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November 2014 - Nr. 11
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

October was the month for celebrating Germany. The fall of the wall 25 years ago brought about many changes in the country and Europe as a whole. This was commemorated in many different ways, as you can read in this issue. Everyone has a story to tell who was around at that time. I too have a special recollection.

I have a cousin in Mecklenburg, Rostock to be precise. I have only met him once in my life when I was 6 years old and my father took me to meet the Forster family and my grandfather who I did not know. At that time it was still possible to travel east. Later the iron curtain came down and communication became rarer. He became a ship building engineer, building proto types for the GDR and thus he was a “Geheimnistraeger” and only allowed two contacts in the west; as I recall one was my father, the other an aunt, who had fled to Berlin a few years prior. After they had passed away we wrote a few times, but never really connected much. I do recall watching the rising tide of people leaving the GDR via Hungary and I wrote one fine day that all that was left to do was to demand the fall of the wall. I put a stamp on the envelope and mailed the letter. The next day I woke up to the news: The wall had fallen. I could not believe this coincidence. Something my father thought would never happen actually did happen! He did not live long enough to know it, but my mother did.

Sadly, my cousin and I never quite connected even after that happening. When we spoke on the phone he had nothing much to say. I always thought that he still thought that “big brother” was listening. And from what I know he had cause to think so. We totally lost sight of each other, I do not even know if he is still alive.

Walter Stechel, German Consul General, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the WallSo this year is very special to me. It gives time to pause and reminisce what was and what might have been and what is. Some things are good, others are not so much for everyone, at least not yet. But major changes occurred in Europe after these events, something that was given great expression in a concert that involved the countries surrounding Germany at that fateful time.

I hope you enjoy our reports in this issue.

While we shuddered that it already snowed we also look forward to the coming season so full of warmth and light inside.

Until next time

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

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As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.
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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Walter Stechel, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany,

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