Elke D.
79 Jahre

I got goose bumps when I heard that the wall in Berlin had fallen. I was in my late 40s and working in the restaurant business. We had the radio on at work but I was not really paying attention. Somehow, with one ear, I heard that the Wall was open and called out to all my colleagues. The reaction was, “Nonsense, you’re nuts!”

The first time I was in the west, was in Coburg just before Christmas. I was completely overwhelmed in the shops There was just way too much! I couldn’t decide how to spend my 100 DM. At the time I thought it would be the only money from the West I would ever have.

I was hungry so I bought a fish sandwich with Matjes (soused herring). The fish stand definitely smelt much better than in the GDR. In the GDR they smelt intensely of fish but in the West it smelt really appetising. I just drove home after that. Later, I used the money to buy a backpack -in which a baby can be carried – for my grandson.

After the Wall fell I did two re-training courses and then worked as a private nurse for 19 years. Medical care in our region has definitely gotten worse since then. Today you have to wait a long time for appointments. When doctors retire they can’t find successors and sometimes you have to go to other cities to see specialists. Many medical professionals back then quickly moved to the west. But I won’t be leaving here.