By Jan Herman Brinks
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Extra info for Children of a new fatherland : Germany's post-war right-wing politics
He asserted that ‘in the Federal Republic nobody has to give up anything because of Germany’s uniﬁcation’. The chancellor made a further pronouncement, which was to have far-reaching consequences for inter-German relations. He announced that taxes would not be raised. This also turned out to be too optimistic, although this was not just because of the ‘solidarity contribution’ that West Germans had to pay for reuniﬁcation. According to Klaus Dreher, who for many years led the Süddeutsche Zeitung team in Bonn, Kohl knew as early as 19 December 1989, when he visited the GDR for the ﬁrst time since the collapse of the Wall, that the GDR was in serious economic difﬁculties.
It was to be expected that in the former GDR there could The Two-tier Society 21 not be an immediate identiﬁcation with a democratic political culture. According to representative surveys in 1994, half of East Germans were not satisﬁed with ‘democracy on the West German model’. 17 This trend has continued, particularly among younger people. In 1997 most East Germans were of the opinion that it had been basically right to transfer the West German political order to the new Federal territories. 18 For many East Germans, Western liberal democracy has only a relative value.
This did not 13 14 Background detract from the fact that, after the uniﬁcation, many East Germans found that Communist Party propaganda about the West turned out to be partly true. A high level of unemployment, feelings of pointlessness and violence became part of the new social and intellectual reality. The majority of East Germans still welcomed the fall of the Wall, but the state treaty concluded in 1990 gave insufﬁcient protection to the rights of the new Federal citizens. This Einigungsvertrag between West and East Germany was felt by many new Federal citizens to be a diktat.