Ten years of German unification: one state, two peoples

Author (Person)
Publication Date 2000
ISBN 0-275-96357-8
Content Type

Book abstract:

In the year 2000, the two Germanies had been joined under one political umbrella for a decade. This book looks at the personal perceptions of the past decade's events as described in the words of both West and East Germans. The words of real people explaining their personal experiences during momentous social, political and economic upheaval constitute the body of this book.

The chapters address various aspects of the German unification phenomenologically. In particular, the topics of main concern to those interviewed for the book are the opening of the Wall, the antecedents and sequelae to unification, East-West relations, adjustment and adaptation, conditions and expectations at work, women in society, youth and current political attitudes. A chapter is devoted to each of these topics. However, in presenting their various personal experiences and perspectives, interviewees weave many themes around a given topic.

In their own words, members of three generations of West and East Germans, from all walks of life, present their personal perceptions and their perspectives on the decade. A whole range of voices of all ages, backgrounds and experiences are heard in this analysis. The interpretations and conclusions of the author pulls the book together, concluding that although Germany is politically one state, the nation remains psychologically as two peoples, with the hope for the future lying with German schoolchildren and university students growing up in a united Europe and Germany with no significant experience of an enemy on the other side of the Berlin Wall.

Lay readers interested in the human side of current events and those who are curious about the effects of rapid cultural change should find the work of interest, as should scholars, students and researchers of modern Germany.

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