East Germans had passed their threshold of frustration about the gloom, restraint, and shortages in their country, and they had tired of looking at the television pictures of the thriving countryside and material plenty beyond their borders. East Germans demonstrated peacefully until--almost unexpectedly-the Berlin Wall burst open and they crossed the moat. From the other side, West Germans rushed to greet them with an enthusiastic, euphoric, unifying embrace. After the unification of East and West Germany had been accomplished, the differences between the two Germanies confronted the citizens.
In the year 2000, the two Germanies will have been joined under one political umbrella for a decade. In their own words, members of three generations of West and East Germans, from all walks of life, present their personal perceptions and their perspectives on the decade. Antecedents and sequelae to unification, East-West relations, adjustment and adaptation, conditions and expectations at work, women in the society, youth, and current political attitudes are examined. East and West German interviewees weave many themes around a given topic. Kahn's commentary and explication provide a sociopsychological frame for this important piece of oral history. Lay readers interested in the human side of current events and those who are curious about the effects of rapid cultural change will find the work fascinating, as will scholars, students, and researchers of modern Germany.
About the Author:
CHARLOTTE KAHN is a psychoanalyst and family therapist in private practice. She has served on the faculties of colleges, universities, and postgraduate psychoanalytic training institutions since 1966. Dr. Kahn has published extensively and is the coeditor of Immigration: Personal Narrative, Psychological Analysis and Children Surviving Persecution (Praeger, 1998).