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Q: German politics ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: German politics
Category: Reference, Education and News > Homework Help
Asked by: crystallizedginger-ga
List Price: $17.00
Posted: 16 Oct 2005 02:20 PDT
Expires: 15 Nov 2005 01:20 PST
Question ID: 580859
Is there one Germany, or is there still two?
i.e. is there still an east germany and a west germany, is there stil
the iron wall? The political parties in the states may show if there
is still a divide.
Subject: Re: German politics
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 16 Oct 2005 04:25 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars
Dear Crystallizedginger, 

In 1990, Germany was reunified (a moment I have actually lived to see
myself) - there is formally only one German republic, the Federal
Republic of Germany (FRG, in German: Bundesrepublic Deutschland). The
German Democratic Republic (GDR, "East Germany" or in German: Deutsche
Demokratische Republik) ceased to exist.

So, the answer, at face value, is that there is only "one" Germany,
the FRG (which is also the name of the former "West Germany"). The
Federal Republic of Germany is composed of 16 States (in German:
Bundeslaender). Five of these Laender were part of East Germany -
Thuringia, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western
Pomerania. In addition, the City-State of Berlin was divided between
four powers, and effectively between "East" and "West", was reunified.
East Berlin was the capital of the GDR, while the capital of "West
Germany" was Bonn - after reunification, the reunified Berlin became
the capital of Germany.

Nevertheless, there is still very much social and political divide
between "East" and "West" in Germany, or between the East German and
the West German society, eventhough formally, the two countries have
been reunited.

One of the most striking evidences to this "invisible" divide, is the
results of the latest federal elections in Germany (Sept. 2005). In
the West, The Christian Democratic Union (CDU, and its sister-party in
Bavaria, the Christian-Social Union, CSU) gained 37.5% of the votes,
while the Social-Democrats (SPD) won 35.1% and the "Left Party"
("Linkspartei", a patry on the extreme left, which is partly composed
of people associated with the former GDR ruling party, the SED) gained
only 4.9%. In former East Germany, the results were totally different:
The Social Democrats were the largest party (gaining 30.4% of the
votes), and the CDU gained the same percentage as the "Left Party" -
25.3%. Other, smaller parties, like the Greens and the Liberals,
achieved less success in the East; but notably, in some parts of the
East (namely Saxony), the neo-Nazi-associated NPD achieved a relative
success (not managing to enter the German lower-house, the Bundestag,
but still alarmingly strong).

You can see the East-West comparison I was talking about on the ARD site. 
Bundestagswahl 2005

Read more about the political divide: 
Dr. Manuela Glaab, "15 years after unification: Germany's divided
political landscape", 03.10.2005 ? Forschungsgruppe Deutschland,

Deutsche Welle, Germany's Divided Political Landscape", 21.09.2005

Understanding The German Elections Part 3

Election Results: Divided Germany 
(david Medienkritik is a very interesting blog for those interested in
German-American relationships and in Germany in general, however, one
should remember that it is biased towards the "Conservative Right").

Paul Belien, "It's the German Reunification, Stupid", Brussels
Journal, Sept. 21 2005 <>

The differences and gap between the former-East and the West is not
only political. Culturally, some former-East Germans feel "colonised"
by West-German culture and as "losers" of the reunification process.
This resulted, among other things, in a wave of "Ostalgie", nostalgia
to East Germany, accompanied sometimes in idealisation of the life in
the German Democratic Republic.

Ostalgie in Wikipedia 

The Economist, Ostalgie or ossification?

Hello, Lenin? Germany's Ostalgie phenomenon 

The East is generally also "poorer" than the West, and there are
higher rates of unemployment in the "new" Bundeslaender. Read for
Wikipedia, Reunification of Germany 

Naturally, one could argue that there are other types of cultural and
political divide in Germany. For example, the Bavarian party CSU has
always won elections in the region in a landslide, unknown to its
sister party, the CDU, in other areas in Germany. Similarly, in other
countries, one could notice a North-West divide in Italy; an
Urban-Rural (Red/Blue) divide in the United States, which doesn't make
these countries divided.

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
further clarification on this answer before you rate it.

Clarification of Answer by politicalguru-ga on 16 Oct 2005 08:32 PDT
Oops, I obviously meant "North South divide" regarding Italy

Request for Answer Clarification by crystallizedginger-ga on 10 Nov 2005 05:55 PST
thank you very much, it has given me a good background answer

Clarification of Answer by politicalguru-ga on 10 Nov 2005 08:12 PST
Dear Crystal, 

If the answer hasn't given you what you wanted, you should have asked
for clarification that would have detailed your request further, and
not rate the answer.
crystallizedginger-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
sorry i made a mistake earlier, gave a good background, but not
exactly how i wanted it.

Subject: Re: German politics
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Oct 2005 07:27 PDT
A bit in your defense for asking this question, as an American living
in Germany, I know how little information about Europe appears in the
media in the States (where I presume you are).  And some of that may
be sloppily written, simply referring to East or Eastern Germany. 
Confusing, old speach habits die hard.

The Germans had the same difficulty, but eventually the expression
"the new federal states" has become accepted, its usage pointing out,
however, that there still are many topics discussed  - from politics
to birthrates -  that make comparisons between "the old and the new

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