A graduate of Moundridge High School will be making a homecoming in November as keynote speaker for a meeting of the Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association.
Patricia Goering Smith, a 1963 graduate of Moundridge High School, will speak about her book, "Revolution Revisited: Behind the Scenes in East Germany," 1989, at the SMCHA fall banquet on Nov. 7 at the Pine Village Wellness Center in Moundridge.
Her book tells the story of East Germany’s non-violent revolution in 1989 and features a handful of mostly young activists in Leipzig, East Germany. The organization and actions of this small group of activists mobilized the movement for democratic reforms and ultimately brought down the East German state and the Berlin Wall and changed the world.
Before the wall fell, Smith had the opportunity to study German at East Germany’s College of Economics (Hochschule für Ökonomie) in Berlin, and during this time she had firsthand experience with the Stasi. In early 1990, shortly after the wall fell, she spent several months in East Berlin hearing stories of revolution and conducting preliminary research for her dissertation.
A traveler and student of cultures and places, Smith has lived and worked in Berlin, Romania and New Zealand. She worked and traveled in Eastern Europe both during the communist era and after, and she continues to document the region and the transitions, including German reunification, with her writing and her camera. Although she has called Seattle and the Washington coast home for 40 years, she spends part of every year in central Kansas.
For more information on the banquet and Patricia Goering Smith, visit the Swiss Mennonite Cultural and Historical Association website at www.swissmennonite.org.