January 13, 2004

Ostalgie Rising in the East

"Ostalgie is complicated, made up of various ingredients. One is clearly the disillusionment felt by many former Easterners over German reunification, which took place 13 years ago. Unemployment these days is commonly 25 percent in regions like Eisenh?ttenstadt. Rents are no longer subsidized. Doctor visits cost money. People can be fired. In addition, as Andreas Ludwig, the West German scholar of urban history who started the museum a few years ago, noted, even capitalist products break down or are shabby and schlocky.

All this has given rise to a sort of East German post-mortem feeling that maybe the East had its good aspects after all, especially a certain economic security and stability, even if your best vacation option was Bulgaria."

Richard Bernstein, reporting on nostalgia for rosy Stalinist days past, in the NYT.

Meanwhile, the good Chancellor is acting like an uber-capitalist and hustling about for big banking mandates.

But, even if Schroeder nabs a piece of this pie, that's not going to help
ostalgie-ridden guys like this
.

Note: The increasingly strong Euro won't help much either--as even ECB Head Jean-Claude Trichet is finally realizing.

Posted by Gregory at January 13, 2004 08:50 AM
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