The City of Königsberg is part of history now, its fate largely forgotten if not outright ignored. Yet today, and every year since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, many German expellees originally from that ill-fated city and surrounding area undertake a trek back to their former homeland to look for that which was forever taken from them: their place of birth and the communities they grew up in. These are the things by which most of us are able to define ourselves, ., "where are you from?". Often referred to as “homesickness-tourism”, it finds now mostly aging people or their descendants looking for their cultural and ancestral roots so cruelly ripped out from underneath them after hundreds of years of settlement in East Prussia. Here, the worst kind nostalgia reigns: to find yourself in a present with little or no continuity with the past to latch on to, and putting into question the very memories you have of it and yourself being nurtured by it.
As West Germany was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic was established in East Germany in 1949. The creation of the two states solidified the 1945 division of Germany.  On 10 March 1952, (in what would become known as the " Stalin Note ") Stalin put forth a proposal to reunify Germany with a policy of neutrality, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations.  This was turned down; reunification was not a priority for the leadership of West Germany, and the NATO powers declined the proposal, asserting that Germany should be able to join NATO and that such a negotiation with the Soviet Union would be seen as a capitulation. There have been several debates about whether a real chance for reunification had been missed in 1952.
Earlier this week, Saakashvili climbed onto a roof to avoid capture by police and was later broken out of a police van by protesters amid clashes with law enforcement.
Saakashvili became a regional governor in Ukraine in 2015 at the invitation of President Poroshenko. However, the two men later had a falling out, with Saakashvili accusing the president of corruption and calling for his removal from office.
Michael Bociurkiw, Global Affairs Analyst and former OSCE spokesman, told VOA’s Ukrainian Service that this week’s events are bringing the country to a dangerous point.
“With the extreme actions this past week taken by the Poroshenko administration, it appears that Ukraine has reached a dangerous pivot point. The wins and joy of the last Maidan have been thwarted by powerful, corrupt forces, and Poroshenko is showing himself to be the weaker side,” Bociurkiw said.
“[Saakashvili’s] arrest this evening only serves to fan the flames of discontent,” he added.
Saakashvili came to politics in his native Georgia, where he helped to force out that country’s government during the 2003 Rose Revolution. He then served as president of Georgia for a decade before his political fortunes declined.
Poroshenko invited Saakashvili to Ukraine in 2015, appointing him to be governor of the important Black Sea region of Odessa. However, after the two had a falling out, Poroshenko rescinded Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship in July while he was out of the country.
Saakashvili later returned to Ukraine and pushed to garner opposition against the president and others he has accused of being corrupt.
Ukrainian prosecutors say they have evidence that aides to Saakashvili received $500,000 to finance protests from Ukrainian businessmen with ties to Russia. They accuse Saakashvili of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russia. Saakashvili denies the allegations.
“If the charges are true, then this is a sad end to the meteoric career of Mikhail Saakashvili. If the case breaks down, it will usher in new elections as there will be no confidence domestically and internationally in the current authorities,” said Adrian Karatnycky, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia.
Karatnycky told VOA’s Ukraine Service that Saakashvili is at least guilty of escaping police arrest.