A Foreigner in his Home Country | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 21.11.2001
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Culture

A Foreigner in his Home Country

Some people still say that Biermann's deprivation of citizenship was the beginning of the end of the GDR.

Back at home after 25 years

Biermann himself was shocked and at first devastated by the news. Today he is ironically thankful to the party that "left him go to democracy 13 years before the others".

In December 1989, Biermann was invited by East German activists to perform in the GDR for the first time in 25 years – and the last time too. It was bitterly cold in Leipzig's huge fair hall. But Biermann will never forget the concert in front of 80,000 people. It may have not been a triumph, but it was at any rate a great personal satisfaction.

Today, when he travels to East Berlin he does not feel the same contentment: In an interview with DW-TV earlier this year he said: "I don't give a damm about the west, but the east breaks my heart".

Today Biermann says he has both friends and foes in both parts of the country – and that the same goes for his fans. "In a way I personify the unification: both the good and the bad of it".

The author lives with his family in Hamburg. He has just published a book on his deprivation of citizenship - and the reactions which followed. His being thrown out was one thing. The reactions, he says, were the real surprise. lb





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