Who is an East German? Anyone who calls themselves that? Who was an East German? All who lived in the GDR until 1990? Are there the East Germans? Yes. There are also terms like the "forest". Collective terms that initially say little about content, form, appearance, thinking, willing, feeling. But they are very useful. You drive into the forest to collect mushrooms, to determine grasses, to cut down trees or even to hunt animals. "East Germans" exist, the term alone is pretty empty. Only with closer determination and differentiation, he is filled with life. (...)
Revolution and reunification not only constituted "East Germans". The year 1990 also redefined the Federal Republic, at least its history, because the Rhenish capitalist and the Hamburg anti-capitalist were suddenly on the same side of the barricade, when it came to their experience and their attitude to the "old" Federal Republic again. By the way, East Germans have brought "West Germans" closer to each other in the 1990s. While the former tend to balance, to compromise, to consensus, to harmony, the latter maintain more competing individualities. East Germans often regard West Germans as aggressive, dominant and insensitive, while describing themselves as friendly, in solidarity and in harmony. West Germans perceive this harmony as cowardly and hypocritical.
With the unification the Federal Republic, cynically speaking, got the "others", which one needs for the selfconfirmation (and for the self-deception) into the own house. "Ossis" and "Wessis" were invented. In the meantime, "Besser-Wessi" and "Jammer-Ossi" faced each other. The former always appeared individually, the term stood for the origin. For "Wessi" one was only somewhere else, in the east. The Ossi, however, is always Ossi, no matter where and in which constellation. It's a group description, a big pot in which everyone was thrown in indiscriminately. (...)
The Westerner is regarded as assertive and opinionated, freedom-loving, brisk, loud, arrogant, intent on his advantage, cosmopolitan, more appearance than being. The Ostler is reserved, enters the collective, whines, complains, has no opinion, has more being than he spreads appearance. So far the clichés. Where did they come from? Not just from the street. They have been promoted, disseminated, produced by the media, politics, culture and many influential individual voices.
Arnulf Baring, decades one of the most important public intellectuals of the old Federal Republic, warned 1991 in a bestseller before the "Ver-Ostung" of the Federal Republic, before the "neglect," the "Proletarisierung". In the East, one does not know any "purposeful, hard and initiative-rich work", Ostler believed that the luminosity of the West had been given. Having worked in the East, Baring said, must have been immensely comfortable, because you really had nothing to do, because most did not work.
And now? How should "the" know how to work properly? No one remained in the GDR, according to the political scientist, who was "energetic, purposeful, and proactive." But that's not all: "For almost half a century, the regime has distorted people, ruining their education, their education." Not only does Baring say that the regime wanted to educate "mindless cogs in the transmission, ... willless assistants," he says he has succeeded: "We can forgive their sins, forgive and forget everything that is politically and characterically burdened because many people are useless because of their lack of expertise. " In other words: committee!