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Highlights from the road

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Franz Strasser | 16:59 UK time, Friday, 13 November 2009

After two weeks and thousands of kilometres on the Autobahn, I have returned home to Washington, DC. It has been fascinating to report on something that is still unfolding as we watch - the process of reunification.

There are more elements than I was able to cover in the time, because much of it comes down to personal experience.

Putting aside some disappointments and new fears about making ends meet, most people I have interviewed agree that the fall of the Wall has been the most important moment in their lifetime.

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Thank you all for watching and especially for commenting along my journey. Since so many asked what songs I used in my videos, here's a rundown:

Altenburg: Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode and Your Hand Is Mine by Explosions In The Sky

Leipzig: First Breath After Coma by Explosions In The Sky
Sebnitz: Everloving by Moby

Jena: Everbody's Changing by Keane

Sorge: Tear Drop by Massive Attack

Dessau: Porcelain by Moby

Berlin: Wieder Hier by Marius Müller Westernhagen

Highlights: Run This Town by Jay-Z


  • Comment number 1.

    That is quite a journey. Great music and editing!

  • Comment number 2.


    Thanks for the excellent highlights from your journey across

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 3.

    Kopf hoch Kleener.. and welcome home!

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks Franz!I personally really appreciate all you have done for the history that should be remembered!and for the world...

    Polinews :-)

  • Comment number 5.

    Ah, the recap was put together so nicely. The maps are really helpful, too. Such good writing to video and shots. I like how you make a subtle observation, but then without saying anything, you bring home the point with a well-chosen edit of something you recorded. I look forward to seeing more reports from you on BBC!

  • Comment number 6.

    I am living in germany or the second time now. After 4 years living berlin from 1995 onwards as the result of falling in love, I moved back to the uk but seven years on we moved back. we live 40 km outside berlin to the south east, it is stunningly beautiful countryside with more than 300 lakes. There is a stark and rather disturbing difference between the mind set of berliners, and brandenburgers. Where berlin IS the most vibrant city I have ever witnessed, and where people-power has demonstrated the ability to change life from the ground up, in comparison I now live in a village full of the fear of change, and more poignantly noticeable is the chronic fear and mistrust of "outsiders". (note that I did not use the nomme ge guerre"Ausländer".) My wife is from west berlin, and even she is treated as an outsider. These villages are dying, the young and female population has largely left for the west leaving behind a traumatised generation of largely unemployed young men. the other most ostracised inhabitant of our village is what we have instead of broadband internet, the local oracle who has lived there for the last 75 years and is a walking volume of history. He is my next door neighbour and the only friend we have in the village, generally left alone by the others because they presumably consider him to be a bit mad. through him we have amassed an amazing and fsacinating history of the area which will one day become a book if I can glean enough from him while he is sitll alive. It is very important that the history of this place is not forgotten. The impression I have of the Spreewald area and its´fabulous lakes and forests is that the people here feel that they have been effectively "jacked" by the west. I have heard the following as verbatim from several locals: We were promised the earth and the "west" closed all our factories, destroyed our economy and gave us nothing. It is a bitter feeling, unescapable and pervasive. It is impossible to not empathise with the frustration in the very air.
    I am a foreginer with an ignorant opinion, and the arguments from both sides have been more than adequately thrashed out by the media for the last 20 or so years. However the irony of east germany is that the very people who are perhaps less than welcome are the key to it´s future survival. Without the influx of new blood, these villages will continue to die out. For my part, I am sadly looking to sell my beautiful farm house and 4 hectares which I bought on the proceeds of selling my two up\two down in south london, and moving back to Berlin.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi, I know it's over a month now since your return to D.C. but I only just came across your blog. Thanks for the posts - I thoroughly enjoyed them. Seasons' greetings! Jonathan.


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