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Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 27

Originally posted by broskiii on October 08, 2020 00:18

I want to start off by saying that before reading the articles and watching the video, I did not know that Germany was still culturally divided to this day. They are technically reunited politically, but some East Germans still feel as though the West are foreigners to them, vice versa. So I thought that this cultural divide was really interesting because even after 30 years, not much has changed. These cultural labels, Ossi and Wessi, create a stigma towards their people and society still treats them as if they were still part of the stereotype, just as razzledazzle8 mentioned before. For example, in the US, when someone says that they are for New York, we probably perceive them as someone who always needs to live life at a really fast pace. When someone says that they are from Los Angeles, we imagine them to have this “valley-girl” personality where everyone eats kale or is vegan. These stigmas stress the importance of cultural division. I understand that many people are proud of the region that they came from because they do not want to be mistaken for another region in their state. For example, as razzledazzle8 mentioned before, a lot of suburbian kids tend to say that they are from Boston even if they live in Dedham. While Bostonians tend to correct others when they mention that they are from a neighborhood that isn’t Boston. We also make sure to say that we are from Boston because we don’t want to be grouped with people from the suburbs.

In Germany, the Ossi are referred to as “penny-pinchers” because of their economic catastrophe at the time which led to many Ossis moving to the West. The Ossi still think of themselves as second-class citizens because of their history of transitioning from being a socialist country to a capitalist country. Their wages are significantly lower than the West and the unemployment rates drastically higher. This leads me to comment on President Steinmeier’s speech on the unification of Germany. He compares the unification in 1871, which was brought by force and was due to Prussian dominance, to the unification in 1990. I think that President Steinmeier is really pleased of how his country managed to peacefully negotiate a unification between the East and the West. I am also quite impressed at how they managed to reunite Germany with peace rather than brute force like before. He also mentions how although they are currently one country, they still have a long way to go for both parties to feel equal. I like how their President acknowledges that there is clearly an unspoken cultural difference between the East and the West, unlike our President who denies that racism happens in the US. We can definitely apply this sense of acknowledgement into our own affairs, but our President chooses to ignore it and chooses not to denounce white supremist groups in the presidential debate.

I completely agree with your point about stigmas based on where you live. When I think of someone from the Midwest, I thing of a very conservative, and maybe even a racist person. We often make generalizations because we have an outside point of view of people, and the media often conveys stereotypes even if not everyone is like that.

Ingolstadt, DE
Posts: 2

After 30 years

30 years after the reunification there are still differences between the eastern and the western part of Germany but I think they aren’t really noticed especially by the young population of the country. The reunification is still in some ways an ongoing process. However, 30 years after the unification these issues are not that important to younger generations than for older generations. The German division is not as relevant anymore as it was 20-30 years ago. Now for the most part it’s just another topic you learn about in history class.
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

German Unification

It was interesting to learn about the differences between West and East Germany. I thought east and west Germany would not be different from each other since they only were separated for thirty years, but people in West Germany are doing better. Unemployment in the east is 5.9% compared to 7.5% in the west because most of the DAX companies are in the east. The people in the east feel they are not being represented in government since most of the politicians come from the west.

President Steinmeir is an optimistic person who wants the German people to be united. He recognizes that the people in the East are not doing as well. If we had a president like Steinmeir, our country would be able to solve injustice, bigotry, and racism.

The cohesion of a nation is affected by politics and government. The American people are divided right now and have a hard time finding common ground with other Americans if they support a different political party. The type of government and nation has greatly affects how cohesive the people are. When people feel like their voices are heard and that they have an actual impact on the world, the nation will be more united.

boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Divisions between People

I was very surprised to learn that Germany still faced a split between their people to this day. In the past I’ve seen videos of the tearing down of the wall and from these videos I assumed that the Germans in West and east Germany had actually united. However, even though it has been some 30 years since the unification people still hold stigmas and ideas against each other. However, it is also pretty understandable because thirty years is not that long of a time in perspective. The ideas that were created when the east and west divide still hold today because they were in place for a long time and people don’t really change their ideas that fast. It is also clear that there is an economic divide between the East and the West. The east has more common poverty and unemployment. These factors seem to make them even more discriminated against, being called racist and penny pinchers because of their search for a better life. The idea of unification is tricky because although they are technically unified they are still separated for a multitude of reasons. The president shows that he has hope and wants to solve the inequalities between the people however, I think there isn’t much he can do to stop the way the people feel about each other. He does the best he can to stop the injustices which is encouraging. This attitude could be extremely helpful in America because we have many many inequalities that many of the American citizens want to stop, but our government isn’t doing much to help. If we had a leader with an attitude like this we would be more likely to see changes that we aren’t seeing under Trump. The cohesion of a nation is very based on the attitudes of the people and the attitudes of those in power. Both need to be able to see and hear others. If the government recognizes its problems and the peoples struggles it can result in more cohesion. Being completely cohesive is very hard because people normally separate themselves into groups and have their own ideas. In America for example although we are united we are also divided. This is because we identify ourselves with groups and our states and political groups instead of as one whole body. I don't think America could ever be completely cohesive because of our constant separations that have been put in place for us.
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