On the 31st of Octo­ber we pre­sent­ed our new Report “Über den Osten nichts Neues?” at the Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions Berlin. 

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, few issues are as hot­ly debat­ed in Ger­many as the ques­tion whether the two for­mer­ly sep­a­rate parts of Ger­many have ful­ly con­verged, or whether “new, deep cracks” are appear­ing between East Ger­mans and West Ger­mans.

Dif­fer­ences do exist between peo­ple in east­ern and in west­ern Ger­many that shows a nation-wide rep­re­sen­ta­tive sur­vey car­ried out by d|part and the Open Soci­ety Euro­pean Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (OSEPI) as part of the project ´voic­es on val­ues’. But these dif­fer­ences, how­ev­er, are not so much signs of “new, deep cracks” between peo­ple in east­ern and west­ern Ger­many. The study shows that that there are at least as many dif­fer­ent ideas of a good soci­ety among peo­ple in east­ern Ger­many as there are in the rest of the coun­try. There is no such thing as a typ­i­cal “Ossi” (short for East Ger­man), just as well as there is no typ­i­cal “Wes­si” (West Ger­man).

So what is it real­ly about dif­fer­ent atti­tudes to ques­tions of migra­tion and the Ger­man iden­ti­ty of peo­ple in East and West? How much cause for con­cern is there and where do we stand with Ger­man uni­ty? We dis­cussed these ques­tions on our event with Chris­t­ian Ban­gel (jour­nal­ist at Zeit Online) and Katrin Rohn­stock (pub­li­cist and founder of Rohn­stock Biogra­phien) as well as with the audi­ence. The mod­er­a­tion was led by Mag­a­li Mohr (research fel­low at Futuri­um).