The euphoria over a great moment of humanity leads to high expectations of a better future. If the do not meet, resulting in disappointment. And, finally, disinterest. A lack of interest, even in front of the star hour. This is the short story of the gaze of the Germans on their neighbours to the East in the last 30 years. It also includes a reminder of how persistently the old Think you can hold on to.
The solidarity of the post-war order broke on
in 1989 were Poland and Hungary, for a short time to hero of Freedom. The Germans felt that what they had thanks to you. The year-long uprising of the Polish trade Union solidarity against the dictatorship, and the Hungarian border opening, the crucial steps on the path to German unity. Poland was the first country in the Eastern bloc, in which the ruling party had to their monopoly on power, give up. The negotiations at the "round table" in Warsaw in the spring of 1989, the post-war order broke down.
In early summer, a "triangular table" in Budapest, the end of One-party rule, the dismantling of the border barriers with Austria and the announcement that Hungary will not shoot at refugees. In the summer, fled the GDR-citizens via Hungary to the West. 10. In September Hungary opened border to the West. The Berlin wall suddenly had holes and fell on the 9. November.
discovery of a Terra Incognita
In the following years, many Germans discovered to their Eastern neighbors, drove to Prague, Krakow and Riga. At home they told of the landscapes and cities that previously had no place on their map.
What will be the role of the in the memorial year 2019? In the meantime, the picture has changed completely. Poland and Hungary are considered to be villains. They are for the past 15 years, EU members, but not partners, the Germans are watching with sympathy and hope. Basically, this applies to the whole of Central Eastern Europe. There are no Region is to be expected, from the German Positive. This is understandable. No matter, whether the Ruling national-conservative, as in Poland and Hungary, or left-wing social Democrats in Romania: they raise doubts as to democracy, the rule of law, media freedom and corruption.
Nevertheless, this looking away is amazing. First, it ignores how much these States – all failures – have modernised and their economic importance for Germany is grown. Secondly, disappointment leads not always in disinterest. Russia has taken a much more negative development, its real importance for Germany has dramatically decreased. It's similar to a developing country with nuclear missiles and oversized army. It countries, invades neighboring dissidents tried to murder abroad, allied with right-wing radicals in both the East and West and because it is so governed miserable, only around three percent share of the world economy. Nevertheless, Russia is on the inner world, maps of the German present; many consider it even for a misunderstood friend. This is also an example of persistence of patterns of thought over decades.
according to the real importance of the Eastern neighbours, would have to be the image another. Poland (38 million citizens) has only a quarter of the population of Russia (144 million). But the German trade with Poland is twice as large as the one with Russia. The Czech Republic is one and a half times as large, although it has only ten million inhabitants, a five-tenths of the Russian number. The German exchange of goods with Hungary, also tens of millions of citizens, is almost as large as the one with Russia.
Mitgaranten of the German economic success
the twelve EU member States in the East, from Estonia to Bulgaria, have a six times greater economic importance for Germany than Russia. And does not happen also a lot of Positive in the Eastern EU? Estonia is a model for E-Government: digital Manage, saving the citizens the way to authorities.More about
Blockade of Ukraine No leniency with RussiaChristoph von Marschall
The jubilee year 2019 may be for the Germans a kick-off, your dealings with the neighbours in the East think. They are sometimes difficult, but not second-class partners. They are not objects, over their heads with Russia able to communicate. When Berlin and Moscow, tried that, and was followed by wars and serious crimes. They are, thanks to investments and production chains Mitgaranten of a shared success model and the German Export – such as France, the Netherlands, Denmark. And the relations to which are also conflict-free.