This October 3rd. came with ugly reports. Usually a day to celebrate the reunion of the two Germanies finalised some 26 years ago, with politicians of all shades praising the fact itself and all the good that came from it. This year was different.
Where is the celebratory feel of last year’s 25th anniversary? The hundreds of thousands of people celebrating the fact, that the wall went down? The exhilarating spirit so well depicted in the “Lichtgrenze” in Berlin 2014, staged to mark just that singular occurrence prior to the legal reunion of the two countries?
In 2016 Dresden was chosen to stage the official part of this special day. With the President and Mrs. Merkel giving speeches at Frauenkirche in Dresden. That monument bombed to rubble in WWII and rebuilt to its former glory in an enourmous effort.
And yes, there were thousands of people gathering in a happy mood at the festival staged in Dresden, to celebrate just that. Despite the lousy weather.
But also, there was a flock of furious protesters of the Pegida kind. Pegida is short for Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes (patriotic Europeans against the Muslimification of the Occident). The same kind, that are marching every Monday on the streets of former East Germany, chanting their hate against Islam, foreigners and the so-called Lügenpresse (mendacious media). This time, they were attacking Mrs. Merkel, screaming at her to back down. And worse.
This is a new quality. So far, nobody in Germany used open and hateful words against Mrs. Merkel. One might not be liking all her decisions, but there was a mutual understanding, that she does her best. Plain respect, I would call it. For a hard working woman whose personal life is apparently led without any flaw what so ever. But now, all of a sudden, people go at her with rage and contempt.
What is it, that makes a portion of the citizens of former East Germany so hateful? Statistics show, that attacks on refugee homes are much more common in the former East. That movements like the right wing AfD root in the former East. As opposed to rural areas, Dresden and other big cities in the former GDR are thriving. How come, so many have such a backward orientated view of the world?
Maybe a political change of the dimension, the German reunion was, leaves a good portion of folks disorientated and without a sense of belonging. Whereas for the Westerners in Germany it was merely a question of accepting people with weird accents, haircuts and work ethics into their society, for the Easterners much more changed. Depending on which side they stood on in their old system, a (somewhat smaller) portion may have felt freed, but the other part, may they have been politically active, opinionated or just plain disinterested, felt exactly how? Occupied, maybe? Degraded?
I don’t know. I guess, the ones who were able to adjust and find a spot for themselves to live in this all new society, are doing fine. But the forlorn residue obviously doesn’t. Seeking ugly outlets for their despair and aggression. It is chilling to the bone to see, that the way they go about their anger business is so VERY German. The pure mob, ones has seen in all those black-and-white documentaries about the Nazis rising.