Behind the Wall the Trenches

Divided Vietnamese Diaspora in Berlin – Paneldiscussion // September 25, 2019 at 19.00 District Museum Lichtenberg

With the fall of the Wall, not only Germans from two systems faced each other in Berlin: In the eastern part of the city lived former Vietnamese contract workers who had been delegated to the GDR, often as an award from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In the western part of Berlin, mostly South Vietnamese „boat people“ had found asylum. They fled to the sea after the war in Vietnam to escape the communists from the north. Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Museum Lichtenberg invites representatives of these two groups to discuss existing borders and ways of rapprochement. What influence does the inescapable proximity in Berlin have on the relations between the two groups?

© Dr. Dirk Moldt

Quang Vinh Dao – former contract worker and employee of the Association of Vietnamese Berlin-Brandenburg. He supports Vietnamese migrants in their integration.

Mai Thy Pham-Nguyen – doctor, child of Vietnamese boat people, has helped to establish the Vietnamese ambulance in the Queen Elisabeth Hospital in Lichtenberg and is committed to the dialogue between the two groups.

Dan Thy Nguyen – theater director, child of Vietnamese boat people, had to experience hostility himself for advocating dialogue. He is the author and director of several plays, such as „Sonnenblumenhaus“ and wrote about his experiences dealing with the two groups in the anthology „Invisible – Vietnamese German Realities“ (2017).

Anh-Susann Pham Thi is a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester in the Department of Sociology. She conducts research on protest movements and on activists in Vietnam and their agendas.

The discussion will be chaired by Dr. Anett Laue – historian.

Concept and realization: Matthias Schönijahn

enabled by fund for Contemporary history and memory culture
in collaboration with district museum Berlin-Lichtenberg