The process of European reunification as a clash of opposing utopias, the thrilling night of 9 November, 1989 when the East and the West shook hands on the rubble of the Wall, and the reality that followed. An essay by sociologist Melita Richter.
A photo story from Berlin, Anna Cavarzan
At an international conference on political psychology held in Berlin in June, 2002 (1), a US participant of German origin focused her presentation on the drawings primary school children from West Berlin made when the city was divided by the Wall. The theme of the drawings was: "How I imagine life in East Berlin." The drawings of the little artists depicted what, in their imaginations, the world of the German Democratic Republic was like: gray houses, empty streets, an occasional uniformed soldier, armored cars at street corners, portraits of little boys and girls with sad faces and without toys, red stars hanging from the roofs. The expert's analysis focused on the content of the drawings. The product was a long paper on the symbolic representation of East German society and the unknown Berlin on the other side of the wall. At no time did the researcher ask how West German or West Berlin society might be illustrated in the drawings of little Ossi artists. She had no interest in recomposing the images of a divided city, in confronting two symbolic models, or identifying how stereotypes could be found on both sides of the wall where the minds of children reflected not what they saw, but what the world of adults offered as truth...a distorted, filtered truth.
While I sought to mentally confront the theme of the fall of walls in Europe, I recalled this presentation and why it reveals something significant about how we often conceptualize "the other", which is often presented mono-directionally through the lens of a western, Euro-centric perspective which is not infrequently influenced by ideology. I wondered, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, EU enlargement, and the symbolic dismantling of the net which separated the city of Gorizia from that of Nova Gorica (the last symbol of World War Two's scar on the urban tissue), what is our image of "the others"? Who are they in our minds, what world do they belong to, and what do we know of their world? What is this other Europe today? Tissue taken from the same European body? And, in addition, are the images we maintain of one another only prototypes, ill-fitted to an elusive reality, or merely projections of our utopias? And if they are utopias, which ones exactly?
I would like to take my thoughts back to Berlin, a city that symbolizes deep European wounds and, following the unification of the two Germanies, deep healing. That unforgettable night that made Europe shiver, the thrilling night of 9 November, 1989, the citizens of the two Germanies took part in a historic event of tremendous importance. The Ossis and the Wessis, each from their own sides, were pick-axing the Wall, tearing down the cement barrier, ripping it open in order to clear the way for a brotherly hug between the two Europes. They became actors in the same extraordinary, historic event, but each side had its own understanding of what it was doing. As a matter of fact, they were doing two different things. Each side had its own truth and was pursuing its own chimera. For the West, the tearing down of the Wall was nothing but the last blow to the hated communist regime that had deprived the West of a common fatherland for almost three decades; theirs was a moral victory over totalitarianism. The Wessis brought freedom and power to the un-free, to the deprived; theirs was the triumph of consolidated capitalism over the rubble of Soviet communism. The Ossis were opening the door to the West, annulling the differences which had stigmatized their lives, canceling the historic injustice. At least, this is what they believed. They were literally breaking into the West, freeing themselves of the Wall that was more than 67 kilometers of reinforced cement: they were isolated from the rest of Europe by a wall 115 kilometers long with 300 watch towers. After the tearing down of the wall and the emotional embrace between co-citizens, after the rivers of tears and beers, East Berliners poured into West Berlin without even stopping at the rubble. They invaded the central streets of that dazzling world, lit by the bright lights of Kudamm Strasse (short for Kurfurstendam Strasse), Berlin's Champs-Elysées, and its luxurious shops and sparkling windows. They burst into the rich neighborhoods where they annulled segregation and became equal to other Berlin citizens on that starry night. There, they became Europeans. At least, that's what they thought was happening.
The memory of one of the participants is still alive. He still recalls the collective feeling of disbelief and amazement on that historic night of dreams. "The night the Wall fell, I was at work. A bit later, I went and walked down Bornholmen Street. I got drunk off champagne from the West Germans. There was an enormous feast. I felt like I was in a dream. I was neither happy nor unhappy. I thought it was not real." (2)
The fall of the Berlin Wall on that miraculous November night remains the most striking symbol of the gap between the visions of the two Europes. More than the revival and reunification of a nation, it showed the separate utopias of the two sides, European East and West, and their divergent expectations.
Croatian sociologist and high-profile political figure, Vesna Pusic, in one of her political essays, highlights how the two sides had different expectations for the great changes in Eastern Europe. She dedicates strong attention to the symbolic value of the events surrounding the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. "The Eastern European projects were created under the strong influence of their own idea of the West. The West represented political freedom, but in its explicit and direct meaning, this political freedom had primary importance for a relatively small number of people. What most people saw in the West was well-being, freedom to travel, stylish clothes, and status-symbol music. There, extravagance was a common, everyday game available to everyone and not an expression of the extraordinary haughtiness of the bourgeoisie. The West also meant inclusion and participation in the real world where things were taking shape and where events, whose reflections sometimes penetrated in the East, were actually happening. There was a youth culture, everyday life, clothing, food, commercials, and films. All of this made Eastern Europe look towards the West and diffused the feeling that the East was in the waiting room of real life." (3) But Eastern Europe also saw itself as a large and attractive market. It expected the West to invest huge capital into trade and local economies, to boost much-desired progress, and to transform the waiting room into a rich, golden oasis. This hope proved to be a grand, betrayed illusion.
What utopias did the West feed on? What was its image of the societies of the ex-Soviet block?
Its vision of the facts was based on the meager knowledge it had of the world beyond the real and imagined Iron Curtain. The expectations of the West were based on what was known and on what Western media often presented: initiatives of East German civil society such as the protests of intellectuals, their open letters, the courage of students to challenge the police of totalitarian regimes, the underground dissidents and samizdat libraries, as well as extraordinary jam sessions the regime considered subversive. So, it was expected that once the Wall fell, these champions of the spoken and written word would become the real winners. The West thought that the people like Andrei Saharov, Elena Bonner, Lech Valesa, Vaclav Havel, Adam Micnik, Ota Sik, people with extraordinary moral strength, would, after years of psychological alienation and physical humiliation, become the leaders of political oligarchies. This was the great utopia of the West. This only happened in the case of Havel, and somewhat with Lech Walesa. The simplistic linearity of Western thinking can be demonstrated by the prevailing Western idea that the elimination of repressive states will open the way to democratic, creative, and transparent societies.
The West made a big mistake expecting the societies born under totalitarian regimes, in the "evil states", to automatically ensure the birth of new democracies. Pusic recalls: "The error of the West was in the supposition that the "evil states" did not have an "evil" impact on societies. The exceptional individuals, their courage, and the extraordinary initiatives of civil societies from before the ousting of the old regimes were erroneously generalized and attributed to whole societies. It was thought that it would suffice to oust the old oligarchs and break the shell of party-controlled societies in order for just, politically mature, and real societies to blossom." (4)
It was expected that the new societies would be able to produce substantially different institutions and that the civic consciousness, integrity, and political culture of the social sphere could "fill" new institutions. This did not happen.
The societies created from the ashes of the socialist regimes have followed their own paths in the construction of new institutions and modalities of transition, but they have generally failed to achieve full actualization of their democratic transformations and the creation of participatory, politically autonomous, and mature societies.
The "new democracies", as the states created after the fall of communism were called, were neither "flooded" with foreign investment and economic progress nor overwhelmed by much internal democratization. For many, as is particularly true for the countries of the former Yugoslavia, new governments were primarily interested in irrational, "historic", nationalist interests as seen through the prism of the Nineteenth Century and the creation of ethnically homogeneous societies. The kind of politics these new nations promoted produced a clash of opposing nationalist interests and led to a brutal civil war which arrested the economic development and stability of the entire region of Southeast Europe. The improvement of the everyday lives of citizens and their human and civil rights, the autonomy of institutions, judicial reform, political effectiveness, and civic participation in the public sphere...all of these goals were again postponed for an indeterminate future and "better times".
The reality which characterized transition and the projection of utopias from all sides first ended in a bitter crash, then transformed into a deep sense of disillusionment among the citizens. Disillusionment was shared by both the West and the East, sweetened only by the dream of the latter of the "return to Europe", which derived from the participation in the process of enlargement.
The "Return to Europe" was an idea held by some Western theorists that the post-communist countries, after a long period of deprivation, were finally about to enter "normal history". Such a concept irritated East European intellectuals. The Hungarian philosopher Ferenz Feher gave his thoughts on this argument shortly before his death in July, 1989: "The worst advice post-communist countries could ever receive was that which encouraged them with the statement that they were finally entering "normal history". This clearly humiliating tone was not only offensive, but it also questioned the "normality" of the history which they were supposed to enter. (...) Such suggestion, intentionally or not, aimed to instill the citizens of the post-communist world with a sense of inferiority, on account of their dramatic and enlightening history. At the same time, it referred to them as obtuse, uncritical pupils summoned back into the classroom to hear about a history which was not theirs." (5)
A very similar view is espoused by Eva Hoffman, a Polish-born writer who left her country at the age of 13, together with her Jewish family, and who has since lived in the United States and the United Kingdom. Hoffman is a careful observer and scholar of both worlds: the West and Eastern Europe. "There is this diffused conviction in the West", says Hoffman, "that Eastern Europe is in an adolescent phase which it is progressively outgrowing, slowly and awkwardly. But, after all, this Western way is not so mysterious, and the East Europeans are not naive teenagers..." (6)
Even though the process of European enlargement has transformed some East European countries from objects of history into autonomous players on the European political scene, in the East, intellectuals widely feel that the West has not stopped considering Central and Eastern Europe as the "Other Europe"; the Europe which is less developed, less civilized, turbulent, primitive, wild, and entertaining. There is extensive literature on the topic. Another great Hungarian, Gerg Konrad, dealt with the issue in a sort of critical, ironic self-analysis: "We are the relatives in need, indigenous and disinherited, backward, obtuse, deformed, poor, free-loading parasites, swindlers, and cheats. We are sentimental, old-fashioned, infantile, misinformed, apprehensive, melodramatic, difficult, unpredictable, and negligent. We are people who do not reply to letters, who lost "the great opportunity"; boozers, gossips and loafers who do not respect deadlines, do not keep promises and are boasters. We are immature, absurd, undisciplined, and touchy and we insult each other to death without ruining friendships. We are the misfits who always lament our situation because we are intoxicated by defeat. We are irritating, excessive, and depressing and we are also a bit unhappy. They are used to underestimating us. We are the cheap labor force. Here things cost less. As gifts, they give us already-read magazines. Our typewritten letters are dowdy and excessively detailed. They laugh at us, compassionately, until all of a sudden we become unpleasant; until we say something awkward and blunt; until we show our nails and teeth; until we become cynical and primitive." (7)
With particular zeal, Konrad insistently highlights the deep stigma which marks the division between European cultural models. It is a division derived more from mutual ignorance than from historic determinants. With crystal clarity, Konrad defines the stereotype which produces the stigma. But it is evident that the heirs of 1989 exist within two states of consciousness. The first is the one described by Konrad: the widespread Sense Of Inferiority. The other is the unstoppable Desire to Be Liked By The West. Feher would say that this consciousness can be overcome only by a new critical theory. According to him, the old critical theory had as its objective the critique of modernity. The new one has to put the problems of democracy, as manifested in the relationship between state and society, under the microscope.
In order to demonstrate how the aforementioned sense of Inferiority Versus Superiority can be transformed into its complete opposite, let's focus on the scenario of the New Berlin.
Life on the "other side" of the Iron Curtain went on with a slower pace. People loved, got drunk, and adhered to the goals of production in a society with no unemployment and which celebrated, suffered, and died. Above all, it was where people got by by seizing fragments of life on the other side where "other" meant not just the missing part of the city, but the entire world.
Ingolf is a musician who was born and lived in East Berlin. A witness of that separate life, he recalls: "The East German mentality was influenced by Eastern Europe. People were more spontaneous, simpler, and more genuine. Each weekend I went to a party with my friends. Everyone brought sweets and vine and we partied until dawn. I grew up with the music of Frank Zappa. It was difficult to find good records or musical instruments, but there was always some "auntie" from the West who could procure them. In East Berlin we had the privilege of being able to listen to Western radio channels. They were our major means of education and schooling but, above all, they were food for the soul." (8)
In 1986, a social research study was conducted on DDR citizens between the ages of 18 and 40. More than a decade later, those subjects' responses were used for comparison in a corresponding social research study of citizens from BRD, polled in 2001 by the well-known Berlin psychologist, Brahler. (9). What emerged from the fascinating results was a sort of modern, cross-border comparison of the citizens of Berlin. Berlin psychotherapist Gisela Ehle, also an Ossi, analysed the participants' responses.
By means of first-hand experience and study, Ehle determined that East Germans were narcissistically offended because the economic progress they had dreamed about did not take place. Instead of an economic miracle, they faced layoffs and loss of previous social, cultural, and economic status on both individual and collective levels. These factors compounded the feelings of humiliation and guilt that citizens of the East shamefully accepted. The distance is now narrowing and differences are fading. Back then, research showed East Germans felt deprived of any role in the future development of society and felt they did not have any input on the level where things were actually being decided. This shaped their identity of being separate citizens; "Easterners" whose life-ethic and "nobility of thought" (10) had somehow been hampered by reunification. They felt they had a more refined sense of purpose than their Western brothers, who were guided by almighty profit. In this way, they were able to negate the historic moment of failure. On the other hand, the Wessis reject this point of view and consider the Easterners ungrateful for having been admitted to the sharing of the cake - a cake which is rich and tasty thanks to the effort and hard work of the Wessis.
The West Germans are deeply disappointed by the fact that their wealth is not sufficiently appreciated as a contribution to the greater social good. In reality, the bigger their BMW, the more the Ossis suspect them of being dishonest. In the eyes of the Ossis, the Wessis amass wealth to alleviate their subconscious guilt for the losses and destruction of World War II, which had a significantly more devastating affect on the citizens of East Germany.
The current pace of economic development is too slow for both sides. According to the Ossis, the unification of the two Germanies brought a short economic spurt, but only to the Western part. The Western part used the Eastern one primarily as a market. All-important managerial positions in the process of transition were occupied by citizens of West Germany. In addition, adds Echel, the media treated all achievements of the German Democratic Republic as illegitimate, seeking to underestimate the progress there. They proclaimed anti-fascism a "decreed attitude", full employment as "lack of real management", the absence of homeless people as "life in containers", cultural achievements as a result of "state financing and, hence, ideological pressure", and sport success as "the real doping of the nation". There could only be one conclusion: the legitimacy of Western German superiority leaned on the failure of East Germany.
For the citizens of the East, the negative appraisal of their overall life has taken a toll, but the social stratum most profoundly affected by this appraisal has been the previous political, economic, and cultural elite. This layer of society unexpectedly felt it had spent its vital energy on a failed system.
A comparison of the research studies of the two German authors reveals other differences in behavioral patterns. For example, Bruhler finds that:
East Germans shake hands each time they meet; West Germans do it only on formal occasions;
In restaurants and public spaces, East Germans sit down at a table already partially occupied by other people much more often than West Germans;
When queuing, East Germans stand much closer to one another than West Germans;
a woman who does not work is perceived by East Germans as unemployed; West Germans perceive her as a "wife";
East Germans feel like losers in the process of transition and more pessimistic about the economic future of Germany;
East Germans are more often opposed to sending German troupes abroad;
a higher number of East Germans (70%) voted against the military engagement in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, compared to West Germans (50%);
compared to the West, East Germans feel that social and economic rights are more important than civil rights.
The authors of the book "Berlin", neutral observers of the German socio-cultural fabric, add their observations on the differences between the citizens of the no-longer-divided city. "For the Wessis, the Ossis are simpletons and a bit provincial; for the Ossis, the Wessis are arrogant know-it-alls. ... It seems that the Ossis do not understand diplomacy and, because of this, they always say what they mean without fear of embarrassing their counterpart. The Wessis understand it all too well, probably due to the American influence." (11)
Ingolf, cited above, sums up his picture of the nature of the citizen of the East and his/her susceptibility to manipulation with a somewhat bitter tone: "The East German is, in and of himself or herself, a conservative, uninterested, small, neutral individual who is easy to manipulate. He/she had his/her country closed down, without lifting a finger. In that period of time, they were all happy to have supermarkets and get drunk on Western beer. Now, they are all unhappy about being unemployed. Here, it is not like in Italy where people easily talk about things that are painful for them. The Germans, primarily those from the East who lacked contact with people from the Mediterranean, are different. They are closed and introverted." (12)
There is an additional element which has divided the two societies of the reunified Germany: the relationship to the collective memory. Historians, and some citizens, became aware of the political will of the central government to cancel the historic presence of the communist German state on the ground. This started with the statement by Kohl's chancellor, Michael Sturmer, on the night of 9 November, 1989: "Whoever controls history controls the future". The iconoclast wave kicked in immediately at the beginning of the nineties and focused on the monuments and toponymy of East Berlin (13). After this, East Germans "openly accused West Germany of wanting to colonize East Berlin and of wanting to impose its own vision of history on the East without involving that history's most direct actors in the negotiation process" (14). The question of respect for history and each side's memorials has become one of the most important debates and has contributed to the further reinforcement of two German identities, both in the East and in the West. Historians have called this phenomenon, which took place after the fall of the Wall, a massive "German re-nationalization".
Old walls fall in the howl of historic winds and new ones emerge. In their shadows, on the ashes of the old walls, new European fears brew. The major fears of the citizens of the European Union can be provisionally summed up as follows:
the fear that the newly-arrived, primarily from the former communist states, many of whom currently have strong national identities, might bring elements of their political culture, their undemocratic and conflict-prone behavior, into Europe;
that the new members of the EU, located primarily on the Eastern and Southern ends of Fortress Europe, might not be sufficiently strong guarantors of the impenetrability of the Union's borders. A fear of invasion from the East is rooted in the heart of the Union;
that the entry of the so-called "new poor" could erode the subsidies and important EU funds which benefit less-developed regions in the Union;
the fear of mass migration inside the Union and the relocation of citizens from countries which became members of the EU in its last enlargement.
On the other hand, the fears which haunt the new EU members are becoming ever-more specific and numerous. Among them are:
the fear of becoming subjects of new European hegemony;
the fear of having an inequitable role in international politics and culture and the mistrust of small states towards a possible new cultural domination by big transnational centers;
the fear that cultural exchange might be mono-directional, with loss of national and regional cultural identity as a consequence;
the sense of inequality and new marginalization. Most of the new member states are neither rich nor politically stable. This fact represents an important element in the changing of the Union's internal balance, the relationship between the first nucleus of European states considered large and powerful, and the new peripheries, or semi-peripheries of Europe. Being in Europe's center or at its margins, in all meanings, remains one of the major issues in the debate on the future of Europe;
the fear of having to "pay too much" for entering the Fortress with the costs being unemployment, unequal starting points for competitive economic policies, and obligatory financing of and participation in transnational military forces...
Even this provisional list could be expounded upon. Let us add something else: the concern the European identity is undefined and insufficiently discussed, that there is an absence of debate on its cultural roots or "European values", and that there is a general lack of clear, common goals which include ethical goals, not just economic goals. In addition, there is pressure from the "Big Brother" on the foreign policy of the continent; pressure to make a distinction between "bad Europeans" and "good ones", between the "old" and "new" Europe; divisions which certainly do not help create an authentic autonomy of European political thought.
But let us take a look how these issues are reflected in the thinking of its citizens, or better, the new tenants of the European House.
A few days before 1 May, 2004, the day of 10 new member states' official entry into the European Union, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera published interviews with young people from the new-member countries. The questions were meant to define the spirit of the young generation ahead of entry into Europe. Europe's future citizens responded to the question, "What would you change about entry into Europe":
Dana, Czech Republic: "It might be an advantage for the economy, but I believe that the Czech Republic could lose its identity, its traditions, and, in the end, it could be transformed into a German province. We had no choice: by saying 'no' to Europe, our economy would have died again, like in communist times."
Mari, Estonia: "Young people will have the chance to work and they might look for better salaries in other countries of the Union. Estonia will be abandoned. Only the elderly will remain here, at least in the beginning. Estonians, nationalist as they are, will return after a while, but the Russians will definitely leave. Prices will rise. The rich will become richer; the poor will become poorer. Yet, this second transition is necessary. Estonia is a small ex-Soviet country and it cannot make it by itself. We do not have to worry about loosing our identity." To the question "What do you think of the Euro?", Mari responds, "I do not like it. I want our currency."
Zita, Lithuania: "I think we will have better opportunities for studying, and finally, we will be able to travel without visas. However, there is the risk of losing our traditions, our language; we are a small country."
Kamila, Poland: "I do not think there would be any direct benefits, either for me or my country."
Normnunds, Latvia: "Finally we will not have to show our passports to cross borders. Being part of the EU will also mean a lot of economic support, meaning new roads. However, I am worried. In the last 10 years, Latvia has changed radically. I fear they are doing many things in a hurry."
Peter, Hungary: "There will be advantages and disadvantages. At airports I will no longer have to suffer the shame of going through border controls with the non-EU passengers, as if I were Chinese. I have always felt Hungarian and European and I think that 1 May will acknowledge something which is already written in our history. However, people are afraid Hungary will lose its identity and that it will have a minor role. They fear that, yes, we will be part of Europe, but as a second-rate country." (15)
The responses of these young people demonstrated a dim, lukewarm enthusiasm and an awareness of the difficulties of entry. Their responses reflected the widespread fears of the common people. The experts also did not shy away from a similar view. The fears concerning the risk to national identities were complemented by anxieties concerning the fate of ethnic minorities in distinct European areas, in the "first" and "second" Europes. This can be demonstrated by the Hungarian minorities which, with the shifting of the border of the EU, find themselves further distanced from their motherland. This is also the case with the Italian minority in Istria, a peninsula which, throughout its history of being dominated, has never been internally divided or separated by a border like it currently is divided by the Schengen border. The same thing is happening to the Russian minority in the Baltic states. Nobody cares about this. And what can be said of the other peoples and countries who have remained distant from the process of inclusion in the European organism, to which they nevertheless belong, culturally and historically?
Because of this, according to the Croatian sociologist, Europe will take everything of value. It will lease, exploit, and magnify the results of its conservative restoration. In this sense, it will create order in the countries which are, at present, excluded from the enlargement. It will direct them and influence their paths. All these countries (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, and now also Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria and, to a certain extent, also Turkey and Greece, although the latter is already "inside"), share the same fate of being the underbelly of the continent, the backward South of Europe.
"Europe behaved in a very particular way towards all the peoples and communities in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. It did this in the past, it is doing it now, and it will do it in the future. This behavior is marked by contempt and lack of concern about the nuances, the features that distinguish Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Bosnian, or Bosniak identities. Europe can not even remember basic geographic facts about these lands. It knows next to nothing of the history of its East and South. It does not know the history of the Balkans. It only partially knows the history of ancient Greece, the place where its own identity originates and to which it is eternally indebted."
Croatian sociologist Stipe Suvar re-poses the question which the great Southern Slav humanist and writer, Miroslav Krleza, posed three decades ago: "What are we to Europe, and what does Europe signify for us?" Attempting to formulate the answer, Suvar cites Pierre Bourdier's idea that Europe is undergoing an era of restoration of neo-conservativism. But, unlike in the past, now it does not glorify aggressiveness or the concepts of blood and territory. "It confirms and glorifies the power of the financial markets and, within this, that type of radical capital which by nature accepts only maximum profit. This means unbound and unstoppable capitalism which, with the establishment of advanced models of power such as the management and techniques of manipulation, rationalizes and reaches maximum levels of effectiveness." (16)
This is a severe appraisal in many ways representative of the moods of the excluded class. But Suvar is not anti-European. He is aware there is no alternative. He adds: "The destiny of Europe will also be our destiny." And, in order to confront this destiny, one needs to learn to think and behave "like a European". This is a topic which would definitely create, if not a digression, then definitely a broad and articulated debate in the core of Europe which still needs to learn the grammar of overcoming old and new divisions and the inherited ruins of the bipolar world.
Like the young Europeans who were interviewed and the Hungarian philosopher Ferenc Feher, the great majority of citizens who will find themselves seated, for an indeterminate period of time, in the crowded European waiting room know that the road is one-way only. And it cannot be denied that the choice of the citizens of the East, Center, and South of Europe to opt for democracy contains elements of an existential decision. They are aware that they are not deciding on a political arrangement, but on freedom. They also know that by going for something else, they would lose, in addition to freedom, also what they are and what they want to become.
1. The International Society of Political Psychology, 25th Annual Silver Jubilee, July 16-19, 2002
2. Testimony by Ingolf, musician from East Berlin, in: Alessandra Bartali e Tania Masi, Berlin, ed. Clup guide, Novara, 2005, p. 45
3. Vesna Pusić, Utopias, in Erasmvs, no. 6, Zagreb, 1994, pp. 31-39, translation M.R.)
4. Vesna Pusić, ibidem, p. 36 (translation M.R.)
5. Ferenz Feher, 1989. - Dekonstrukcija političkog monizma, in Erasmvs, Zagreb 1994. p 59. (translation M.R.)
6. Eva Hoffman, Exit to History, Penguin Books, New York, London, 1993, p. 19. (translation M.R.)
7. György Konrád, To Cave Explorers from the West, cited in Slavenka Drakulić, "Come siamo sopravvissute al comunismo riuscendo perfino a ridere", il Saggiatore, Milano, 1994, pp. 7-8
8. Alessandra Bartali, Tania Masi, Berlin, ed. Clup guide, Novara, 2005, p. 43
9. See Gisela Ehle, East-German & West German Identities; ought there to be a conflict? in "Systems in Transition", Reder 2003, Berlino/Budmerice 2003, pp. 99-101
10. We can also find the same concept in Hoffman. When she talks of the new relationship towards the books and the position of writers from Poland under transformation, the author notes a visible irritation spread among established writers who witness the flooding of the Polish book market with publications which are considered "trash" in the West, and with the written trash they are drowning in. They see themselves as better, more serious in literature, and perceive their role as "impoverished guards of noble conscience." See E. Hoffman, op. cit. p. 16e
11. Alessandra Bartali, Tania Masi, Berlin, ed. Clup guide, novara, 2005, p. 79
12. See Alessandra Bartali, Tania Masi, op. cit. p. 45
13. See Patrizia Dogliani, Berlino capitale, in Storica, 17/2000, Donzelli Editore, p. 54
14. Patrizia Dogliani, op. cit. p. 36
15. All the interviews are taken from Corriere della sera, 28 April 2004, pp. 14-15
16. Stipe Šuvar, Hrvatski karusel, Razlog, Zagreb, edition 2004, p.572. (translation M.R.)