In this article, we evaluate German residents’ level of knowledge and their value judgment, that is, positive or negative, of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Based on a simple random internet survey that asked 100 citizens from the East and 100 citizens from the West to describe life in the former GDR in at least 200 characters, we have found some nuanced results with regard to our two themes: First, our results indicate that the average German citizen has some decent knowledge of the Alltag or everyday life in the former East, with older individuals having significantly more knowledge than younger individuals. Second, we discover a clear pattern pertaining to peoples’ value judgment of life in communist Germany. Citizens born in the East have more positive memories of their Alltag in the GDR than citizens in the West who have not experienced life behind the Wall.
Germans 25 years after reunification — How much do they know about the German Democratic Republic and what is their value judgment of the socialist regime?
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Daniel Stockemer, Greg Elder; Germans 25 years after reunification — How much do they know about the German Democratic Republic and what is their value judgment of the socialist regime?. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2015; 48 (2-3): 113–122. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.postcomstud.2015.06.001
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