I am born in 1940 and Holsteiner (yes, the ones who let pointed stones stumble).We then became BBZ (British occupied zone). First, the British came out of the air with bomb rugs and WITH MG-clad Spitfires, where you could fire the ants down there. Strangely, I stayed alive at the time (certainly it helped that we could escape on land). When the Tommies came, they sang swing songs (don’t fence me in) and were young, often from Wales, smelling of tea and relaxed, young and friendly.
This was different in the GDR, because the Red Army had suffered inhumanely under the Plan East.There were all sorts of revenge massacres. At the same time, there were sometimes more radical changes than in West Germany, where under the tightly western-oriented Adenauer, the old administration class in education, justice and administration was allowed to continue, because this resulted from the cold war. We had teachers who were mostly joking. Hitler had broken their backbone. The war had not only traumatized them, but deformed them. Guenter Grass accurately depicted such teachers in his Gdansk trilogy. There were some more postive developments in the GDR. There is an exchange of letters between the two ex-DRlers Peter Paul Zahl and Rudi Dutschke (hgg by Gretchen Dutschke and C. Ludzusweit) in which such new beginnings are described. Also in the novel “The New Sufferings of the Young W” some of the early positive GDR tendencies is reproduced.
I then experienced the fugitives of June 17, 1953, which were also pumped to Holstein.Something bad had happened. I was unabashedly Anglophile and only really felt free when I arrived with the faehre as a secondary school student and student in Scandinavia and England. West Germany was at best formally democratic, but otherwise unabashedly authoritarian and had far from processed Nazism.
In 1989 / 1990, the West German special-forces of the post-Nazi democratization of the self-liberated GDR were arrogantly better than super-democrats.The DDRs got insult on top of injury. After experiencing the more haerter post-Nazi fate (dismantling instead of the Marshall Plan, Stalinism and his many wrong decisions in agriculture), they were portrayed as the Bloediane with an affinity for despotism. Ostalgia is often to be understood as a reaction against the rolling Besserwessis. (Perhaps comparable to the Dixies’ response to the Carpet Bagger Yankees after the Civil War.)
But of all, I am not an East German expert.
If you want to answer the question more comprehensively, you have to do things differently.What is Germany as a concept? Germany always had a habit of falling into parts. After 1648, these were the Duodez or two-to-three-digit states, and after 1945 the 4 then 2 occupation zones. In the Holy Roman Empire it was the dukes and dioceses, counties and city-states. Duetschland was always somehow united and somehow fragmented and divided. Peter Watson described this quite well in his German Genius.
In the process, this Schizo-Germany (one and yet not one) had played revolutionary free-time roles in history:
together with the Boehmen and Maehren (Jan Hus) the Protestant religion was initiated, which was then able to realize itself in the USA most pure new worldly,
the declaration as a dismantling of the feudal-religioese autoritaeten was initiated especially in Germany: Kant, Lessing, Mendelsohn etc.
the emancipation of the Jews developed a broad group of intellectuals, especially in Germany, in which there was a broad cooperation of all freethinkers (which was also reflected in Comenius, Humboldt and other educational reforms)
Germany was at the forefront of worker mobilization and modern physics (Goettingen and Berlin) and art.
Germany’s peculiarity was that, in the aftermath of revolution and counter-revolution, it got more counter-revolutions.(Instead of the French Revolution came Bonapartism as an imperial occupying power, instead of the spring of 1848 came the winter.) This imbalance led to Hitler and Auschwitz. But it was not a one-way street that led directly from Charlemagne to Adolf from Linz.
The GDR and the FrG were first Siamese twins: from the failed Hitler with Adenauer and Ulbricht to the pattern-shakers of the respective bipolar victors.
In addition to the Duckmaeusertum, the GDR already had a rebellious nature:
the workers’ uprising on 17 June 1953,
with Bloch, Brecht and Bahro, Braun, Plenzdorf and GDR-Free Jazz there was a state critique, a revolt that led to the first successful revolution in German history (Monday demonstrations and mass exodus prepared this and they had the glueck Gorbachev and perestroika on their side).
The West Germans played themselves as victors and model democrats early on after the fall of the Berlin Wall, were grandiose and clawed jobs and possessions and exclusive representation.The reform of the labour force pulled the GDR out of its leading division of labour in the “Soviet bloc”. Is it worth wondering that this arrogance – comparable to the Yankee-Dixie arrogance – contributed to the AfD? Today we are once again talking about the trivialisation of THE GDR crimes. I prefer to talk about the banalisation of the GDR’s merits and the banalisation of the Federal Republic of Germany.
No, there is no curse on Germany.There is a Gordian knot that can be gently dispersed.
What stumbles me especially about German reactions today.Many Germans behave in politics like market consumers who test the guete of the commodity. Unfortunately, democracy is not a market for finished products. We have to produce democracy ourselves. (Finished political products are dictatorship.)