Ms. Merkel, Reconstruct This Wall!
A depressing, if perfectly predictable, poll from Germany shows that a whopping 19 percent of Germans desire a re-division of the country on Cold War lines. In the former East, unemployment is still considerably higher than in the former West and, as such, extremist parties are making electoral inroads: The fascist NPD won 6.5 percent of the vote in the state of Mecklenberg-Vorpommern and the Left Party (formerly PDS; formerly the East German ruling party SED) has consistently garnered around 20 percent of the vote in the former East.
The Australian on the poll numbers, released in conjunction with the 17th anniversary of reunification:
Nineteen percent of respondents surveyed said the country was better off while it was divided, while 75 percent said they were glad the Wall that kept easterners captives of the communist bloc for 28 years had fallen.
Remarkably, a full 21 percent of the country's 16.7 million easterners felt nostalgic about the concrete, barbed wire and armed guards that separated them from the west.
The poll conducted by independent opinion research firm Emnid found 74 percent of easterners had felt like second-class citizens since Germany reunited on October 3, 1990.
About the same share of westerners—73 percent—said they did not believe easterners were at a disadvantage.
Full story here.
reason contributing editor Glenn Garvin on Anna Funder's brilliant, moving account of the Stasi terror here.