The Saddled Cow: East Germanys Life and Legacy Anne McElvoy

ISBN: 9780571165919

Published: August 1st 1992


288 pages


The Saddled Cow: East Germanys Life and Legacy  by  Anne McElvoy

The Saddled Cow: East Germanys Life and Legacy by Anne McElvoy
August 1st 1992 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 288 pages | ISBN: 9780571165919 | 3.59 Mb

This was an incredibly powerful review of the rise and fall of the German Democratic Republic. The narrative was compelling and comprehensive in equal measure and bordered on the melancholic when the end came in 1990.If the book has a key teaching then it is probably found in the omnipresent disillusionment of the former East Germans in the wake of the implosion of their nation state. The psychological aparthied that greeted the newly liberated East Berliners in the course of their interactions with their westernised cohorts.

The rise of Neo-Nazism- wholesale sell-off of East German factories and enterprises, and the hasty removal of the superficial elements of the former GDR, all contrive to underpin a sense of alienation, and frustration, generated by the eradictation of previous norms and cultures by the hand of the victorious West.The Author focuses upon the divergent levels of development between East and West, and captures the essence of this with the eyewitness account of archaic Trabants breaching the Wall and trundling into the materialistic West where they were met with derision and bewilderment in equal measure.

In a quaint way, the metaphor of the Trabant poses the question of the former GDRs political and economic contribution to a wider Germany. Two former states, united unofficially by the concept of Volk, but officially divided by ideology and economics have now got to work together to rebuild a viable Germany built on new sensibilities whilst appearing to be fair to all sides of the debate.Even as I write this in 2013, it is not immediately clear that unity has undone generations of indoctrination on both sides.

Ultimately, who was right and who was wrong?This is probably one of the most balanced and thought-provoking books on contemporary German history that I have ever read.

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