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Problems With German Reunification Essay

656 words - 3 pages

Problems with German Reunification

Following the Second World War, Germany was rebuilt out of practically nothing into one of the richest countries of the world. This well-known transformation is known as the "Wirtschaftswunder" (wonder of economics). Yet in the recent reunification of West and East Germany, German leadership has ignored crucial lessons from this successful period of transformation. Three problems highlight this claim:
1. Reunification promised to quickly alleviate forty years of East German Socialism by means of tax money: Prior to and especially during the November 1990 reunification election, political parties and government leaders all agreed that East Germany could be raised to the West German standard of living within the time of one parliament (four years), largely by means of State funding, although much of the GDR remains in the same condition that Hitler left it in.
Reunification advocates ignored the post-War lesson that the western parts of Germany were not rebuilt by means of tax-money but by hard work in a relatively free economy. The people of the Federal Republic of Germany had to work hard for years and years to rebuild their economy. However, most of the people of the former GDR still cling to the old socialist dream that poverty can only be overcome by the State, and the German government is extremely weak in arguing against this mentality. For the most part, the German government instead sends billions of Deutschmarks to the former GDR and promises wealth without hard work, since hard work is so unpopular. This attitude is reflected in a common jest concerning a former GDR citizen who, after reunification, starts to work at the Mercedes assembly line but at 10:00 am complains to his co-worker: "I am tired. We are already over the time, and the material usually runs out."
2. Reunification promised to bring "social freedom" by ignoring the crimes of former Socialist party leaders: In the "Entnazifizierung" following World War II, thousands of Nazi criminals were brought to American and, later,...

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