Go West, Young Man!

But not everybody at once! Sheesh.

Population

The East German rural population is now as low as it was back in 1905. The population in West Germany has more than doubled since then. For three reasons, demographers say: 1) Anybody who could fled from the Communist East after World War II and before the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, 2) Communist East Germany never had any immigration (of guest works like in the West, for example) and 3) there was also a big migration to the West after the Berlin Wall came down. Now it’s ghost town time over there and nobody knows what to do about it.

“For a long time, the problem of eastern Germany was, above all, the lack of jobs. Now you almost have the opposite problem: they are running out of workers.”

Practice Your German Tonight

And your Cold War attitudes from the 80s, while you’re at it. Looks like we might be needing them again.

Deutschland 83

“Deutschland 83” premieres 11 p.m. Wednesday on SundanceTV.

SundanceTV’s “Deutschland 83” is the first German-language series ever broadcast on a U.S. network. The eight-part fictional spy thriller is set in 1983, when the then-split Germany was the hot spot for escalating nuclear tensions between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Vladimir Putin: “More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year.”

Confirm Your Prejudice Here

Germans still have walls in their heads? Why should that surprise anybody? Everybody else does, too. It’s just that the Germans are the only ones who have an excuse for it, sort of.

Wall

“Eastern Germans often say that western Germans are arrogant, materialistic, more bureaucratic and superficial.”

…But Eastern Germans aren’t the only ones still holding prejudices – western Germans have their own clichés about Germans from the former GDR. According to surveys conducted by leading opinion research centers, western Germans think Eastern Germans are sour, mistrustful and anxious. On the other hand, only 43 percent of western Germans considered eastern Germans “motivated” and “flexible.”

And both are right, of course. Hey, if you believe you are a second class citizen, then you are one. And if you believe you are the superior one who calls all the shots, then you are. But it’s kind of fun watching these folks slowly ride off into the East-West sunset. Both camps know quite well that they’re already von gestern (yesterday’s news). Or as Butt-Head used to put it: “Uh-huh, old people, uh-huh.”

“The second and third generations after the unification are much more optimistic, and see more equality between east and west. The proportion of those who think there are more differences than similarities between eastern and western Germans has continuously decreased over the past years.”

And have a happy Unification Day already.