National Declassification Center and Central Intelligence Agency Host Berlin Symposium at the National Archives Oct. 16
Press Release · Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A City Divided: Life and Death in the Shadow of the Wall

On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, the National Archives National Declassification Center (NDC), in partnership with the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Historical Review Program, will host a free symposium to tell the story of the people of Berlin and their struggle for freedom. "A City Divided: Life and Death in the Shadow of the Wall" will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The symposium is open to the public (reserve a seat by emailing: and the press.

The National Archives Building is located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW, and is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on 7th and Constitution Ave, NW.

The symposium will highlight newly published and released declassified documents that reveal East and West Berliners' struggle for life and death in the shadow of the wall. The documents detail many aspects of their lives, focusing on the resolve of the human spirit for freedom and equality.

With his iconic speech on June 26, 1963, President John F. Kennedy united the citizens of Berlin with the United States by stating that he too was a Berliner. Twenty-four years later, President Ronald Reagan declared in Berlin that "I do not come here to lament. For I find in Berlin a message of hope, even in the shadow of this wall, a message of triumph."

On October 16, we will release 11,000 pages of newly declassified documents on various topics and activities on Berlin from 1962 to 1986—the years between these two famous speeches by American Presidents. Symposium attendees will receive a free publication and DVD compilation of approximately 1,324 documents, and an additional 1,140 documents will be posted online [].


  • National Declassification Center - Sheryl Shenberger
  • Archivist of the United States - David S. Ferriero
  • Director, Information Management Services, CIA - Joseph Lambert
  • National Declassification Center - Neil Carmichael
  • Historian at the George Washington University and the Woodrow Wilson Center - Dr. Hope Harrison
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Dr. Christian F. Ostermann
  • Central Intelligence Agency - Dr. Donald P. Steury

For more information:  Please email all inquiries to

# # #

For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

Follow the NDC's Blog:


This page was last reviewed on February 8, 2019.
Contact us with questions or comments.