The annual survey results in Schloßberg clearly indicate a growing disillusion with the new political and economic system. Questions aimed at tapping support for liberal democracy, for example, show a substantial skepticism about democracy and its ability to solve Germany's problems. About half of all respondents were not sure that democracy in Germany was the best political system, and twice as many people expressed preference for a different system than for the current one. Similarly, less than one third of the respondents believe that the democratic system can solve Germany's problems, and an increasing number of persons (36% in 1992 and 44% in 1994) said that democracy cannot solve the existing problems. While these statements are not yet reflected in strong electoral preferences for non-democratic parties, the Schloßberg survey results show growing support for the right-wing Republikaner party. In 1992, less than 2% of students expressed party preference for the Republicans. In 1994, 10% of all student respondents would vote for the Republicans in the general election; that percentage is 13.5 for students from the vocationally-oriented school.
The socio-political situation in Schloßberg -- as in many parts of Eastern Germany -- thus is one of ambiguity. Many people are able to develop private initiatives and are prospering. Those with jobs -- especially in the state sector and in financial services -- are doing very well. Not surprisingly, these developments have sharply increased the socioeconomic differences in the community.This stratification occurs along many dimensions:home ownership, employment, schooling, and gender. Women's unemployment, for example, is twice the level of that for males. 20 A critical milestone for the trajectory of the new system is coming up later this year when many of the labor-market measures taken by the government to ease unemployment will expire. If the economy by then does not create sufficient demand to absorb these retrained workers, the current discontent is likely to intensify. Four of the five eastern German states will have elections in 1994, and the national election is set for the fall of 1994. There is no doubt that the CDU will be turned out of office in most of the eastern German states (with the likely exception of Saxony). 21 What is unclear is whether former CDU supporters shift to the other centrist party -- SPD -- or to the political fringes. If the latter happens, it is far more likely that Germany's political spectrum shifts to the right than to the left, in contrast to other formerly communist countries where there is a resurgence of support for former communists.