For my 25th birthday, my mother gave me 25 pairs of socks, all black. They marked our lowest point. They said all she knew for sure about me was that I had two feet, both size M. It felt like a jumbo pack of estrangement. I didn’t acknowledge the socks. I didn’t wear them. They went straight to Save the Children. They were East German, with an iron grip at the ankle and the name of the factory woven into the sole. It was October 1990. The German Democratic Republic had just become part of re-unified Germany, and my mum had moved to Zwickau, deep in the old East, “to show solidarity”, she said. It was the kind of thing my mother did.
Yudit Kiss: The Summer My Father Died