I spent my childhood (from 1974-1978 and 1980-1987) in Germany, because my father was in the Army. This was during the cold war and Russia was our sworn enemy. We were in Germany protecting the world from communism and the evil Russians.
In 1997, I ended up moving to Russia. Things had changed a lot since my childhood. The wall had collapsed and Russia was no longer a communist country.
It felt strange to be in Russia, to be in a country I was taught to hate, to mingle with people I viewed as enemies.
While I was in Russia, I made friends and I learned they were a lot like me. They too had been taught to fear and hate, just as I had been. They too were curious about life on the other side of the wall. They had many of the same desires and hopes for the future as I did. We weren’t that different at the core of our being, and I was able to make friends with those I used to view as enemies.