Celebrating Twenty Years of German Unity

Why do many Germans from the East still speak of themselves as "Ossis" and refer to their cousins from the West as "Wessis?" Will they ever really become one country?

After reunification, life went on in the West virtually unchanged. But for those in the East, life as they knew it ceased to exist. People read their Stasi files and learned that best friends and spouses had betrayed them. Friendships were destroyed. Many lost their jobs and with their jobs, their identity.

Despite all of the negatives associated with the cruel regime of the former East Germany, many are experiencing "Ostalgia" -- a nostalgia for the old times. They still love their two-stroke, smoke belching Trabis. Former Stasi prisoners, dissidents, politicians, artists, comedians, Ossis, and Wessis all put their spin on a wide range of issues.

Original footage of East German life shot by the filmmakers is interwoven with gripping personal stories.

Watch the Trailer

To mark the 20th anniversary of German reunification, The Wende Museum hosted an advanced, rough-cut screening of the documentary film Germany Reunified: The Other Side of the Wall, produced by Gabriele Hayes and directed by Mark Hayes with support from The Wende Museum.  The film explores the ongoing cultural impact of Germany’s reunification in 1990.  This special screening was preceded by a reception held in Barnsdall Art Park and followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmakers, the Museum’s Executive Director Justinian Jampol and moderated by KCRW host of Politics of Culture Edward Goldman.