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Every country in the former Eastern Block somehow participated in the overthrow of communism. Poland`s most influential anti-communism movement was formed in the early 1980s. Under the name of Solidarnosc, a group of shipyard workers founded the first non-communist labour union in the communist world. Initial strikes proved counterproductive on the short term. On the long term, Solidarnosc successfully undermined the communist system to finally overthrow it by the end of 1989.

Posted by Bruno

Dresden news review

After discussing some national newspapers in previous countries along my way, I thought of today as a suitable occasion to pick a regional newspaper instead. Germany has many of those. My stay in Dresden made me opt for the local Sächsische Zeitung, which has quite some controversial topics on offer today, most of which seem to focus on procedures, procedures and even more procedures.

Posted by Bruno

Growing up in the DDR

Children who grew up in Germany before 1989 had very different childhood bases on whether they were born in West Germany or in East Germany. The general perception of West-Germans is that children in East Germany must have suffered a lot under the poverty. DDR kids had fewer toys and fewer opportunities to go on holiday, but whether they were really unhappier because of that remains hard to say. Eik (29) enjoyed his childhood years and would not have wanted them to be different from what they were. Here`s his story:

Posted by Bruno

Nine neighbours

No country within the EU shares as many borders with other countries as Germany does. The list of neighbouring countries has no fewer than nine members: Denmark in the North, Poland and Czech Republic in the East, Austria and Switzerland in the South and France, Luxembourg, Belgium and The Netherlands on the Western side. In each of these nine countries, inhabitants have distinct ideas about the Germans. But what do the Germans themselves think about their `Nachbarn`?

Posted by Bruno

After yesterday`s introduction of Berlin`s recent history, it`s now time to look at how much East and West Berlin are still different today. `Not at all`, some say. `Still quite different`, says the majority. East Berlin seems to be suitable for everything related to students, modern art and parties. West Berlin is business-related and cares for the `established arts` rather than the anarchist type. What else is typical for either of the two halves?

Posted by Bruno

Getting to Berlin after spending two weeks in Poland is quite an event. More so than most Polish cities, Berlin is huge, international and diverse. All of that becomes instantly clear to me when my train arrives at Berlin`s new Central Station: a huge railway in the centre of the city that serves as an immense crossroad. On the exact border of former East and West, I am left wondering how much both sides are still different. Before diving into that, here`s a first impression of what people remember from the years surrounding , the changes caused by the reunification of Germany.

Posted by Bruno

Getting to Berlin after spending two weeks in Poland is quite an event. More so than most Polish cities, Berlin is huge, international and diverse. All of that becomes instantly clear to me when my train arrives at Berlin`s new Central Station: a huge railway in the centre of the city that serves as an immense crossroad. On the exact border of former East and West, I am left wondering how much both sides are still different. Before diving into that, here`s a first impression of what people remember from the years surrounding , the changes caused by the reunification of Germany.

Posted by Bruno