To mark the anniversary of German reunification on 3 October 1990, photographer Julia Horbaschk and writer Mark Pawlak spoke to residents of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a German state bordering Poland, about their experiences.
Christian Bartolomeaus, head of the chess club at Greifswald University: "I come from a pastoral family and in the GDR pastors were suspected to be politically challenging. Therefore, a child whose parents were party members came first."
Dr Lischke, GP, Heringsdorf: "There was no private treatment available before 1989. All GPs were state-governed and had the same salary independent of their number of patients. With the fall of the Wall, doctors could specialise."
Klaus Kottwittenburg, Mayor of Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin: "The new generation thinks totally differently, so it’s difficult to say but it will take at least one or two generations, maybe 50 years or so, until former East and West come close."
Jörg Gansau, train driver: "Just before the fall of the Wall we bought a new washing machine. It cost us 3,000 ostmarks. A few weeks after reunification we found that the new washing machines were far more modern and they only cost a third."
Julia Bradler: "Now we get bananas or cherries - that wasn’t possible before. We didn’t even know the word cherries then! Also cream is much cheaper now."
Rainer Dumke, youth hostel warden in Heringsdorf: "In GDR years the hostel was sent guests through a youth travel organisation in Berlin. Individuals could not make bookings, everything was government-regulated. After the reunion things changed."
Schley family, B&B owners, Heringsdorf: "The fall of the Wall affected us strongly. When the currency changed we lost out against the deutschmark and insurance also became compulsory and had to be paid for privately."
Gert Nitzsche, former vice-president, Heringsdorf Police: "Security in the East was higher than in the West. Money wasn't worth that much therefore robbing wasn't carried out very often. Nearly every woman had a job. Every child had a kindergarten place."
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