In 1989 I was in the military and the events in Berlin went largely unnoticed in our little installation. We watched the news as long as it didn’t distract us from the our main occupation – counting days until the discharge. 20 years later, when the excitement of breaking down a hated symbol of the Cold War died down many people are still not sure if it was a good thing.
In a poll this year, 50 percent of easterners agreed with the statement that “East Germany had more good sides than bad sides.” Eight percent signed off on the statement: “People there were happier and better off than today in reunified Germany.”
Just as some easterners long for their lost paradise, many westerners think they would have been better off without reunification.
In the end, the Wall couldn’t really exist any longer and the resentment most likely resides in the generation who had to bear the brunt of the reunification and all the hardships associated with it. History is moving along and today is a good day to take a look back at the way it was just a short 20 years ago.
The best and the funniest movie about that time is the award-winning Good Bye Lenin! It’s truly worth suffering through the subtitles.