Thorp and Sailor's Grave Board

One in Five Germans Wants the Berlin Wall Back

BDx13 - 9-8-2004 at 02:35 PM

Wed Sep 8,11:06 AM ET
By Alexandra Hudson

BERLIN (Reuters) - Fourteen years and a trillion euros after reunification one in five Germans would like to see the barrier that split the country during the Cold War put back, a survey found Wednesday.

A poll by the Forsa institute found a quarter of western Germans wishing the 15 million east Germans were cut off again by the Berlin Wall, living in a different state, while 12 percent of eastern Germans wanted out of the united Germany.

Many westerners said they were disgruntled because they have had to foot the bill for reunification -- 24 percent said they had suffered financially as a result.

In the formerly communist east, which has twice the unemployment as in the west and where wages are still below western levels, one-third said they were no better off financially because of unification and the end of communism.

The lingering divisions have erupted in recent months as Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government attempts to reduce unemployment and welfare benefits, touching a nerve in the east.

Westerners are sometimes disparaged as arrogant know-it-all "Wessies" while easterners are at times referred to as 'Jammer Ossies' (whinging easterners) in the west.

The Forsa survey, based on interviews with 1,002 easterners and 1,005 westerners, highlighted a feeling in the west that easterners are ungrateful for the financial support they have received since 1990 and they should do more to help themselves.

Thirty-seven percent of west Germans said the 80 billion euros ($96.28 billion) the government pumps into the east each year was too much. But almost a third of east Germans thought it too little, Forsa said.

Two top diplomats recently said they were alarmed at the poisoned atmosphere. Former West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and former East German Foreign Minister Markus Meckel said they feared the east-west gap was growing.

BDx13 - 9-8-2004 at 02:36 PM

have you ever been to germany? or berlin? before or after the wall came down? what were your impressions? mary, any input?

moron - 9-8-2004 at 04:55 PM

I never knew this. It's interesting. I wonder if the Communist party will make a rise again like it did in Russia a little while after that government crumbled and became democratic. It happened pretty much for the same reasons... people didnt really see any improvement in their standard of living after the switch to democracy except maybe that there was more organized crime. That was a bunch of years ago that I heard something about that, and I havent really heard much since. The news report I saw made it seem as though Russia could go back to becoming Communist at any minute.

DAN SMASH - 9-9-2004 at 04:32 AM

I went years ago, i liked the place.

mary - 9-9-2004 at 05:34 AM

some of my familiy used to live in the GDR, i went there once when the wall existed

when you came to the boarder they did like check anything and watched out if you had any stuff that was not allowed in the GDR, like records for example (bands like the stones were forbidden) and there were soldiers with guns all around; pretty frightening, especially when you?re just a little girl...

in berlin, where the wall was, there were like streets seperated into west and east. people which used to be neighbours lived in two different countries after the wall was built.

people were shot when they tried to run to the west and there are a lot of horrible stories about how people "left" the GDR.
a friend of mine fled with his parents when he was about 7 years old.
my grandmas sister lived in east-berlin and when their brother died (in west-germany) she was not alowed to leave the GDR to go to the funeral. i mean you had to ask if you wanted to leave the country for a holiday or so and it took months till they told you if you could go or not.

when germany was reunited kind of everybody was happy about this, nobody wanted the GDR back. and now, parliament plans big changes in the social system concerning health care and how to treat people who have no work and everybody goes crazy.
most of those peope who want the GDR back have like no clue what these changes really are about, but the all in all situation over here is like not really good. a lot of people have no work and it seems like it?s not getting better that soon...

mary - 9-9-2004 at 05:41 AM

by the way, i was born in west-germany and lived in east-germany from 2002 to august 2004 and you really can like still see the difference. i lived in magdeburg and there?re parts of the city where the buildings are ruins

it?s fucking sad that so many germans still think of germany as east and west

i don?t want the wall back