In late November 1989 I came to Berlin. I had spent the summer in New York, staying with a friend who at the time was the editor of an international magazine. On her cable TV and in the many different newspapers she had at her home on the Upper West Side, I had seen and read about an autumn full of demonstrations in East Germany, embassies taken over in Budapest and Prague, unrest in Berlin and Leipzig—it was clear I had to go back to Germany.
I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, and could not continue trying to orient myself in New York, a city that offered nearly too many competing opportunities.
Born in West Germany, I had grown up in an atmosphere that was still highly influenced by the postwar need, re-democratization, and Cold War turmoil, in which the bloc system was a brutal reality, and East and West were unchangeably separated and threatening each other with nuclear wipeout. The fall of the Berlin Wall was a historic moment I could not allow myself to miss.