In Unified Germany, Split Over the Past

Publication: Washington Post

Author: Craig Whitlock


11/05/2009 - In this fading factory town, built more than a half-century ago to honor Stalin, the former East German dictatorship still generates fond memories.

As Germans prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – a spontaneous burst of freedom that led to the collapse of communism in Europe – the country remains divided in its memories of the old days.

* * *

Overall, east Germans are happier with the end of communism than their neighbors behind the old Iron Curtain, according to a poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center. About 85 percent of east Germans approve of the change to market capitalism, while 82 percent favor the transition to multiparty democracy – higher marks than in any of the eight other ex-communist countries surveyed.

At the same time, some rosy assumptions have sharply faded.

Read the full article In Unified Germany, Split Over the Past on the Washington Post's Web site.

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