27 January, 2021

The Pangs Of Unity

Six years after reunification, the two Germanys are still trying to understand each other

The Pangs Of Unity

THE changes are taking place so fast that you forget what existed earlier," says Anja, a young German girl who grew up in the East German town of Karl Marx Stadt, which has now reverted to its original name, Chemnitz. Anja was referring to the furious building activity in Leipzig, where she went to university for five years. She last visited Leipzig a year ago and she could scarcely believe what she saw. Many of the buildings in the city centre had been torn down—not a religious person at all, she was also surprised that a religious library that existed in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) times, under a communist regime, was now a trendy cafe.

This frenetic pace of change is sweeping just about every aspect of life in the whole of the former GDR. And six years after reuniting with West Germany on October 3, 1990, the people are still coming to terms with it. Some have adjusted, others are taking a little longer.

Now a resident of Berlin, Anja has the same thing to say about her adopted city—which she used to visit...



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