Managing an Unmasterable Past
For a country with such a problematic past as Germany has, reunification naturally raised anxieties about a possible nationalistic revival not only among its neighbours but in Germany as well. In fact, many leading liberal intellectuals and politicians in both West and East Germany strongly resisted a rapid integration of East Germany into the political and economic framework of the Federal Republic for precisely these reasons. They had gradually come to see the permanence of two separate German state structures as the best insurance against a repetition of the incomprehensible plunge into barbarism of Germany under Hitler. Unable to make sense of why Germany had taken the path it did, they thought it unwise to ‘wake up’ the sleeping monster supposedly lurking inside the German mind.
KeywordsFederal Republic Liberal Democracy Opinion Poll German Democratic Republic Civil Disobedience
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