Like many of my other classmates, I have not been keeping up with news in Germany. Although I might have briefly learned about the separation with the Berlin Wall, it never occurred to me that unification is not as idealistic as it seems. From reading President Steinmeier’s speech, it is noticeable that he is very optimistic for Germany. He is well aware about the divisions between the East and West that are still prevalent today, but as @goob has mentioned, "the President proposed that the people of Germany not adopt an attitude of ignorance, but rather understand their difference and work hard as a whole to further their country." I think this was a good summary of President Steinmeier's attitude towards Germany which is well spoken and thought out, so that the citizens can, at least, sense a feeling of togetherness. It is also very surprising to hear the difference in economic opportunities between the two region. From the video, it seems that a lot of Eastern Germans feel like they will always be "second class" no matter how hard they work. There was a part, however, that caught my attention as well as @yelloworchids. In the speech, it mentions how some people still wave the old flag of the German empire which is shockingly similar to the American Confederate flag. I like how @yelloworchids described this attitude of waving the old flag as "applying traditional values to modern issues is not very sensible" because in a lot of (conservative) Americans' perspectives, the Confederate flag is more of a symbol of proudness and heritage which I believe can be interpreted similarly to Eastern Germans who wave the old flag. Either way, it seems very unnecessary to boldly display something that will obviously make both sides uncomfortable.
Cohesion takes time and the agreement of the same ideas. Even though 30 years might seem a long time compared to how long I lived, I don't think it can easily wipe the memories of the people who went through that point in their lives. If both sides are unable to reach the same economic level equally and cannot leave their differences behind them, it makes it very difficult for anyone feel unified. There was a man in the 6 minute video who talked about how a holiday doesn't just automatically bring people together. I agree with this because a holiday can sometimes feel like a coverup to reality and not really addressing the internal issues that are happening between the East and the West.
As for me, this is similar to my understanding ideals in the Southern States in the U.S. It is not my interest nor is it my business to judge.This type of separation is similar to Hong Kong and Mainland China. Although Hong Kong is their own thing, it has been sold back to Mainland China. Hong Kong has their own government (sort of) and way of life--from British rule--that is completely different from Mainland China's. Even though some Hong Kong citizens still identify as Chinese, it is really difficult to just reunify two different nations that do not practice the same governments.
Thank you for sharing what is happening in Germany! Looking forward to learn more about places outside of the U.S. I am also very curious about what is going with COVID19 in Germany.