16 November 2009

Trying to find a way into the future

Jane's diary: Wittenberg, 16 November 1989

I'm completely wound up. I am waiting to travel to Berlin. I'm waiting for a phone call at midday from Steve. For two days I've been like this, moods swinging back and forth. I've had to completely reorganize everything to get to Berlin. I was at the police station this morning. I can get out of the GDR, but, unlike the East Germans, I can't get back in again, because I only have a single-entry visa. Steve: what are we going to do if we can't meet? I really think I shall crack. It's three months since we got engaged. Dear God, I hope this madcap plan works out ...

So much has happened but I feel in such a whirl - totally emotionalised. I want to laugh and cry and scream. The atmosphere is changing a bit. I'm not quite sure if all these groups are going to keep up the momentum, now the wall is down, at least psychologically. The prayers for renewal on Tuesday were still full at both churches - suddenly now that the crisis point is for the time being over, people are are suddenly able to pray, not just for themselves as has been the case in past weeks.

Suddenly we remembered that Romania exists. We lit a candle for the person facing the death penalty there. We sent a telegram to the Embassy. People prayed for the schools, for the environment, for not too much greed for western money. One of the students had found swastikas sprayed on the walls in Görlitz - we prayed for the fascists. The emotion was really very different at the service, not so tense or brittle. In some ways that was a shame, the tears didn't prickle behind my eyes, my voice didn't break with emotion. Perhaps a certain amount of normalisation would be good. A time to reassess, think hard, give thanks for all that has happened and try and see a way into the future.

The Bürgermeister has resigned, at the demonstration later in the square they gave his deputy a hard time. The new Bürgermeister will be elected today. As a result of standing up for so long in very cold churches and then sitting in a Trabant for over an hour my back is in all sorts of mess. Very painful. I drank a glass of wine with two of the women in Wittenberg. We listened to Mahler's 4th symphony and tried to sort out our feelings and worries about the incredible almost miraculous events of the weekend. When will the price reform come? Feelings are very ambivalent. Everyone wants to be able to exchange GDR money for western money but will it still be possible to afford bread at home? Things are going to get worse before they get better, that's for sure. Oh dear, that sounds so Thatcherite and smug.


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