Ten Years of German Unification: One State, Two Peoples

By Charlotte Kahn | Go to book overview

stop immediately. It isn't right for a country's native workers to be unemployed while people from across the border do the work for less money. That's not right. And the government is responsible. And this is one of the points the DVU [ Deutsche Volksunion, the right-wing party] is attacking, saying to the people: They're taking away your jobs. And with the construction workers, this message falls on fertile soil.


Dorothea

Two weeks ago, my youngest daughter was scheduled to go on a class trip to a lake in eastern Germany. The day before they were supposed to leave, the trip was canceled because youths in the East were attacking children's groups and school classes that were camping there or were staying in youth hostels; they beat them up and then disappeared.

When something like that happens, it has an impact here in the West. It's unbelievable that something like that can happen, that young people would do such a thing. These aren't radical groups fighting foreigners; these youths are attacking the West German school classes and groups going on excursions. Unfortunately, it seems that the youths in the East consider these children from the West as foreigners of sorts. That's another indication that we haven't yet grown together properly--not even our young people.

Germans still have a lot of work to do. What is urgently needed is a series of organized group discussions. Under competent leadership such discussion groups would present an opportunity to explore differences and similarities among West German group members, among East German group members, and between the two groups. They would most likely discover that there are as many differences within each group as there are between the two groups, and as many similarities between East and West Germans as there are among the members of each separate group. Much can be accomplished when human beings begin to see in themselves the qualities they had previously hidden from themselves by imputing them to others. Such splitting of the good--within--and the bad--outside--is what the Berlin Wall was all about and what the "wall in the head" is all about. It's time to dismantle it.


NOTE
1.
Hans-Joachim Maaz, Das gestürzte Volk oder die verunglückte Einheit [The fallen people or the unsuccessful (crashed) unity] ( Berlin: Argon Verlag, 1991), p. 90.

-67-

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Ten Years of German Unification: One State, Two Peoples
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xxvii
  • 1 - Over, Under, Around, and Through! 1
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - Consensual Rape 25
  • Notes 40
  • 3 - Ossies and Wessies Meet Each Other 41
  • Note 67
  • 4 69
  • 5 - The Right and the Duty to Work 91
  • Notes 111
  • 6 - Women at Home and at Work 113
  • Notes 130
  • 7 - Youth on Their Way 133
  • Notes 155
  • 8 - The Voters Decide 159
  • Notes 181
  • 9 - Last Words 183
  • Notes 193
  • The Speakers 197
  • Appendix 213
  • Glossary 215
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • Index 223
  • About the Author 229
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