Don't play that song for me: the anthem plan highlights the German divisions


DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) – Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bodo Ramelow, chief of Thuringia's state, believes that it could be a time for a new national song for reunited Germany.

A map of European countries appeared during Arne Lietz's election campaign, the Social Democratic Party candidate (SPD) for the upcoming European Parliament election campaigns in Quedlinburg, Germany, May 4, 2019. Picture taken May 4, 2019. REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch

The proposal is radical, but with most of the post-vote in East Germany in regional elections this year will test the incredible coalition of Angela Angela Merkel, eastern German feelings are at the top of a lot of politicians.

“Many East Germans don't sing,” said Ramelow, Westerner who created a political career in the East but is facing a hard re-election fight in October. “I want to have a real song. A new thing everyone can recognize and say: ‘That is the mine.”

With new parliaments elected by Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt in September and October, three of the five states that make up the former East Germany – rather than the capital of Berlin – have votes, or two-thirds of its population.

Together, their government regulates 12 of the 69 seats in the upper federal house, which means that drabbing their potential could be to the partners of Christian Democrats (CDU) and their coalition partners (SPD) Merkel legislation. make it more complicated.

Many people were at ease when the German Democratic Republic (GDR) collapsed after four decades, coming together a few months later with its western neighbor.

But many people have a bitter taste on the way to unite, the years of depopulation and subsequent jobs, as well as the subsequent destruction of a 16 million state history.

The Ramelow project took very little seriously. A spokesman for Merkel, herself the east, said that she found that the current German song was “beautiful in text and melody”. But Ramelow is not the only senior politician who focuses on the alienation of some East German people.

At a recent meeting of eastern delegates, SPD minister, Katarina Barley, said it was almost incredible, indicating that West Germany should have gone from its post-war constitution in 1990 in favor of a new document for reunited Germany.

Alienation has consequences. Some analysts link it with strength in the east of the Exchange in a far south direction to Germany (AfD), which has the opportunity to catch the mayor in Dresden, Germany's 12th largest city, in forthcoming local elections.

Ten years after reunification, the region is still poorer, making problems around the country such as increasing housing costs more stringent than in the richest West.

However, while the SPD recommends a delay in rent increases and the CDU recommends legal and prescriptive measures, the Left Party is committed to the elimination of “market radiation” while the AfD seeks to prevent and combat carbon. immigration is tackling more exclusive land.

In the British academic case, James Hawes, the east – the part of Germany outside the borders of the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago – was still different, and the inhabitants were no longer safe because they were more against invasion from the east.

“East Germany is not different because the Russians conquered it,” he said. “The Russians conquered him because he was always different.”


But others have seen explanations in recent years. When West Germany East Africa slipped, it is seen as a western western victory in the Cold War: the state of the Communist police indicated that dissidents and firefighters had been agreed with their successful democratic neighbor.

But two-thirds of people in the east have a positive picture of the GDR, including many people who were born after his removal, according to historian Joerg Ganzenmueller.

“There are two memories living in parallel,” says Ganzenmueller. “In public memory they highlight dictatorship. And then you have to remember themselves from that time. ”

Many indicators – from voting patterns to media consumption and workplace behavior – show a region that preserves many of the GDR's marks.

More men are still taking paternity leave in the East than in the West, and there are more women in senior management – an inheritance given by the state of one party for decades to bring women into the labor force. rare in the west.

“East Germany is remembered to the west as an unfair state, as those attempting to cross the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall, controlled by the secret police of Stasi, were shot,” said Stefan Kobus, editor of SuperIllu, a weekly magazine he sells well. in the east but is only known in the west.

All these things, but “a place where people fell in love, people who lived, where people had a happy holiday,” he said, added to this rejection.

In Dresden, a baroque treasures whose outer areas have been home to disappointing supporters on the right, hundreds have paid 20 euro, from their 20s to eighties, to see the east shows at an event. SuperIllu.


“I am sorry that I must apologize to the East,” said dancer Dirk Michaelis, who made the “When I Went On” collection on a superstar in East Germany. “There were happy times,” he said. Claps the audience.

Gregor Gysi, a talking and ready speech lawyer, put his name to the court's dissident attendees in court, despite being a member of the party, the main draw of the evening.

He led the Communist Party by transforming it to Ramelow's democratic Left Party, and was against the East in the media reunited in Germany in the 1990s. He argues that there is something to add to the “Ossis” – people from the east.

“We have an advantage over the Wessis: we've seen both systems,” he says to the audience, with courage and applause.

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But the memories of the GDR are not far too critical. When Kevin Kuehnert, the youth wing leader of the SPD, became uncomfortable by regenerating BMW, some of the most intense criticism came from the east.

The idea of ​​a despicable sweeter in West Berlin was successful, but there were other memories nationalized by East German, who made his car “Trabi” slow, his auto industry, said Eberhard Brecht, former SPD fingers. eastern town of Quedlinburg.

“Nationalization – that's what we had in the East, and it caused a fall,” Brecht said. “East Germany has no experience of people with ideas for swimming.

Additional reporting by Paul Carrel; Edited by Giles Elgood

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