The former Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia, Bernhard Vogel (CDU), appealed for better mutual understanding between East and West Germans on German Unity Day. "We West Germans in particular often fail to recognize that we have lived in separate worlds for decades. And that the East Germans had it more difficult," said the 89-year-old on Südwestrundfunk (SWR) on Monday.
According to Vogel, it is true that the reunification was a success. Nevertheless, even 32 years after reunification, "the entire legacy of the GDR regime has not been eliminated," according to the CDU politician.
According to Vogel, the dissatisfaction of many people in East Germany with politics has historical reasons: "For decades, politics and the state in East Germany were things that you shouldn't have anything to do with. That changed completely after reunification, but experience has not changed yet." The people in East Germany must therefore see democracy as an opportunity in which one can also criticize without being in danger of being punished.