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My Germany

After a lifetime caught up in its disastrous history, I can finally begin to accept Germany

By Jens Reich   November 2000

Throughout my life I have dreamed of leaving Germany. And yet now, as I grow old, I have a feeling of resignation, even of mild satisfaction at the idea of ending my days here in Berlin, where I’m writing these words. I have been reconciled to my Germanness and can reflect on it in a calm mood.

Strictly speaking, I am only half-German and for most of my adult life I have been a political dissenter (albeit a quiet one) against the German state in which I lived. My mother was not German in a 20th century sense: She was…

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