|The classic photo of Roger & Jammin’ Jeff.
Kirsi Marie Liimatainen’s ID card from the Free German Youth (FDJ) shows her term expiring in 1989 just two weeks before my arrival in East Berlin for a month-long volunteer program with the very same organization.
It’s been 27 years, and I’ve long since concluded that almost nothing in all my European travels has moved me as much as August, 1989. As I’ve learned more and more about what came before and after in the GDR, this has been re-contextualized again and again.
I need to see this documentary.
Marxist-Leninist nostalgia: “Comrade, where are you today” by Prospero (The Economist)
Kirsi Marie Liimatainen wrote the little poem when she was eight. Now a film-maker living in Berlin and Helsinki, she was born in 1968 in Tampere, a town nicknamed the “Manchester of Finland” for its industrial past. “We were really poor,” she says.
Her poem introduces her documentary “Comrade, Where Are You Today?” which premiered in Berlin on August 11th. “There were two possibilities for poor people in Finland: One either went to church or to the communists.” Her grandparents decided for the latter. “They wanted a paradise on earth, and not after death.”
About my time in the GDR: