Marking the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this is a revealing portrait of the reunified Germany told in the form of an entertaining travelogue -- an 800-mile journey along the former Iron Curtain from the Baltic Sea to the Czech border. * When the Iron Curtain dissolved ten years ago, the faultline that divided West and East Germany also collapsed. But could the so-called 'death strip' be erased as easily as a pencil-mark on the map? * In his encounters with former border guards, ex-Stasi members turned insurance salesmen, decollectivized farmers, innkeepers, nudists, car mechanics, foresters and artists, the author reveals with a delightful lightness of touch the hopes, fears and regrets of both 'Wessis' and 'Ossis', and listens to the anxieties of those who feel 'colonized' by the West. * He observes new nature reserves in the old borderlands; visits the unique village republic where for 22 years the inhabitants lived enclosed between two fences; watches the rebuilding of the Bismarck family castle; attends an international gathering of Trabant-owners; explores museums devoted to documenting former life along the border; travels across the dark and sinister Harz mountains which once harboured an underground Nazi concentration camp; and ends his journey in Hof, where minefields have been transformed into golf courses.
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After ten years, it is easy to forget that Germany was a divided country for more than 40 years. Post-World War II politics determined that Nazi Germany would be divided into two parts: a Western democratic country influenced by the Americans, British, and French and an Eastern Socialist/Communist country influenced by the former Soviet Union. What remains of this artificial divide? German-born and Oxford-educated August, a Times correspondent who has recently received the Anglo-German Foundation Journalism Award, tries to answer this question in an engrossing account of his search for the physical and social remnants of the border that once divided West and East Germany. As August meticulously wends his way down the former frontier, he encounters difficulties in finding the actual border but has no problem reporting on conversations with residents who have lingering doubts about the advantages of unification and the possibility of creating a truly unified Germany. This is a fearless, critical, accurate, and balanced assessment of the complicated political and social situation that will fester despite the elimination of a strong, physical barrier. Highly recommended for all European travel and history collections. Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...a fearless, critical, accurate and balanced assessment.... Highly recommended." -- Library Journal
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Book Description Flamingo, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110006531113