Germans Love a Day off, even if the Reasons behind it Are Uninspiring

2 GermaniesThis 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…

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4 thoughts on “Germans Love a Day off, even if the Reasons behind it Are Uninspiring

  1. Reblogged this on lahikmajoe and commented:
    Hmmm…there’s a lot more to this. Not just the costs.

    Although it’s been quite expensive, most here seem to generally support the idea of Reunification. I think the criticism has been with how it was handled and that the costs continue to this day. It’s seen as a bureaucratic boondoggle, and if you question it, then you’re somehow a stingy bastard.

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  2. Hmmm…there’s a lot more to this. Not just the costs.

    Although it’s been quite expensive, most here seem to generally support the idea of Reunification. I think the criticism has been with how it was handled and that the costs continue to this day. It’s seen as a bureaucratic boondoggle, and if you question it, then you’re somehow a stingy bastard.

    Like

    • I’ve just seen a report on TV (03.10, 18:00), 55% of those who live in the former GDR think reunification is to their advantage. In the former West Germany? 31%! I’d like to find out what the thinking behind that is!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m old enough to have been an adult (just!) when it happened, and it was pretty exciting at the time. I don’t remember anyone talking costs, just welcoming an event that had been eagerly awaited. My family was divided in two when the iron curtain went up, us in Bavaria, the other half on the ‘wrong’ side of Berlin. It was a disaster for my grandmother, who, sadly, didn’t live to be reunited with her sister. They wouldn’t even let her beloved sister attend the funeral. We were delighted when the wall finally fell.

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