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Germans Reflect on Reunification



          Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

October 3 marked the 25th anniversary of East and West Germany reuniting. Although Germany  was able to merge two systems into one, huge differences remain between the East and West. The Berlin Institute for Population and Development Study concluded that half of Germans think there are more differences than commonalities between Easterners and Westerners.


For instance, the West is still much richer than the East.  Of the 20 most prosperous cities only one, Jena,  is in the East. Also, the East's productivity as late as 2012 was just 73% that of the West's.


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I was in Berlin on Saturday, the day of the 25th anniversary of reunification.  There were tons of people in the city, as crowded as I've ever seen any major city.  The main activities were in the Tiergarten, especially around the Brandenburg gate.  By the time we made our way there, the police had closed down the area and were not allowing more people in because it was overcrowded.  Still, everyone seemed well behaved and having a nice time.


I think most Germans feel reunification was a good thing, although the West Germans are growing weary of having to shoulder the cost of supporting everything in Europe, including bring the east back to modern standards. 


A small window display says it all -- the East and West Germany pedestrian "walk" signs embracing each other.  The slogan translates into "We are one people".



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