Pedestrians and cyclists pass by the installation 'Lichtgrenze' (Border of Light) along a former Berlin Wall location on the banks of the river Spree, at dusk in Berlin November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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With East Germany in the limelight of celebrations of 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, people who spent the Cold War in the capitalist enclave of West Berlin can be forgiven for feeling overlooked.Born the same year as the Wall in 1961 to a German mother and Chinese father, Chong is less concerned about competing with the east than reminiscing about what she and many others refer to as a happy West German "island" surrounded by the GDR.West Berlin had no military draft and remained afloat on generous Western subsidies.As West Berlin lost its privileges, the former GDR sucked up subsidies for reconstruction, leading to the relative decline of the west that is now being stemmed with refurbishment projects like glamorous "Bikini Berlin," a 1950s landmark by the zoo.The reappraisal of West Berlin is partly down to what some consider an excessive focus on the GDR in anniversaries set to continue next year with the 25th anniversary of reunification. In a poll by Infratest, 54 percent of people in the west and 51 percent in the east said they had had enough of GDR history, though they still believed it should be taught in schools.
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