A State, Not a Nation: East Germans

East Germans may be Germans, but the psychological wall built during four decades of separation complicates the reunification question

Hope and resignation. Like oil and water, they do not mix well, yet those are the conflicting emotions that course through East Germany now that the Wall has come down. More of the former perhaps than the latter, as this artificially created country longs for a fresh start after 40 years of orthodox Communist rule, as it yearns for free, multi-party elections and economic rebirth.

The shock of Nov. 9, the day an embattled East German government allowed its people to cross their borders for at least a glimpse of the outside world, has yet to wear off. Those among the...

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