This morning the sky was grey, I think. It was difficult to see though through the even greyer fog. Tis the season of grey, which is exactly how many Germans view their country’s Einheitsfeier, or Germany’s Day of Unity, which takes place today (3rd Oct).
Here in Bavaria the feelings of blaise are even more acute.
The following conversation I had with a Bavarian is by no means an absolute representation of ALL Bavarians, but it is a fair gauge of many Bavarians. (The conversation took place in German, over a coffee-not a beer.)
Me: “You’re too young to have understood fully the significance of the end of communism, what did your parents think?”
Fritz: “Well, I remember my father watching the events on television. He was transfixed. When the demonstrators clammered up the wall, I distinctly remember him turning to my mom, shaking his head and saying ‘this is going to cost a lot of money. A lot of money.’”
Even in 1989, some Germans understood the ramifications of a reunited Germany, if only in economical terms. Later, only the SPD candidate at the time, Oskar Lafontaine (who later left the SPD to lead the Left Party), was honest with Germans about the costs of reuniting. Helmut Kohl, leader of the CDU and chancellor then and the longest serving chancellor since WW II, glossed over the costs. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions…