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Anybody who has an interest in German culture and history remembers the pictures on TV about the wall coming down. I myself was one of the lucky ones who were able to go to Berlin in the winter of 1989 and collect a piece of the Berliner Mauer (the Berlin Wall). We saw the East German Trabants and Wartburgs drive across the border among the enthusiastic cheering of the newly united German people. After a significant boost for the West German economy under chancellor Helmut Kohl whose promise of the blooming territories (blühende Landschaften) is still used today in various political discussions.
After the first years of euphoria and happiness a rising unemployment rate throughout the newly united Germany with extremely high numbers in the five new states in the East reality changed into skepticism and nostalgia among the formerly divided countries.
The peaceful revolution started in cities like Leipzig and Dresden with huge crowds chanting “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the people). Without the will power of the East German population and the economical state the “DDR” (GDR) was in, the unification would still be a fiction today.
I would like to start a discussion with our readers concerning their thoughts about the unification and especially what you think of the current situation Germany is in after the opening of the borders to the former “Warschauer Pakt” (Warsaw Pact). What do you consider advantages and disadvantages of the new situation almost ten years later? Were you affected by the political changes personally and what is your opinion about the development?
die Mauer – The wall
müssen – to must, to have to
weg – away
der Weg – the way
blühen – to bloom
die Landschaft – the countryside, the territory
wir sind – we are
das Volk – the people
DDR (deutsche demokratische Republik) – GDR (German democratic republic)
Warschau – Warsaw