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 Post subject: Re: 20 years after the Wall
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:38 pm 
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^ To add to your comments, Gretel: I knew a wonderful couple who left Poland to come live over here. They grew up under the communist regime and times were very difficult for them. I remember one of her recollections about being lucky enough to buy oranges - and how much they enjoyed them on this rare occasion.

Quite the contrast over here, where one can find oranges in every grocery store...
I don't think that one can really understand and feel in one's heart what it is exactly like to grow up and live under a tightly-controlled, repressive regime unless one has this personal experience.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 years after the Wall
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:33 am 
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And these weren't very good oranges either :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: .
You know, nobody was starving here and nobody was hungry, but it's just that life was humiliating and hopeless. 'No future' was the main punk t-shirt slogan. So drinking and partys at home was a natural escape, and we all have it dear in our memories ^_^ (as does Flake), but still, as PuNkY wrote, you have to grow up one day.
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After my field trip to Berlin (last week) I must reconsider my position a little bit. I started to understand better Ostalgie and why people feel bad about their current situation. Eg. we talked to an old guy on the bus in East Berlin and he said rather sadly (without even being asked) that there is still Germany 1 and Germany 2. It seems that people there still feel excluded.
Probably it's a question of point of reference. Our reference in Poland is only that before 1989 life was hopeless and some of its aspects were humiliating. The East Germans compare themselves more the West Germans. They take economic stabilisation for granted, but feel bad about being treated as second category citizens. From this point of view, I understand Ostalgie a little bit more.

I was even told (can't be sure if it's true) that Rammstein is always presented as an East German band by the media, so this label still means something and is not really favourable to people it describes.

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 Post subject: Re: 20 years after the Wall
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:56 pm 
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@ Onxy Wolf....thanks so much for those wonderful links! I found the link about Manfred Beier and his pictures especially fascinating, though the picture in the other link where the women were standing in line and the caption tells how people sometimes stood in line without even knowing what was being sold because they knew it was something in short supply anyway, was like a bucket of cold water in my face. I'll always think twice now before grumbling under my breath at the slow-moving check-out lanes at the grocery store as I stand there with my basket full of groceries. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

@BeeKay...you're right. I don't think anyone who didn't live under that sort circumstances can understand it. Sometimes when I hear things like these, even as a full-grown adult, my mind still asks, "Huh? But why?" My mom was telling me about an interview she saw on TV with a Cuban-born actor who was being asked about life in general in Cuba versus life here in the US and he said that he remembered his first time at a US grocery store shopping with his aunt. He was a young boy at the time and he was debating for a long while about which of two items to buy. Then his aunt finally asked why he was taking so long in putting the items in the basket and he told her he couldn't decide which one to get. He said she answered, "Just get both, then." He said that he gasped and asked her in surprise, "You can do that here?" My mom said that he had tears in his eyes as he was telling the story.

I know Cuba is not East Germany, but again, it's situations that we are fortunate enough not be able to comprehend.

B.

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