BBC BLOGS - Franz Strasser on the road

Archives for November 2009

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

Berlin: Embracing the differences

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Franz Strasser | 10:27 UK time, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

On my last stop in Berlin, I asked a former professor about the economic climate in east Germany and was surprised by a gaping hole in the middle of the city.

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What have been your impressions of Berlin and what do you think of the decision to rebuild the city palace?

Finding new qualities in shrinking cities

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Franz Strasser | 12:39 UK time, Friday, 6 November 2009

Throughout my trip, I've been hearing about population decline and vacant cities. I decided to visit the renowned Stiftung Bauhaus in Dessau where they have been working on solutions to these issues since 2002. I learned that other parts of Europe may be experiencing the same problems that currently face eastern Germany.

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Do you have other international examples of shrinking cities? What do you think about Beeck's approach?

Keeping the past alive

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Franz Strasser | 14:08 UK time, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I have now reached Sorge, which is a few metres away from the former inner-German border. I asked people there whether it's possible to embrace the past while moving forward in the 21st Century.

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Do you like the idea of keeping the fence alive? I look forward to your comments.

A new generation of Germans

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Franz Strasser | 15:23 UK time, Monday, 2 November 2009

On my next stop in Jena, I spoke to some history students who have interviewed people from all walks of life about their experiences before and after reunification.

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With the current crop of students in Germany having been born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, how important are these conversations?

PS: The book mentioned is Mein Land Verschwand So Schnell (My Country Disappeared So Fast).

Find out more about Europe's revolution on the BBC 1989 page.

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