The Berlin Wall Fell And Thousands Left This East German City. Now Some Are Returning
Added 11-09-19 08:06:02am EST - “Picturesque Goerlitz has appeared in films like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Inglourious Basterds. But a lack of jobs led thousands of residents to go elsewhere. The city is trying to woo them back.” - Npr.org
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Goerlitz lost roughly half its population after Germany's reunification in 1990. An estimated 15,000 apartments remain vacant. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption
Goerlitz lost roughly half its population after Germany's reunification in 1990. An estimated 15,000 apartments remain vacant.
When he was 22, Octavian Ursu watched the Berlin Wall fall on television from his hometown of Bucharest, Romania. As a college student, he had taken part in the bloody democratic uprising in his own country, and he cheered along with those peacefully tearing down the symbol of a divided Europe.
"After the Bucharest uprising, I graduated, and suddenly the border was open and everything was free," he says.
He packed his bags for the new, free Germany, where he found a job as the principal trumpet player for the symphony orchestra of Goerlitz, a city in eastern Germany near the Polish and Czech borders. When he arrived, he took a look around and wondered if he had made a mistake.
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