Three decades ago in 1989, people in East Germany took to the streets to protest communist rule. The “Peaceful Revolution” led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, paving the way for German reunification the following year. But the euphoria soon wore off for many in the former East, and it’s having political consequences today: eastern Germany has become the bastion of the far-right Alternative for Germany party. Karen Donfried and Jeff Gedmin join Susan and Greg to discuss the legacy of 1989 and serious challenges facing the country’s political establishment today. Then ICWA fellow Emily Schultheis reports from Germany, where she speaks to young eastern Germans born in 1989 about their identity.
The Cable is a production of ICWA and the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group.
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President, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Editor-in-Chief, The American Interest
Founding co-chair, TDWG Steering Committee
Fellow, Institute of Current World Affairs
Executive Director, Institute of Current World Affairs
Journalist, author of Russians: The People Behind the Power
Director, Transatlantic Democracy Working Group
Senior fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
The Cable is produced by Rebecca Picard.
Lead image credit: University of Minnesota Institute of Advanced Studies