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5530011506 be6e760970 b
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5530022552 ea584b7169 b
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four heads
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car
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5530018780 4f865daaf5 b
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5530017600 0cec618f46 b
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boy with pointed cap by trash
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5530014424 941c70a2c4 b
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5530012982 ecb9a5385f b
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5530012330 f38a539857 b
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5530023046 0102ef3311 b
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big, glasses
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through window into field
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5530006866 e2ec59acea b
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5530005720 e82505d601 b
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clouds, wire, man
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5530004442 cdddb2e755 b
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Eho over mantelpiece
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5529463665 e53b5cfcef b
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5529466153 14a9f93ed0 b
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slaughter
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arm in arm
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5530057558 96911989aa b
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5530055834 c08897171b b
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5530053000 55001958dc b
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laughter
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5530050210 9bd3bf30a3 b
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5530048732 915e3c2f2b b
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boots, cups
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preparing the bonfire
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5530041606 e9b523b102 b
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boy
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5530037306 2a529f7917 b
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5530035982 e30802a7ce b
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5530032222 26d939f35e b
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5530035138 5ab511fded b
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5530025268 90a266b347 b
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5530024164 9110ac8e58 b
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5529417787 fd6bd88273 b
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5529427831 1956e19d45 b
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5529426313 183f97cbf3 b
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5529425575 7da68ff360 b
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smoker
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guy in the door frame
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5529424861 7515fccd1e b
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elder couple
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enjoying a smoke at the table
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5529418957 81650d8a65 b
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5529431873 fd931a44a9 b
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5529415365 7c54e7e395 b
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sitting in front of the house
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5529413061 fa568f46fd b
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5529411435 ba26348746 b
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5529410235 4be6a8256d b
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5529409383 3ce4e992c0 b
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on the motorcycle
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5529407715 ff08820720 b
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lamppost in the rain
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man in arm chair feet up
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hands
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pig
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5529449853 8491713d32 b
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5529448455 6e675be435 b
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bus stop neonazism
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front garden
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boy inside holding something
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voodoo house
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children from below
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boy's fist
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old manson
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The Village of Repnitz is situated in the northeast of Germany in the county  of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, about 20 miles south of the Baltic Sea and the  larger waterfront city of Rostock.   During East German times, Repnitz existed  as a farming community and made up part of the breadbasket of East Germany.   It had a very low population and one of the highest alcoholism rates.  I was  invited to Repnitz by an artist named Malte Brekenfeld who grew up in the area.   After the Berlin wall fell, Malte bought an old mansion in Repnitz where he  could paint and live as an escape from the city life of Berlin. When I arrived  in 1990, roughly one year after German re-unification, the entire village of  about  forty  people  was  unemployed.    Malte  was  respected  in  the  village  because his father was a well-known veterinarian for the region, and also  because he could drink a lot, he worked hard, and was smarter than everyone  else in the village.  I was the first American anyone in the area had ever seen.   

During the day people usually worked in Repnitz chopping wood, messing  with cars, fixing something, or just driving over the open fields.  By afternoon,  if people weren’t drunk already, we would get together and drink until  evening,  and  then  again  after  dinner.    We  often  met  at  Walter’s  trailer  wagon for the corn alcohol that we drank shots of with our bottles of beer.   Occasionally in those first years in Repnitz a visitor or someone joining or  departing our drinking would salute with a “Sieg Heil” which would echo  through my mind without  comprehension.  I was left to wonder about how  this could have been said to impress me , whether  it surfaced in response to  the dissolution of peoples’ identity as East  Germans  and the extreme state of  unemployment  that  replaced  it,  whether  it  was  a  hangover  from  Eastern times said to buck Soviet occupation and out of ignorance of the  history it summoned up, or if the source came from an embarrassed dismissal of  the East German state that had proclaimed to have been founded by resistance  fighters.  No one ever spoke of it.  I lived in Repnitz on and off between  1990-1992, and for part of 1994 and some of 1996-97.  Most recently I was  in Repnitz this past winter of 2003.  Much is changed, but the images that  follow  are  from  the  small  window  of  time  (1991-92)  when  Repnitz  was  still  engaged  in  its  East  German  customs  while  struggling  with  being  absorbed into a new state.