World: Berlin, 1989-2019: stone wall is gone, but the gaps are here hvg.hu
Nearly three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, both West and East Germany welcomed the reunification of the country split after the Second World War, but thirty years after the collapse of the GDR, much of the cultural, economic and other disparity remains.
Slowly but surely healing of wounds is the main conclusion of a comprehensive survey conducted by Pew Research in Germany. After 1991 and 2009, researchers asked the Germans this spring to see how satisfied they were with their lives on a ten-point scale, then added the number seven and more. In the East, in 1991, the rate of satisfaction was 15 percent, rising to 59 today. And while there has been tremendous improvement in the former GDR, Westerners are still more satisfied, with 64 percent of those giving the grade seven or better.
There is a greater difference in the perception of the future, with 61% of those in the West who think things are going in the right direction, whereas in the East, only one in two people is optimistic about the future. There are also major differences in the perception of the state of democracy and the situation in the EU, for example, in the West, 72% of those polled believe that the Union is successful, while in the East, only 59% of respondents agree.
Not surprisingly, with the results of the provincial elections in recent months, far-right Alternative Germany (AfD) is far more popular in the former GDR: 12 percent in the western part, twice as much in the east, 24 percent in the east. The population of the former GDR is also more open to left-wing extremists: 44% of eastern Communist Party (Linke), a successor organization to the East German Communist Party, have a favorable opinion, almost double the figure for the West. While big parties are steadily losing popularity in both parts of the country, support for the Green Party is growing not in the West, but in the West, with two thirds of those polled having a good opinion, while in the East, only 51%. & Nbsp;
And with extremism comes hatred of minorities: 36, 12, and 48 percent of those surveyed in the former GDR, Muslims, Jews and Roma, had a bad opinion, while in the West these figures were different - 22, 5, and 35 percent. . Incidentally, there have been some interesting changes in the way in which Jews are judged: in 1991, there were more anti-Semites in the western part of the country - 27 percent - while in the East the proportion of hatred of Jews was similar to today.
The differences between Western and Eastern are partly easy to understand - economic reasons. For example, while Germany has spent nearly $ 3,000 billion on a genuine German unit since 1990 - and Germans still pay a solidarity tax of 5.5 percent of their annual tax - the unemployment rate in the East is still higher and locals receive on average 15-20 percent less wages for the same work as Westerners. Not one of the large German conglomerates has moved to the east, and if a promising start-up company is established in the eastern part, it will almost certainly move to the other side after the first successes. & Nbsp;
In East Germany, only one-fifth of the local directors in East Germany were "parachuted" from the west. Even among the chiefs of police or mayors, there are many "wessi" while the most talented "ossi" migrated west. Although the exodus has now stopped, or at least slowed down, since 1990, 3.6 million generally well-educated people have left the former GDR to search for prosperity a few hundred kilometers west. & Nbsp;
Migration has also upset the gender ratio: far more women have gone west than men. This is most evident in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where, for example, forty percent of women of the 1977 age group live in the western part of the country. According to a local politician, Minister for Integration Petra Kopping, the "spatialization" of society is partly responsible for the emergence of extremist ideas and parties in the province. & Nbsp;
The difference is also explained by the fact that only 38 percent of East German citizens believe that the reunification of the country was successful. The figure for & nbsp; people under 40 is only twenty percent, and 57 percent of those surveyed still see themselves as second-class citizens. & Nbsp;
As a result of the escape, some cities in eastern Germany became depopulated, leading to a fall in property prices and, as a result, a counter-flow surge in recent years. This is already evident in several cities, such as the former marina and shipbuilding city, Rostock, which began to deteriorate in the early years after reunification, but now housed in former factory buildings and technology companies, and the population began to grow again. & Nbsp;
The differences will continue to narrow in the following years, but it is noteworthy that while the wall made of stone, reinforced concrete and barbed wire lasted only 28 years - from 1961 to 1989 - thirty years was not enough to completely dismantle the invisible walls. & Nbsp; & nbsp;