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Here I am. Visiting my homeland 23 years later. I was born and raised in Germany. In East Germany, to be more specific. Germany was separate for 40 years, and I grew up in the socialism part. That part was the only part I knew. We were not allowed to get out of East Germany. For me, that was all ok, because I believed that this life is the best life I can have. I did not think outside of the box, because I did not even think, that I was inside of the box. I did not see the broken houses, or the unrepaired roads, because I did not know the difference.

I gave birth to my son Johannes in March 1984, and my life was even better now. Even so the father of my son had a totally different attitude. He wanted to get out of the country, he said, he will go to Canada. And he did. I stayed behind.

In the summer of 1989 more and more people escaped from East Germany to West Germany over the Ungarien, and over the czechoslovakian border. And so I followed my husband with our 5 year old son and arrived to the Yukon in December the same year. I was sitting in a small cabin with no running water, no tv, not speaking or understanding English, when the wall came down. My home was celebrating the united Germany. I was so happy for my people, but so very sad, because I was not able to celebrate with them. I felt like I missed the biggest party in history.

Not able to work in my nursing profession made me feel down. Getting divorced after only 6 years of marriage made me feel like a loser. But with a lot of support from people here in the Yukon, I began to believe in myself. I learned to become a professional child care worker and after years I decided to go back to nursing. It was possible for me to study, work, and raise my kids on my own. My two children developed into wonderful, well educated, and humble people.

Walking in the streets of my home city Leipzig, in July 2012. I feel like in a time machine and I am lost. It’s like the city is wearing a beautiful dress. Where is my old home? Yet, I feel proud. Proud of my German volks. Rebuilding the city and turning it into a beauty masterpiece , which was hidden for 40 years. I am surprised by the transformation. And I realize that I went through a transformation myself. I believe I am deep in my heart still a “German”, but living here in Canada for 23 years made me this person I am now.

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