other things, how novels and films have come to dominate the public memory of these events.
Read the article


Microscopic extremists

The extremists among microorganisms are called archaea. Prof. Dr. Sonja-Verena Albers of the Institute of Biology II says, "Until recently, they were classed as the 'strange' bacteria." Albers is researching the oddballs that thrive in brine, in hot sulfur springs, and other hostile environments.  She has just been granted more than a million euros in funding for her project. The timing is optimal, because in recent years, it's been discovered that archaea are anything but meaningless eccentrics. They exist in the human body as well, and may even possibly be the predecessors of human cells.
Read the article


Neither a girl nor a boy

About 1.7 percent of the world's people are born as neither boys nor girls because their chromosomes, genitalia, or hormone balances do not correspond to biological norms. There have always been intersexual people and they have been experiencing discrimination since ancient times. In Germany, frequently they are subjected to surgery as infants and learn of their fate only decades later. A doctoral candidate at the University of Freiburg, Valentina Escherich, has been interested in this topic since she studied history. She intends to raise public awareness of the situation of intersexual people with an exhibition in the "Uniseum." Starting on 26 October 2019 the show will be exhibited in Freiburg for a second time, following a successful opening exhibition this summer.
Read the article


Ambivalent sounds

Old Synagogue Square ("Platz der Alten Synagoge") in central Freiburg is a place where young and old meet, a venue for cultural and political events, and a memorial located on the site of a Jewish house of prayer that was destroyed by the Nazis. Last year, the square also became a place for sixteen sociology students to carry out their research. In a seminar entitled "Urban Spaces" ("Städtischer Raum"), the group examined the site as they questioned "to whom does open space belong?" The students summarized their results in a 45-minute audio guide that visits six stations on Old Synagogue Square. The guide links background information with sound bites from interviews from the past, giving witnesses to history a voice that often goes unheard in daily discourse. Anyone interested can now download the audio guide free of charge to use it, for example, on their smart phone.
Read the article


Read the current edition



Rimma Gerenstein
uni'life Editorial Office
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8812