Germans divided on unity legacy 30 years after fall of Berlin Wall

epa01912997 (FILE) A file picture dated 09 November 1989 shows people celebrating the opening of the inner-German border with sparklers on Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany. 'Tear down this wall!'. On 12 June 1987, US President Ronald Reagan pronounced these words to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin. The Berlin Wall came down two years later on 09 November 1989 and two parts of Germany was reunified after 28 years of separation. The building of the Wall began on 13 August 1961. German Democratic Republic (GDR) armed forces started to seal off the eastern part of the city with road barriers made from barbed wire, to build an 'anti-Fascist protective barrier.' On 09 November 1989, after the spokeperson of German Democratic Republic government Guenter Schabowski announced during a press conference the immediate opening of the inner German border, tens of thousands of GDR citizens flocked to the border crossing points. The Iron Curtain fell. On 09 November 2009 will be the celebration of this historic autumn night, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. EPA/STR

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As celebrations continue in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, a survey published Thursday revealed significant differences in how Germans today view the legacy of reunification.

According to the latest Deutschlandtrend report by political research firm Infratest Dimap, a majority of respondents in both western and eastern Germany said that reunification has brought personal advantages, although the results also indicate a negative shift in the east.

Some 60% of eastern Germans said there has been a positive change — a figure that dropped by 7% compared to responses ten years ago when the country was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

Positive responses from western Germans, on the other hand rose by five points up to 56% compared to answers from 2009.

The DeutschlandTrend survey participants were also asked whether life was better or worse today compared to the conditions in former East Germany, also known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Both western and eastern Germans overwhelmingly agreed that travel possibilities are much better now.

 

Via DW

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