Germans will not forget
WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER the atrocities carried out in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall!
This is the message which the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany to Barbados, Andreas Kusay, had for the international community on Sunday.
“We have to make sure that these atrocities will not be forgotten . . . ,” he told a gathering that included a number of diplomats based in Barbados.
The function in the clubhouse at Royal Westmoreland, St James, was to mark the 20th anniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany.
“[Even] today, there are wide mentality gaps between the people in eastern and western Germany,” the diplomat conceded.
“The people in the east tend to indulge in a kind of nostalgia for certain aspects of life in East Germany, thus blocking out the fact that it was a totalitarian dictatorship which stopped at nothing to prevent its people from fleeing the country.
“School-age children today know very little about the former German Democratic Republic and the little knowledge they have stems from conversations within the families who very often make light of the methods of the Stasi, the secret police, or deny the [Berlin] Wall deaths altogether.”
Kusay also pointed to differences in the economic development pictures of the east and west sections.
“The economic reconstruction of former Eastern Germany alone cost over 300 billion euros so far, but because of the outdated production facilities and the uneconomical manufacturing processes they had, most companies were shut down and over 80 per cent of employment in eastern Germany was lost,” he said.
In the first two years after reunification alone, about 2 million people migrated to the western states to find work, according to Kusay.
He calculated that it would take “at least another decade for eastern Germany to catch up with the west with regard to wage levels and investments”.
The function was sponsored by Mercedes Benz AG, represented in Barbados by Simpson Motors. (TY)