Voices Of East Berlin

Talking to young and old alike, an American visitor discovers an abiding love of East Germany -- and little desire to reunify

Perhaps I have been in a different East Berlin from the one I have been reading about: triumphant, its citizens ready to join their brethren in a single, capitalist Germany. The East Berlin I visited last month was a gray city whose citizens seemed to be reeling, exhausted, sad, confused, angry. Hopeful, yes, of rebuilding a noncommunist socialist democracy, separate from the West but in some way affiliated. Wary of capitalism and worried about any prospect suggesting reunification.

I am not a political scientist. But I have seen people in shock before. Never before have I seen a whole city so...