Related on TestTube
How Germany Fights Nazis
How Powerful Is Germany?
Nearly 26 years after the Berlin Wall started coming down, Germany is still feeling the effects of separating the country between East and West. Following the end of WWII, Western allied forces took the West while the Soviet Union took the East. In the years that followed, Western Germany rapidly industrialized into a modern capitalist society. By the time of reunification, the West effectively enveloped the Eastern portion of Germany, which struggled to keep up.
Immediately after the Berlin Wall came down, Eastern Germany saw rapid increase in unemployment. It was only in 2005 when unemployment levels started to decline. This was largely due to Eastern Germans being forced to compete in a capitalist market with the well-established businesses of their West Germany neighbors. To help, West Germany imposed a higher income tax, resulting in nearly 3 trillion dollars in economic aid since being enacted.
The trend continues to impact Germany's society today. Young people tend to move to Western cities, where there's significantly more investment and economic prospects. In rural Eastern Germany, there are ghost towns and pockets of neo-Nazis are taking hold. Although Germany is the economic and political powerhouse of Europe today, it's post-unification story is a testament to the gradual nature of economic recovery.
The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided (washingtonpost.com)
"It can be hard for visitors to Berlin to imagine where the Berlin Wall once separated Germany's communist East from the U.S.-friendly West."
Differences persist between eastern and western Germany (america.aljazeera.com)
"When the Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, the expectations of 16 million East Germans were sky high."
One people?: Study looks at Germany, 25 years after the Wall fell (dw.com)
"Disaffection with the political system appears greater in the former East German states than their western counterparts."
Poor Germany: Why the east will never catch up to the west (fortune.com)
"When regional economic disparities take hold, they tend to stick."