They are the last class to live through it all in the final days of the GDR: erotic and playful nights at the open-air swimming-pool, recruitment attempts by undercover Stasi-teachers on the next day, endless afternoons at the Free German Youth club, the familiar certainty that a holiday trip could only ever mean “Saxon Switzerland” or “Hungary”. And they are also the last to have to undergo “pre-military training”. But they are also the first to turn what they learned there against the power of the state in the autumn of 1989. And ultimately, against each other. Because, what else can you do if your girlfriend is a devout communist and your swimming-pool mates turn into neo-Nazis?
Peter Richter describes the chaotic conditions at the time of reunification, which quite evidently paved the way in large parts for the current sentiments and distortions of German society.
“The year between the fall of the Wall and the accession to the Federal Republic may have been not only the best year of the GDR, but also the most consequential year of the FRG. It is the zero point from which we can see how many things could have easily turned out completely different. It is the year a significant part of Germany was in a state of true anarchy. With all the glory that this brings. And with all the horror.” Peter Richter