Photos taken by Janina in an alley in Eisenbahnstraße. The graffiti in the left snapshot says ‘Nobody has the right to obey.’

Historia de dos países: Parte II

Las diferencias que se perciben entre Alemania del este y del oeste no solo tienen sus raíces en la separación después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial sino también se vieron influenciados por los eventos que siguieron la unificación. Aunque la unidad es un gol admirable, aceptar las diferencias puede eventualmente llevar a un mayor aprecio.
Germany, Western Europe

Story by Janina Cymborski. Translated by Melina Gutiérrez Hansen
Published on March 1, 2022.

This story is also available in GB br de it kr ru tr



El 3 de octubre es el día Nacional de Alemania, la fecha de la re-unificación en 1990. Pero muchos alemanes del este prefieren conmemorar los eventos del otoño de 1989. En Leipzig, celebramos el 9 de octubre de 1989, cuando 70000 personas se manifestaron pacíficamente por un país libre, temiendo que sufrirían el mismo destino que sus compañeros in la Plaza Tiananmen en China, donde francotiradores cubrían los tejados, observando, esperando la orden para disparar. Pero esa orden nunca llegó. Las preocupaciones que mi familia y otros tenían mientras veían las manifestaciones eran reales.

Nacida en Leipzig y volviendo a vivir allí, yo participo en las celebraciones del 9 de octubre, caminando por el centro de la ciudad con miles de otras personas, llevando velas, escuchando a través de altavoces los cantos de la gente de 1989. Con lágrimas en mis ojos, veo imágenes de la apertura de las fronteras en Berlín el 9 de noviembre de 1989 – un mes después de las manifestaciones en Leipzig. Me sorprenden las expresiones faciales de las personas que son libres. ¿Cómo debe uno sentirse habiendo vivido confinado toda su vida y por fin ser libre? Pienso en mi familia y la vida que tuvieron que vivir, la vid que yo fui destinada a vivir si no fuese por la valentía de estas personas. Después de 1989, mi familia y yo pudimos salir del país y formar parte de un mundo nuevo y libre que nuevos conocimientos y opiniones.

Pero esto no significa que automáticamente debo cumplir con una nueva orden social. La importancia de cuestionar el orden existente es la lección más importante que aprendí de la revolución de 1989. Es exactamente por no haber nacido en un país libre que la libertad para mi es lo contrario de la conformidad. Libertad es encontrar mis propias respuestas para las preguntas más fundamentales: ¿Quién soy yo, quién quiero ser y qué tipo de vida quiero vivir? Lo que separa los Ossis de los Wessis es la percepción que ningún orden social queda grabado en piedra y por ello puede ser cambiado (como ya muestra mi certificado de nacimiento, expedido por un país que ya no existe).

Hoy en día el desempleo sigue en mi familia y el dinero sigue siendo un problema. La RDA sigue formado parte de nuestras vidas, no solo en nuestra memoria. Habiendo vivido en dos sistemas, mis padres aprendieron a las duras. Su buena voluntad ha sido abusada muchas veces. Hemos tenido que empezar de cero en un mundo en decadencia. Veo que mis padres lamentan el sentimiento de pertenencia que habían perdido y que yo nunca tuve. En Alemania del este, ellos pertenecían a una comunidad, a gente que estaba en la misma situación. Siendo sincera, comunidad en la RDA fue a menudo coercitivo, caracterizado por una dependencia mutua: “Yo trabajo en administración, ¿si yo te ayudo a conseguir un piso, tú me puedes conseguir una bicicleta para mi hijo?”. Comunidad era necesaria para sobrevivir, proveer para tu familia y manejar las carencias siempre presentes. Era para llevarse bien, no para avanzar. Pero a través de necesitar y cooperar con los demás, siempre estabas acompañado. En 1990, perdimos toda ayuda y cooperación, a cambio de tener riqueza y beneficios a costa de otros. La unificación fue una bendición y una maldición. Mucho se ganó, quizás más de lo que yo jamás podré entender. Pero yo creo que se perdió cierta humanidad – una que solo puede existir en situaciones extremas.


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Janina Cymborski

Janina Cymborski

Born in East Germany, I still live here, enjoying the freedom of an unconventional life I did not really plan on having. After college, I worked in the travel industry in various positions in sales and at one point I decided that it was not enough. I quit and went back to university. I will be doing my master’s degree in political science hopefully next year and apart from that engage in various activities. I learn Arabic and vice versa support others learning German. I volunteer for different projects, both here in Leipzig and Europe-wide. I lack money, sometimes employment, and certainly I could have chosen an easier path. But so be it. I obviously took the road less travelled  and I hope it will one day make all the difference. As Rosa Luxemburg put it: Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

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