Constructing East Germany: Interpretations of GDR History since Unification
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AbstractThis book: The system transformation after German unification in 1990 constituted an experiment on an unprecedented scale. At no point in history had one state attempted to redesign another without conquest, bloodshed or coercion but by treaties, public policy and bureaucratic processes. Unification was achieved by erasing the eastern political and economic model. However, in the meantime it has become clear that the same cannot be said about social transformation. On the contrary, social and cultural attitudes and differentiation have continued and resulted in deep divisions between West and East Germany. After unification, the injustices of politics seemed to have been replaced, in the eyes of most former GDR citizens, by unexpected injustices in the personal spheres of ordinary people who lost their jobs and faced unknown realities of deprivation and social exclusion. These are the main concerns of the contributors to this volume. Incorporating new research findings and published data, they focus on key aspects of economic, political, and social transformation in eastern Germany and compare, through case studies, each area with developments in the West.
CitationIn: Dennis, M. and Kolinsky, E. (Eds.), United and Divided: Germany Since 1990, 17-35
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