Only ordinary people

EASTERN EUROPE: Thomas Ubbesen and his wife have written a human-like account of the people who lived on the right side of the wall.

Permanent contributor to MODERN TIMES.
Published: 2020-02-13
We were the people - Meeting Eastern Europeans 30 years after the fall of the Wall
Author: Thomas Ubbesen
Gyldenda, Denmark

Let's start with Sorina and Paul. Today a married couple living in Budapest, but it could have gone very differently. Sorina grew up in Romania under Ceaucescu. Paul lived his youth life in West Germany. They meet when Paul is vacationing on the Black Sea. It's the kind of love that just breaks down all of a sudden. Is unstoppable and pervasive.

But love under communist rule is not necessarily possible, and not at all with a westerner. Sorina can't forget Paul, and she throws herself into a risky escape with fake Cuban passports and an awful lot of things that can go wrong. And it does. She is detained and smoked in jail, where she shares a cell with a 20-year-old woman who has killed her baby in desperation. There is cold and hunger. The dogs get better food than the women.

'I can't understand the nostalgia. It is probably the lazy and the stupid who miss it

But after three months, Sorina is allowed to leave prison. It comes unexpectedly and only later does she find out that her mother has bribed the judge and thus probably saved her daughter's life. Years later, she also finds out that the mother has been paid by the state to oversee her daughter, thus tarnishing the love that might have been. However, the story ends halfway happily, because after living separate lives, raising families and having children with other people, Paul and Sorina reunite after 25 years and now live together in the apartment in Bucharest.

The story is very telling We were the people. A book that will approach an understanding of the people we rarely hear about in the larger media, unless you just have to use an ordinary person to make it all more appetizing and understandable. IN We were the people here are basically just ordinary people. It is their life that is at the center of it all.

Photo: pixabay
Photo: pixabay

A journey of good time

The basic idea behind the book is very simple. Thomas Ubbesen, who for many years has been a foreign reporter at Denmark's Radio, has been traveling in what we once called Eastern Europe. With him is his wife Anne, who is also a journalist. Together, they set out a route that leads them along and…

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