In the summer of 1989, a 21-year-old student from Cornell University set off to Germany to research the idea of the German Kulturnation, looking at the concept of culture on both sides of the Wall. What she did not know when she set out was that she would soon find herself in the middle of a revolution: a mixture of mass exodus and the masses taking to the streets. While the focus of this book, which is based on her honor's thesis written in 1989-1990, was the concept of culture, she also captured the excitement and confusion of the months surrounding the collapse of East Germany and the rapid reunification of the two German states.
This unique perspective of a young American studying and working in both East and West Germany provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the transformation of a nation.
Penny Smith Eifrig first visited Germany in 1984, at age 16, and her interest developed as she studied in Bonn, Göttingen, Rostock and Erfurt in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Her planned 3-month stint developed into a quarter-century of trans-continental living, sharing her time between Pennsylvania and Berlin with her bi-cultural family.