Where are you from?

October 17, 2011
(*This was one of the first posts I wrote. It’s the beginning of my story. I went back to read it, to get my writing mojo back so to speak and decided to add some links for more information. So, here is part of my story again… I’m thinking about reposting part two in three in the next few weeks, as well. Let me know if you’d like to read more!)

Where are you from? People ask me that all the time because of my accent. “Germany”, I always answer. Most of the time they will nod and smile and that’s it. But sometimes someone will ask “Where in Germany?” I always answer the same way and say “About two hours south of Berlin.” Nobody I have ever met, knows the little village I grew up in. If the person seems really interested, I will say “Near Leipzig.” But usually, they hear Berlin and that’s the end of it.

My story began in a sleepy, little town in what was then East-Germany. I was born and raised there and had what many would consider (myself included) an idyllic childhood. I was able to roam about with my friends, investigate the woods close to home and built forts. In the Winter, we’d go sledding on the hills, during Spring we would wait for the crocuses to bloom, during Summer go and pick cherries and eat them til we got sick to our tummies and in Fall do the same with apples.

I didn’t have a care in the world and didn’t really know what it meant to live “behind the wall”. I knew, there was another Germany and that we had aunts and cousins there, we weren’t allowed to see but none of that mattered, not to me or any of my friends, I imagine.

And then, the Wall fell and Germany reunited. I didn’t understand the repercussions of those events until much later. All I cared about was the yummy candy on the store shelves and the Barbie under our Christmas tree that year.

What I learned as time went on and I got older was that things weren’t so rosy for a lot of people. The federal state I lived in had one of the highest rates of unemployment, if not the highest in Germany. People were losing their jobs, friends, relatives …people we knew, and one of them was my mom.

So, when I was a Junior in High School my parents decided it was time for a change.Time to take a chance . They sat my sister and I down for a family discussion and let us know what had been on their minds. They wanted to know how we felt about moving to America?

Well, I will tell you how we felt…soon.

Stay tuned for the next installment!!!


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  • Hendrik Seeburg October 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I remember this sometimes. Times of easiness, sitting in front of your house and talking. Hanging around in this park every open second. Very nice memories, even they are becomming more and more black and white colored in my mind…

    • susi October 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

      Yes, those were the days…