On 9th of November, 1989, a man named Günter Schabowski had been tasked with presenting new border policies of German Democratic Republic. However, being late for conference, he made a small mistake that led to a chain of events. Borders between East and West Germany opened, the Berlin Wall started to crumble. Unification of Germany was complected almost a year later, on 3rd of October, 1990, and as it was prepared, on 23th of August the GDR Volkskammer oficially stated the state’s will to access West Germany, and to acctept Western laws as their own.
30 years later, the situation in Germany isn’t that simple as it might seem. The division is still clearly visible in many statistics, covering things from wealth and welfare to opinion on free imigration. The notion that the GDR – it’s culture, heritage and life of its citizens – had been diminished after the unification is persistent; the economical fall of former Eastern Germany after The Turn (die Wende) is also a factor. Ostalgie, nostalgia for the East, had been coined as a term covering not only Trabi adventure companies, but also growing resentiment of Ossis – former citizens of GDR, and residents of ex-GDR part of Germany – towards their former homeland that volountairly ceased to exist. 30 years after the last Zersetzung – this time aimed towards the state itself – I’m interested in what remained of GDR heritage and identity of Eastern Germans 30 years after reunification of Germany, and what were the side effects of this process. Work in progress.