It seems inevitable that many of the former East German
personnel will be pink-slipped since it was customary in Communist states to over-staff the state-owned installations.
industries were not at all world class.
Although exact comparisons are difficult because of the scarcity, distortion or falsification of East German
data, differences in the composition and the quality of the market basket, the poor quality of the infrastructure, and the unrealistic previous exchange rate visa-vis the dollar, East Germany ranks about seventeenth in the world in terms of per capita income, thus in the neighborhood of Portugal.
But as these issues work through, the extraordinary power of the moment when ordinary East Germans
took their future in their own hands and stormed the Wall gives us all hope that humanity and basic values of decency and respect for the individual's rights can prevail.
Most east Germans
don t know which world they belong to.
Even after the founding of the East German
state on October 4, 1949, Spilker argues that "while they acknowledged the failure of their attempts to create a unified German state, the SED leaders still believed that they could win nationwide political influence" (p.
OnAugust 17, 1962, a teenage East German
, Peter Fechter, was shot in the pelvis byEast German guards while trying to get to the West .
The announcement, which was not supposed to be released until 4am the next day, sparked a dash by East Germans
for the border.
Pressure had been building on the East German
government for months to grant its citizens the freedom to travel to the West and a clearly underprepared Schabowski stunned the journalists present with his answer.
His study mines national and local archives for government reports, correspondence, and memoirs to reconstruct policy debates among bureaucrats, scientists, ecological activists, and ordinary citizens about how to manage East German
I did quite a bit of research for the book, interviewing a former prisoner to ensure the details of the East German
prison scenes were authentic.
It was weird to be in the big city, but in an entirely wooded section, no houses in sight, just the road looking down onto the East German