0
   

Germany: East<>West gap growing?

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2005 12:16 pm
Might well be that we aborigines watch this from a different angle.

It isn't my observation that "the two halves of the country seem to have been fairly seamlessly stitched back together".
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2005 12:25 pm
What do you mean by "cultural differences", btw?

Food, language etc differs any 30 kilometers in Germany and I wouldn't fix that to an East-West differences espeically. (Personally I', quite sure that the east is closer to the middle/nort(west of Germany than all regions south of the Main river.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2005 01:30 am
Quote:
Get a whiff of 'Ostalgie' with Eau de Trabant

By Ruth Elkins in Berlin
Published: 20 July 2005

East Germans desperate for a whiff of the good old days can now get Communism in a can with a brand new Trabant perfume.

"Trabi Duft", a tin of exhaust fumes from the ubiquitous East German car, is the latest in a seemingly unending line of "Ostalgie" products marketed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although many argue that the books, films, music, food and drink inspired by the defunct German Democratic Republic encourage a far too sentimental image of a regime which shot those who tried to escape it, the thirst for Ostalgie continues.

Producers of eau de Trabant, costing a socialist €3.98 (£2.75) a can, stress it is not intended for cosmetic use. But they say it remains the closest we will get to recapturing the true smell of East Germany.

"There used to be so many Trabis in the GDR, the entire country used to smell of them," said Thorsten Jahn, who developed Trabi Duft and sells it on his website, www.osthits.de. "Now you can count the number of Trabants on the fingers of one hand. I decided we just had to preserve this unique smell for future generations."

Mr Jahn, 32, from the former East German town of Eisenhüttenstadt, has long since swapped his Trabant for a Volkswagen Passat. He has had to borrow Trabant cars from friends to siphon off the precious scent.

"It was quite hard to get the smell into the can at first," he admitted. In the end he enlisted the help of a friendwho pulled out the choke and put his foot down while Mr Jahn sat at the exhaust pipe with the can. Each Trabi Duft tin is stuffed with cotton-wool to ensure that the oily smell is absorbed and takes just 10 seconds to fill. Now, with hundreds of orders for eau de Trabant, from as far afield as Italy, Mr Jahn employs an entire team dedicated to producing the scent.

"We're constantly getting orders; it's a real hit," said Mr Jahn. "One old guy told me the other day he'd had a Trabi for more than 30 years, but eventually got a West German car. He missed the smell so much he said he absolutely had to get his hands on Trabi Duft."

Trabants, known affectionately as Trabis, were produced by the East German car-maker Sachsenring and became the most popular vehicle in former Communist countries. Lightweight and easy to repair, the GDR people-carriers had a plastic body and two-stroke engine, but production was slow and even the most loyal comrades often had to wait years before they got one. Now a cult car, they are hired by tourists going on "Trabi Safaris", but the cars are unreliable and, in GDR times, ran on cheap, dirty petrol.

Not that opening a can of Trabi Duft (the smell lingers for 14 days) will make you ill. Mr Jahn says the cotton wool filters out any toxic particles. "I wouldn't stick my nose in too deep, though," he warned. "And don't open the can in the living-room. You'll have real trouble with your wife if you do that."

East Germans desperate for a whiff of the good old days can now get Communism in a can with a brand new Trabant perfume.

"Trabi Duft", a tin of exhaust fumes from the ubiquitous East German car, is the latest in a seemingly unending line of "Ostalgie" products marketed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Although many argue that the books, films, music, food and drink inspired by the defunct German Democratic Republic encourage a far too sentimental image of a regime which shot those who tried to escape it, the thirst for Ostalgie continues.

Producers of eau de Trabant, costing a socialist €3.98 (£2.75) a can, stress it is not intended for cosmetic use. But they say it remains the closest we will get to recapturing the true smell of East Germany.

"There used to be so many Trabis in the GDR, the entire country used to smell of them," said Thorsten Jahn, who developed Trabi Duft and sells it on his website, www.osthits.de. "Now you can count the number of Trabants on the fingers of one hand. I decided we just had to preserve this unique smell for future generations."

Mr Jahn, 32, from the former East German town of Eisenhüttenstadt, has long since swapped his Trabant for a Volkswagen Passat. He has had to borrow Trabant cars from friends to siphon off the precious scent.

"It was quite hard to get the smell into the can at first," he admitted. In the end he enlisted the help of a friendwho pulled out the choke and put his foot down while Mr Jahn sat at the exhaust pipe with the can. Each Trabi Duft tin is stuffed with cotton-wool to ensure that the oily smell is absorbed and takes just 10 seconds to fill. Now, with hundreds of orders for eau de Trabant, from as far afield as Italy, Mr Jahn employs an entire team dedicated to producing the scent.
"We're constantly getting orders; it's a real hit," said Mr Jahn. "One old guy told me the other day he'd had a Trabi for more than 30 years, but eventually got a West German car. He missed the smell so much he said he absolutely had to get his hands on Trabi Duft."

Trabants, known affectionately as Trabis, were produced by the East German car-maker Sachsenring and became the most popular vehicle in former Communist countries. Lightweight and easy to repair, the GDR people-carriers had a plastic body and two-stroke engine, but production was slow and even the most loyal comrades often had to wait years before they got one. Now a cult car, they are hired by tourists going on "Trabi Safaris", but the cars are unreliable and, in GDR times, ran on cheap, dirty petrol.

Not that opening a can of Trabi Duft (the smell lingers for 14 days) will make you ill. Mr Jahn says the cotton wool filters out any toxic particles. "I wouldn't stick my nose in too deep, though," he warned. "And don't open the can in the living-room. You'll have real trouble with your wife if you do that."

Source
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 08:15 am
nimh wrote:
There used to be an incredibly powerful monument to the Wall's victims near the Reichstag, I saw it in '93. Individual panels from the Wall, arranged next to each other, one for each year the Wall existed, each painted black up to a certain line, according to the number of people who died trying to cross it that year, the number painted above. It was a spontaneous monument, stood in what was then an empty plot inhabited by city nomads.

By '97, it had all been bulldozered away to make way for all the brand new city development, offices, government buildings, a more official-looking park for by the Reichstag.

Looks like the idea of that monument is returning almost in replica, just on a smaller scale:

Quote:
New Berlin Wall Memorial Inaugurated

A new memorial to the victims of the Berlin Wall was inaugurated on the grounds of Germany's lower house of parliament, Berlin's Bundestag, on Thursday. The monument is made up of segments of the original wall, erected along the former borderline which separated communist east from capitalist west Berlin between 1961 and 1989. Berlin artist Ben Wargin has painted each segment with a series of super-imposed numbers, representing a year and the number of people killed trying to cross the border from the east. [..]
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 12:48 pm
Posted this on the German elections thread:

nimh wrote:
Here, this is interesting: ZDF has the breakdown of the result between West-Germany and East-Germany.

Code: West East Germany

CDU/CSU 37,5% 25,3% 35,2%
SPD 35,1% 30,5 34,3%
FDP 10,2% 7,9% 9,8%
Linke.PDS 4,9% 25,4% 8,7%
Grüne 8,8% 5,1% 8,1%


From the accompanying article (see below) at least one striking finding:

'"Three quarters of the East-Germans is of the opinion, that socialism is a good thing. Only its implementation in the GDR was not good", says [Bernhard] Weßels", election researcher at the Academic Centre for Social Research Berlin.

Quote:
Es ist vor allen Dingen die Lebenssituation, die das Wahlverhalten prägt - und die ist in Ost und West auch im Jahr 15 nach der Wiedervereinigung längst noch nicht identisch. "[..] Die Arbeitslosigkeit im Osten ist viel höher als im Westen", erklärt Matthias Jung von der Forschungsgruppe Wahlen.

Deshalb sei im Osten das Interesse an staatlichen Unterstützungsleistungen größer - und die bieten insbesondere die linken Parteien. "Im Osten herrscht ein viel höherer Wohlfahrtsanspruch", bestätigt auch Bernhard Weßels, Wahlforscher am Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung.

Staat in starker Garantenrolle

Das liegt wohl auch an der Geschichte der neuen Bundesländer. "Drei Viertel der Ostdeutschen sind der Meinung, dass der Sozialismus eine gute Sache ist. Nur die Umsetzung in der DDR war nicht gut", sagt Weßels. Die Ostdeutschen würden sich eine Demokratie mit sozialistischer Prägung wünschen, den Staat in einer starken Garantenrolle.

[..] Die Wahl 1990, als die CDU mit dem damaligen Kanzler Helmut Kohl auch im Osten Wahlsieger wurde, bezeichnet Wahlforscher Gabriel deswegen als ein "atypisches Wahlergebnis". Die neuen Bundesbürger hätten damals nicht ihrer "Sozialstruktur" - hoher Arbeiteranteil - entsprechend gewählt.

Weniger Identifikation mit den Parteien

Dass die CDU im Osten weniger stark vertreten ist als im Westen, ist auch eine Frage der Religion: "Zwei Drittel der Ostdeutschen sind konfessionell ungebunden. Und von dem dritten Drittel ist der größte Teil evangelisch", sagt Gabriel. Dementsprechend gering ist die Nähe zur katholisch geprägten Union. Im Westen ist deren Stärke vor allem durch den katholischen Süden zu erklären.

Auffallend im Wahlverhalten ist auch die unterschiedlich starke Parteienbindung in Westdeutschland und Ostdeutschland. Im Osten identifizieren sich die Menschen weniger mit einzelnen Parteien. Es gibt mehr Wechselwähler und Wähler, die sich erst kurz vor der Wahl entscheiden.

--------
Zahlen zur Parteienbindung
1990 verfügten 46 Prozent der Wähler im Westen über eine echte Parteienidentifikation, 42 Prozent im Osten. 2002 waren es 45 Prozent im Westen und 34 Prozent im Osten.
--------

[..] Weitere Ursache: Im Osten sind gesellschaftliche Organisationen wie Gewerkschaften oder Kirchen weniger präsent. Gruppen wie diese aber haben einen wesentlichen Anteil an der Parteienbindung.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 02:46 pm
Interesting stuff, thanks.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 03:50 pm
and i only checked in to see what the rabbit said

"interesting stuff"

yawn
or in deed

lawn

or grass

or cricket pitch

Freddie was received well in Aus ms Lapin, did you see?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 03:57 pm
Freddie?
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Oct, 2005 04:09 pm
think Australian cricketting humiliation at the hands of..

Freddie (Andrew) Flintoff (an england cricketer) is in Australia for a world super series game.

You gave him a nice welcome. And I want to say how nice that was for yu to b nis....blub

recovered now. Still hate ya in a nice sort of way Smile
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Oct, 2005 06:54 am
Talking about sports, and returning to the topic at hand...:

Quote:
Divisions in Soccer Mirror Germany's Ills

06.10.2005

Germany is presenting a united front as host nation for soccer's World Cup. But just as the country remains divided socially and economically between east and west, German soccer is also split along similar lines.

[..] Beyond the fanfares and flags, [..] there's another reality. Germany's eastern and western regions are still far apart socially and economically and in some eyes, soccer has become a metaphor for the failure of the united Germany.

Just as eastern business and industry have suffered since the fall of the Berlin Wall, so have the region's soccer clubs. East cannot match west. In the unified Germany, where money governs professional sports, eastern teams have sunk without sponsors and investment.

When Hansa Rostock was relegated on the final day of last season, it left the Bundesliga's top flight without any eastern representation. In the first full domestic season after unification, Hansa and Dynamo Dresden were launched into the top league of the Bundesliga and six others into the second division. Things have changed radically since the 1991 campaign. There are now no eastern teams in the first division and only four in the second.

Financial woes cause mediocrity

Once a proud and dominant team in the GDR, Dynamo Dresden has since dropped out of the professional game and those teams who survive find their finances slashed, unable to attract top-quality players. The TV budget for the Bundesliga has been slashed by 60 percent and the majority of the money generated gets shared out among the top clubs -- all from the west -- in the first division. The rest is thrown like scraps to the teams in the second division. Beyond that, it's every team for itself.

Just as unification led to a mass exodus of workers from the east to the west in the early 1990's, many soccer players from the GDR headed for the more fashionable and lucrative western clubs.

The GDR production line, built on intensive technical and physical training, was so proficient that after unification, some 500 players joined western clubs. By the mid-1990s, players like Matthias Sammer (photo, right), Jens Jeremies, Carsten Jancker and Alexander Zickler had formed the backbone of the national team.

"Soccer was a great tool for celebrating the successes of eastern-bloc politics back in the days of the GDR," said Kirk Schmidt, author of "OstKurve," a study on the history of soccer in East Germany.

"The state ensured that the young players were given the best training possible in the hope that their successes would bring glory," he said. "This backfired when the communist regime fell. The east had all these great players who then headed for the west and when the clubs found themselves losing money, they cashed in on anyone just to stay afloat."

State-supported training programs left to decay

But now the well of sought-after soccer players in the east is now running dry. That is not due to any lack of talent but rather because of a lack of financial support for youth programs and sports schools that, under the old communist regime, ensured talented youngsters would train twice a day, two hours at a time, and play regularly.

"The funding just dried up after 1990," Schmidt said. "That's why the Bundesliga and the national team have so few prominent eastern players. People like (Bayern Munich's) Michael Ballack and (Bayer Leverkusen's) Bernd Schneider were already on their way by then. Others weren't so lucky. The old GDR education system was allowed to decay."

Economic stagnation rules out cities from showpiece

Such is the poor condition of some eastern cities' finances that some -- including Dresden, the state capital of Saxony -- which applied for World Cup 2006 Host City status failed to conform to World Cup directives set out by FIFA, world soccer's governing body, in areas such as transport facilities and overall infrastructure. As a result, out of the 12 host cities featuring games during the championships, only two of those are in the east of the country -- Berlin and Leipzig. That is despite attempts "to keep a geographical balance," according to David Noemi from Germany's World Cup Organizing Committee.

Fifteen years after reunification, questions are still being asked whether Germany is working as a unified country or not. In German soccer the answer is fairly clear. There may be no physical walls between them anymore but a divide certainly remains between east and west when it comes to all aspects of the beautiful game.

http://www.dw-world.de
0 Replies
 
 

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