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Letter from Mecklenburg

My grandmother fled our ancestral home in east Germany with her seven children in 1945. In 1991, we returned to bury her there

Bismarck famously remarked that if revolution broke out across the world it would hit Mecklenburg a century later. Today, the eastern German state hugging the Baltic coast still seems behind the times. The taciturn ways of the local people have earned them a reputation for being introverted, if not simple. There are few transport links, only a couple of universities and barely any cultural monuments. The beautiful landscape of rolling hills, lakes and forests is largely given over to agriculture.

Since unification there has been much job-letting in agriculture as the agricultural production co-operatives-known as LPGs in East German days-have…

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