How do East Germans view the past? Rosemarie Beier, perusing the comments written in guest books at an exhibition in East Berlin in 1993, titled “Lebensstationen in Deutschland,” (Landmarks in Germany) noticed a conspicuous absence of self-critical reflections on life in the GDR. Almost all the comments expressed

complaints about lost worlds and a movement backwards. There is an almost total absence of the sober, critical view of conditions as they really were that is sought by contemporary social thinkers ... it is terrifying that only a few visitors to the exhibition from the former GDR saw the end of their state as an opportunity for personal development. There is a striking discrepancy between the Vergangenheitsaufaurbeitung [coming to grips with the past] sought in cultural journals and in books and the tasks that contributors to the guest books felt needed to be dealt with ... in the guest books there is a predominance of moods and opinions expressing anger over (assumed or actual) injustices. (Beier, 1995: 12-13)