posts 16 - 30 of 34
soleilmagic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

German Unity

I didn’t know much about the history of Germany, of course I had heard of the fall of the wall but never what if entailed, so I was surprised by what i have learned and read and especially the lasting impacts that the separation that still occurs today. The disparities between the east and the west are still prominent even if Germany is unified, some of the students had written that, “ In these states(the east) the people are poorer, get lower wages and unemployment is up to 7.5% compared to 5.9% in the west. One reason for the financial disadvantages for the people living in the east is that none of Germany’s big companies (DAX-companies) are placed in the east. Also, the east is underrepresented in the German government.” There still needs to be a lot done in order to bring the East into the same or at least a similar consistency with the West on an economic and political level. There is huge political turmoil in the east, the ranging opinions cause for a growing division and also migration from east to west which isn’t helping the disparities in the East.

In the President’s speech about the day of German Unity it is prevalent how excited he is about the unification, he says, “And we can look back on the path that we as a country have travelled together – towards becoming a reunited, free, democratic country in the centre of Europe. What good fortune! What an achievement! Of that, we are rightfully proud on this day – and this feeling of pride is something that no pandemic can take away.” He does mention the unity in 1871 and the brutality it entailed and compared it to the unity created 30 years ago and obviously it was better than the one prior, but there are still some huge issues between the East and West and the incongruity that I feel the President should mention rather than celebrating. I may be wrong since there wasn’t much I knew about Germany and the Unity and issues they face today, but I formed my opinion or these readings and video which thankfully allowed me to become more educated.

Hector_Zeroni
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

German Unification

What intrigues me the most in regards to German Unification is how the effects of the division between the East and West can still be seen and felt today. The East still ends up being at an economic disadvantage which creates a major impact on the German Economy. With how vastly different both sides are, it has created a situation where many East Germans may want to flock to the Western half of the country. I find this interesting as this is the kind of situation you see occurring in other parts of the world where there were major divisions between the Communist side and the Capitalist side during the Cold War. For example, the entirety of the former Soviet Bloc is far less developed when compared to nations in the Western Bloc. It has likely caused many people to move from Eastern Europe to Western Europe. Another example of this comes from the Korean Peninsula. South Korea is a far more developed country compared to North Korea causing those who are able to flee North Korea to move to the south.


The rise of far-right political parties such as Alternative for Germany could possibly be the result of Anti-Communist sentiment. Communism has often been associated with the Far-Left and we see the effects of that in places like the United States. In the U.S, Conservatism was on the rise back in the 60s and 70s as the Cold War was going full swing. Conservative politicians were especially tough on Communism and the Soviet Union, and this was very appealing to the American population. With things such as the Reagan Revolution, this would solidify the United States as a Right Wing nation. German Unification has likely played a major role in the rise of right-wing ideologies as those who once lived in East Germany would want to do everything they can to ensure Communism doesn’t rise again.


As East germany continues to be rebuilt, I hope the leaders there take notes on what happened to other nations, such as the United States, when they had to rebuild. For example, after the Civil War, the U.S was in the process of Rebuilding the south, but it was never completed. The effects of this can still be seen today as the north and the south are culturally and politically very divided which has caused great tension from within the United States. As East and West Germany continue to rebuild, I hope the people in Germany will continue to learn more about those who live on the opposite side of where they live, as this will prevent any further divisions. Nations like Russia thrive when powerful nations, such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany are divided.


Bumblebee
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Following Germany's Lead

Similar to @Regina_Phalange, I understood prior to this assignment that Germany had been split by the Berlin Wall, but I did not know the difference between the two sides or the circumstances around which the split occurred. After watching the video and learning about the history, I found the most interesting part to be how stark the differences were between the East and West when they were separated, particularly the economic situations. I was also shocked that only a fifth of the East’s population moved to the West, given the conditions there.

President Steinmeier’s general attitude also surprised me. I wasn’t aware that Germany was such a close ally of the United States, so I wasn’t expecting to hear such praise of our country.

I also noticed the president put an interesting spin on the phrase, “We are the people,” in which he changed it to “We all are the people.” He then goes on to elaborate that that means all ethnicities and religions in Germany are still Germans, and that the task they face now is to find out “how the many different people in [Germany] can live together peacefully.” I think President Trump could definitely take a page out of President Steinmeier’s book. Now more than ever, amidst divides in the American people on the basis of race, economic status, and politics, we need to find a solution that allows us all to live together.

Another approach that President Steinmeier made that the leadership of the United States could learn from is addressing the fact that there are issues, like the pay gap between eastern and western Germany. Our country’s current leadership has a habit of wanting to sugar coat the state of our nation, which in the end, helps only the politician. It does no American any good to believe that our situation regarding the economy, race relations, and coronavirus is better than it is. If we believe that, we will never attempt to do any work to fix it. Like @239bid0073 said, acknowledging the issue is one of the most important things to be learned from President Steinmeier.

This kind of leadership would positively affect the cohesion of a nation. Once everyone gets on the same page about what the issues are and what the best way to solve them is, we can begin to work together. I believe that President Steinmeier has taken the first step for Germany with this speech, and that the winner of our own upcoming election, whoever that may be, should follow his lead.

mcsd153
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Unite (not divide) and Conquer

I was very limited in my knowledge of Germany and the split between the West and East. I had previously heard about the Berlin wall, but in all honesty I was not aware of the long backstory behind it. What was most interesting to me about the last 30 years in Germany was that there is still a differentiation between those from the east and west, although they had been “unified” years before. Many of those interviewed said they understood the distinction between the two, with class, unemployment rate, and racial/political views.This showcases how difficult unity and cohesion can be even after physical and social barriers have attempted to be broken, simply because people don't want to participate in it. I think this speaks to the factors that go into the cohesion of a nation; it only works if everyone wants it to, and if individual people try to close the divide between themselves and others. I think that 239bid0073 captured this when they said “Unification is one thing, and that is what has been done, but after years separation separate cultures started to form.” Even if people want to unify, sometimes it is so difficult to break free from the separate cultures that have already formed, that it is deemed “not worth it” and everything stays the same.

A quote that spoke to me from President Steinmeier’s speech was “Thanks to eastern and western Germany growing together, and thanks to immigration and integration, our country has become more varied and diverse over the past 30 years. The task we face now is finding out, time and again, how the many different people in our country can live together peacefully.” He kept this general attitude throughout the speech, putting emphasis mainly on the political aspect of the unification, but also the social, interpersonal side. I think this quote, and view in general can be applied to America's current division over BLM and racial equality. Even after slavery ended, the division between the north and south remains prevelant and strong. While this is not identical to the events in Germany, it is similar in the way that there is still such a strong racial divide, even after barriers had been pushed down.

I think it is hard to understand other regional identities without seeing them for yourself and putting yourself in their shoes. For example, even within our own city (Boston), there is a divide between neighborhoods and their income, race majority, and unemployment rate, as there is in Germany. It is shocking that just within one city, there can be such a strong divide (this all goes back to redlining and systemic racism, but still interesting to note nevertheless).

Dolphin42
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Reunification of Germany

It’s interesting to learn about the current situation in Germany with the divide between the West and the East. I have learned about the Berlin Wall and the Cold War in history class but I was not aware of the disparities between the east and the west that are still ongoing. I found it interesting that a wall separated two very different kinds of governmental system. I would also like to learn more about what it’s like to shift from a communist society where everything is controlled by the government to a capitalist system where everyone is guaranteed more freedom.

There are many aspects that affect the cohesion of a nation. The people’s political opinions are a huge factor in determining the unification of a country. In the “Germany, The Berlin Wall And 30 Years Of German Reunification | Meet the Germans”, there are mixed responses to the question of whether the Germans feel that their country is united. I wonder if the cohesion of Germany means to completely erase the eastern ideas or incorporate the eastern ideas with the western ideas. One thing that hinders the cohesion of Germany is the stereotypes associated with the “East” and the “West”. The economy can definitely bloom in the eastern states if the people and the government are willing to accept the people in these states and not see them as “second class citizens” just because they lived in an communist society.

I learned that President Steinmeier generally acknowledged the injustice and the problem of low employment rates in the East. He mentioned that there are many people from the East that have visited the West but not many people from the West visited the East. I think that instead of being indifferent, the people from the West should start to accept the people from the East as they all live in an united country. One thing to take away from his speech is that people should put their differences aside and unite to solve the problems. America has always been politically divided and due to the difference in opinions, problems such as racism and police brutality still exist. If only the American can unite together to solve problems, then the United States would be a better place.

ThankYouFive
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

A lot of progress still needs to be made

I found it very interesting how the reunification of Germany didn’t fully unify the people of both sides of Germany, as political views are very different in the east and the west, and stereotypes of the other side still exist in the minds of many German people. Just because the country is now one does not mean that the people are, and the contrast between the two groups will probably still exist for a very long time.

For a nation to be cohesive, constant interaction between the various parts of the nation is required, so that people from one part will not view people from other parts as foreigners, but as fellow citizens. Unfortunately, such interaction requires people to be forced into situations that they may find uncomfortable, but people must get rid of their closed mindsets and try to understand the lives and experiences of people from different regions in order for there to be any sense of cohesion.

As for President Steinmeier’s address regarding the reunification of Germany and the problems that Germany still faces due to its former division, I thought that his attitude could not be any more different from that of President Trump here in the US. While it seems that President Steinmeier wants to build unity and trust between Germans from the west and Germans from the east, President Trump constantly tries to create division and anger among the American people, and he has also caused the tension between democrats and republicans to grow. It is truly painful to watch this election year happen, and it seems like every day there is a new controversy that has made our political situation even more chaotic.

In order to understand different viewpoints and identities that I don’t usually have contact with, I try to visit other places in the US as often as I can. I have a lot of family in the south, and although we have pretty similar political views, it is still fascinating to hear about how they view America and the various problems we have currently.

ThankYouFive
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Bumblebee on October 08, 2020 21:29

Similar to @Regina_Phalange, I understood prior to this assignment that Germany had been split by the Berlin Wall, but I did not know the difference between the two sides or the circumstances around which the split occurred. After watching the video and learning about the history, I found the most interesting part to be how stark the differences were between the East and West when they were separated, particularly the economic situations. I was also shocked that only a fifth of the East’s population moved to the West, given the conditions there.

President Steinmeier’s general attitude also surprised me. I wasn’t aware that Germany was such a close ally of the United States, so I wasn’t expecting to hear such praise of our country.

I also noticed the president put an interesting spin on the phrase, “We are the people,” in which he changed it to “We all are the people.” He then goes on to elaborate that that means all ethnicities and religions in Germany are still Germans, and that the task they face now is to find out “how the many different people in [Germany] can live together peacefully.” I think President Trump could definitely take a page out of President Steinmeier’s book. Now more than ever, amidst divides in the American people on the basis of race, economic status, and politics, we need to find a solution that allows us all to live together.

Another approach that President Steinmeier made that the leadership of the United States could learn from is addressing the fact that there are issues, like the pay gap between eastern and western Germany. Our country’s current leadership has a habit of wanting to sugar coat the state of our nation, which in the end, helps only the politician. It does no American any good to believe that our situation regarding the economy, race relations, and coronavirus is better than it is. If we believe that, we will never attempt to do any work to fix it. Like @239bid0073 said, acknowledging the issue is one of the most important things to be learned from President Steinmeier.

This kind of leadership would positively affect the cohesion of a nation. Once everyone gets on the same page about what the issues are and what the best way to solve them is, we can begin to work together. I believe that President Steinmeier has taken the first step for Germany with this speech, and that the winner of our own upcoming election, whoever that may be, should follow his lead.

I completely agree, and I thought it was especially interesting when you mentioned how our leadership sugar coats things. I have found this to be true, especially whenever Trump speaks or tweets. He is constantly making the pandemic look less serious than it is, as well as saying that 200,000 deaths is not a massive deal. In America, this is a common thing for politicians to do, but I believe that this practice has increased during Trump's presidency. I wonder if politicians in Germany often do this as well, but a lot of it comes down to which politicians you support.

ThankYouFive
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by 239bid0073 on October 08, 2020 14:02

From the outside looking in (with the information from the sources provided) there still seems to be a lot of division. This is represented in the sports teams, politics, and the everyday life of citizens. Unification is one thing, and that is what has been done, but after years separation separate cultures started to form. And to actually be one again cultural immersion is going to have to take place. In which the end result is a blend of both Eastern and Western culture.

One of the most interesting things to me is the fact that the daily lives of the people in the East and West differ greatly, even after 30 years. Hearing about this only a couple of times I thought that there would be no difficulties in unification and that those of East Germany would find themselves living much better than they did without any complications. And while they say they are more comfortable now, there are still many complications. One of the biggest changes as mentioned by razzledazzle8 was the change from a socialist to capitalist nation. While this provided many positives the people from the East were still met with many obstacles such as unemployment. The fact that 30 years later East Germans are still feeling the impact daily of unification, shows just how profound this was.

I think the biggest thing that affects the cohesion of a nation is the leadership. While there was an East German in a powerful position of chancellor there still is a lack of representation. Without equal representation you are not going to hear the sides of all people. I think more representation could benefit all. As broskiii said, an important thing to note about President Steinmeier’s speech is his positive outlook. While he knows he still has a lot to do he seems very pleased with the steps that have already been taken. It is so important to have someone leading with optimism and hope.

I think the United States could learn a lot from the German unification and especially President Steinmeier. The biggest thing that the leadership in the US could learn from Steinmeier is that it is important to acknowledge. Acknowledge and state the problems that are present. Instead of denying or avoiding them. I think another thing that is important is for the US to realize that other countries are struggling internally as well. And while the US may be struggling more it is encouraging to know that others are in the same situation as you. The Cold War lasted about 45 years. This means 45 years of tensions, division, and suppression. And Germany seems to be on their way to recovering well. The US has not experienced any major internal wars since the civil war which only lasted 4 years and was 150 years ago. Looking at this the US should be way more unified than it is today.

Germany, you are a beacon of hope right now. I am going to read more about this topic and stay up to date on it because I am anxious to see the progress that willed be made in unification.

I agree with your point that a nation's leader has a lot of impact on how united the nation is. I personally think that Trump has failed to unite the nation, and has actually made it even more divided. While I do not know a lot about President Steinmeier, I do think that he is trying to create unity among the different parts of Germany, and I would be interested to learn more about what steps he is taking to build said unity.

beantown9
WEST ROXBURY, MA, US
Posts: 7

German Unity

I don't know that much about the history of Germany, but i was still surprised on what i learned about Germany. I also thought all the history of Germany being two countries, West and East Germany. One aspect that interested me was that that each side had a name for it's people. I was surprised to hear that there was a big gap between East and West Germany, as the Woman told us in the video of Germany history. I was kinda surprised to hear that unemployment was higher in the East still and average wages were lower in the East too. I also thought it was pretty cool and fascinating that Germany celebrates October 3rd, which is the day of German union. That holiday for them made me think of us celebrating the 4th of July in America. I think political views or beliefs can affect the cohesion of a nation. I think in order for a nation to form as a united whole, there has to be at least some peace and agreement within all of the nation. I learned in President Steinmeier is a positive person. I think from the speech, it gave me the impression that he is a nice and friendly guy, who is pretty optimistic. He is also very logical and understanding which is something our president right now could use. One example of regional identities that we don't have too much contact with here in the U.S. is Canada. When you go across the border you have to stop and get your passport checked. Some people might visit Canada often and ight have family up their but for me, i have only been to Canada twice. Even though i think their are some cities and parts that are very nice and beautiful, i would say we have little contact with them from the U.S.

Facinghistorystudent
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Division is countries across the globe

In the last 30 years in Germany, there has been division, a moment of unity and then more division. Germany, just like any other country has divides in social class and many other places, but what surprised me the most about Germany in the past 30 years is the idea of division of the types of people from east to west. All of them speak the same language, some share relatives, but because some of them were under a different type of government for a period of time, it changed everything. This affects the cohesion of a nation because when there is this kind of divide, it is difficult to get people to all agree to follow a certain set of laws.

President Steinmeier is very positive in the sense that he sees how far the country has come, but his overwhelming optimism might be what is getting in the way of the country making further strides. As great as the holiday is for the country, the country is not really united culturally. I found razzledazzle8 and broskiii’s point about the cultural distinctions in the United States,just simply based on the place you live. This interested me because like they said people try to pretend that these stereotypes don’t exist, but everyone knows they do because they themselves do not want to be associated with the other group.

Now, although I did not know too much about German history and the dilemma that caused the split, it is so easy to see the parallels between different countries. We can see it now in North and South Korea. Even though they split a very long time ago, their government and cultural differences have created such a barrier that no amount of unity holidays can fix.

Wyverary
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Divisions

I feel like most people our age in the United States don’t really know that much about the Cold War, as most history courses stop after the end of World War II. I didn’t know about the divide between East and West Germany until relatively recently, and it’s strange to think that the Berlin Wall came down while my parents were in their twenties. Growing up, I had always thought of present-day Germany as a prosperous country similar to many Western European nations, and it is amazing to me that Germany has come so far in the mere thirty years which have passed since Germany became unified.

I think the major differences between the regions which were formerly East and West Germany are somewhat similar to those between areas of the United States. New England, where I live, is very different from other regions such as the Southeast, both in terms of lifestyle and the values people hold. As a result, most of the policies about COVID-19 have been administered at the state level, leading to a wide variation in responses, and the number of cases and deaths per capita in each state. I feel like a stronger national response could have really helped us early on, so I would be curious to hear what you think of Germany’s handling of the pandemic.


HCK6614JD
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Recognizing The Differences

The most surprising aspect to me was the lack of unanimity among the people of Germany in regards to how they identify themselves to this day. Many people are still labeled for where they live today as if people are refusing to acknowledge the unification and welcome it into their lives.Obvious from their attitude, the west rejects the east as part of their identity as the people of Germany. As President Steinmeyer said, “When eastern Germans talk about themselves, this always includes the west – because the west always plays a dominant role in their lives. Yet many stories told by western Germans do not include a single mention of the east.” This goes to show how separated both sides are to this day although the younger generations are making efforts to set aside the differences and peacefully live with their eastern counterpart.

I think the attitude of the leader/president and also its people affects the cohesion of a nation the most. If the leader doesn’t show any attitude towards the idea of coheresion, its people would not follow suit because there was no example set for them to do so. I learned that President Steinmeir definitely holds a very positive and hopeful attitude towards the unification and has great plans for the future of Germany. He was being very transparent with the country’s situation and agreeing with @Bumblebee, I think this is definitely something that our president can learn and draw from seeing how he darts around so many topics that need to be addressed and is always trying to make excuses for things that happened. One thing to take away from Steinmeir is that in order to fully unify our nation we definitely need to set aside our differences in order to face more difficult situations. It’s shocking to see how easily forgotten the word “united” is when people start shortening our country’s name from the United States of America to the US and how a country who has only been united 30 years ago is taking bigger steps towards unification than a country who takes pride in unification in name. We are only united in terms of geography but all it takes is just one closer look to see how many cracks and flaws are in our so called unification. Like many others have said, I don’t think it’ll be easy to understand different regional identities that I have little contact with because I simply have not experienced what they have and don’t understand what they go through but an effort could definitely be made on my part to put myself in their shoes and try to learn to the best of my ability as a step towards recognizing and accept the differences of the people who live in the very same country as me.

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

America and Germany's Similar History of Division

Something I thought was interesting, when learning about the East and West of Germany was how similar the situation was to the United States. With the rise in popularity of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the States, people have been hammering home the point that systemic racism is very much apart of this country's foundation and continues to affect people of color to this day. The effects of racist policies such as redlining are still largely prevalent to this day regardless of the fact that they were implemented in the 30s. Redlining, to put it simply, was a form of discrimation in the States where people could be denied housing or housing loans based on the color of their skin. This resulted in people of color being placed into lower income areas, thus creating segregated communities which are still very much evident to this day. In my own neighborhood there is a very obvious divide between the white population and other various races. This specific practice in the States came to mind when learning about the Berlin Wall because they were both ways of separating the upper class from the lower class and even though they were removed years ago, the effects are still felt today. In East Germany, like the video tells us as well as the German students, the average wage is lower, there is a higher unemployment rate, and the overall quality of life is worse than that of West Germany. Apart from this, there still remains tension between West Germans and East German as they both have bias towards one another. Same goes for Americans. People of color often make less than their white counterparts, are more likely to be unemployed, and are therefore more likely to live in low income areas. In America, being born in a low income area, especially as a person of color, can be extremely difficult to crawl out of thus the cycle of segregated areas repeats itself. Although redlining and the Berlin Wall were very different methods of segregation, they both had the same goal of division and that goal was ultimately achieved.

dailychristmascountdown
Posts: 7

The Unification of Germany in Relation to Modern Times

It is interesting to learn about how Germany is plagued with a striking social divide still 30 years after the unification of East and West. I find it fascinating how the history of political and economic differences between East and West Germans has developed stereotypes between the people. In the video “East Germany, The Berlin Wall And 30 Years Of German Reunification,” one woman explained how East Germans might be described as “penny-pinchers.” I assume that this stereotype is directly tied to East Germany’s history of being less economically stable under Socialist rule, in contrast to West Germany’s Wirtschaftswunder. This made me think about how these types of generalizations are very common in America. Having a mixture of many different types of immigrants in Boston, it is common to hear stereotypes, often negative emerge. This plays a part into what makes people feel like outsiders within their own nation. It makes me wonder how different from East Germans felt 30 years ago and how different they might feel today. One woman in the video mentioned how her children were born before the Berlin Wall came down and they still feel like “Ossis.” Similarly in America, some people I know who come from immigrant families might say that they identify with their parents’ cultures more than their American culture.


The cohesion of a nation is directly tied to how respected the citizens feel. When there is political unrest and injustice, such as with the East Germans, the only way to strengthen the cohesion of the nation is to make each member of society feel equally respected. In America, this ideal seems impossible to achieve, but if there are solid efforts to help less fortunate people, like the Solidaritätsbeitrag to help the economy of East Germany, hopefully we can get closer to equality.


I agree with @coral27 that the social divide between East and West Germans is relatable to the social and political divide between the North and South in America. It is weird to think about, but the differences between the North and South stem all the way from Revolutionary times. The Revolution being centuries ago and modern Americans still feeling the striking divide between regional states makes me suspect that the differences between East and West Germans may perpetuate for a very long time.


@PineappleMan30 brought up a good point in that we now have the power of modern media to try to understand the experiences of our neighbors. Especially since the unification of East and West Germany was only 30 years ago, there are many people who can share their experiences in either region and explain their hardships. In a few generations, this opportunity will cease and people may lose the understanding of the difficult history during the Cold War.

crunchysnowball
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Neutrality as the base to equality

An aspect of the last 30 years of German history that is most interesting to me, is just the sheer length of it all. I hear in passing of the unification of Germany or the fall of the Berlin Wall in history classes or in the news, but I always felt like those pieces of information were not only so far removed from me in terms of physical distance, but also in terms of time. It surprised me (a reaction that I accredit to the very USA centric world history that I’ve been learning), that the unification only happened 30 years ago. Given how recent the unification was, I don’t find it surprising at all that there are still struggles with German identity and stereotyping. The United States has been unified for a far greater time than Germany has, yet we still deal with immense identity struggles, stereotypes and racism. In this way I feel, much like many others in this discussion forum, that we are more alike to Germany than we thought. We both have groups of people who are underrepresented in politics, media, and even sports. I think that this has raised a question for me on how does this affect the younger generations in the former West and East Germany. I’ve noticed that groups of people who are not as represented in certain aspects of life, tend to internalize that and shy away from pursuing those things. For example, diverse depictions of Asians and Asian Americans in the media, depictions separate from the stereotypes. If there are any students from Ingolstadt that have relations to East Germany, is it possible that you face the same types of conflict?


As far as nation cohesion goes, I strongly believe that the leader of the nation has a major impact. If we have a leader that expresses heavy belief in only part of the nation’s ideas whilst denouncing the rest, inequalities will only thrive on. While I was reading through President Steinmeier’s speech, it was comforting to me, only because it has been quite some times since we have had a president that elegantly acknowledges the good and the bad of their country. Yes, it is always good to remind the people of the progress we have made as a country, but as @Bumblebee said, “It does no American any good to believe that our situation regarding the economy, race relations, and coronavirus is better than it is. If we believe that, we will never attempt to do any work to fix it”. I admire Germany’s president’s recognition of the economic gaps and differences that exist between the two groups in his country, as well as the social and cultural differences as well. Having a leader like that, in my opinion, gives the people a neutral base to fall back on. However, I have only met Germany’s president through a translated speech, which presents my bias on everything, so I wonder what are the general attitudes towards President Steinmeier, especially from a young adult’s point of view.


The only way to understand regional identities that you have little contact with, is to force self education about these people. Go travel to those areas, speak and interact with these people. I think that it is very hard to try to understand people through extremely processed and edited portrayals of groups of people, as these portrayals often give watered-down, and loosely accurate images. In my experience, I was always exposed to what people who share my heritage were like, how they thought, how they lived and felt, etc, but it was not until I travelled back to that country where my heritage originates that I got a full understanding of them.



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