The winter sky was overcast as we stepped off the bus on our way to a conference on the October Revolution. Through Halle’s bustling Christmas market where schoolchildren were tooting some holiday tunes to a meager crowd, down a side street where the only spot of color was a fence that boldly stated, “IT’S TOO LATE TO BLAME YOUR PARENTS,” we wound our way to the rather grand university building and slipped into seats just as the event was set to start.
For all that’s said about Germans being punctual, you can depend on German universities to start events late. Nearly every university event I’ve attended over the past two years has begun well after the set time- but maybe that’s just German consistency. In any case, the first lecture started a solid 20 minutes late, a good chunk into the first of three 90-minute sessions which would address how the October Revolution has affected or will affect the past, present, and potential future of communism.