Gymnastics and Pills: An East German Childhood

Sirka offers a comprehensive exploration of life in East Germany, detailing the experiences of growing up in Neubrandenburg, the influence of the East German state and the Stasi, and the societal impacts of Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

She also talks of her intensive gymnastics training and being given pills by her trainer…

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Sirka also describes the transition to reunification, highlighting the challenges of adapting to a new economic system and the mixed feelings toward sudden exposure to Western consumer culture. Additionally, it includes a reflective conversation on post-reunification life in Germany, discussing Sirka’s and her family’s adjustment to the changes, including the effects on employment, homeownership, and personal political histories.

We delve into the complexities of navigating the new Germany, touching on nostalgia, the emotional impact of revisiting childhood places, and the decision not to explore their Stasi files, offering a nuanced view of the personal and political dynamics in post-reunification Germany.

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