Such rapid economic transformation, compared to the rest of Eastern
Europe, could hardly have been achieved only on the amount of capital
available, though that amount was huge. Certainly, the Germans possessed
much more capital than anybody else in the region, and they used their
money to transform state property into private property. In addition to that,
however, they had the know-how--the expertise with and the firsthand
experience of modern markets. As much as capital, these factors belonging to the sphere of business culture played a crucial role during the
transformation. And these are exactly what the rest of Eastern Europe
lacks. What this means is that in other countries the goal of obtaining a
successful economic transformation will be much more difficult to
realize than it was for East Germany, and perhaps it will not be achieved
in the foreseeable future by all.
The following chapter discusses in detail the move from communism to
capitalism and democracy in Russia.
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France ( Boston: Little
Brown, 1901), p. 102.
Perhaps because of this fact the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the
successor to the East German communist party, consistently received almost 20
percent of the East German vote at the local state and federal elections in 1994 and
nearly 35 percent of the vote in former East Berlin.
Jeffrey Kepstein, "Weak
Foundations under East German Reconstruction," Transition, Vol. 2, 26 January 1996, p. 36.
These countries are Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
Vojtěch Cepl and
Mark Gillis, "Making Amends after Communism," Journal of Democracy, Vol. 7, No. 4, October 1996, p. 119.
"Disappointment and bitterness are growing throughout Eastern Europe as
hopes fade for a quick transition to a market economy. The problems East Europeans now face are far more difficult than anything they could imagine two years
Leif Rosenberger in "Economic Transition in Eastern Europe: Paying
the Price for Freedom," East European Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3, September 1992,
"Some people argue," wrote Sunley, "that with regard to Eastern Europe
acquaintanceship with the past will serve you much better than a knowledge of
recent events. Indeed, in this part of the world, to know the past--especiay the
distant past--is [emphasis in the original] to understand the present." Johnathan Sunley
, "Post-Communism: An Infantile Disorder," The National Interest, No. 4,
summer 1996, p. 3.