…of one culture into another. This is the problem being experienced by eastern Germany since reunification.
Twenty-seven years after Germany’s reunification, the country’s political institutions are still struggling to break down what Germans sometimes call “the Wall in the head,” according to the leader of Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb).
“The domination of West Germans in the elites is still felt as cultural colonialism,” Thomas Krüger, the only former East German to head a government department not directly associated with East German affairs[.]
So much is true, but more importantly, it’s indicative of the long-term damage done by authoritarian governments. The dominated culture develops an ingrained disdain for authority in general, which isn’t all bad for any people, but the individuals of that culture also have lost their initiative—their willingness, even their ability, to act on their distrust and to make their own decisions and then act on those decisions. They’re still too used to being dominated.
It’s a generational damage, and it’ll take generations to overcome. Eastern Germany has been free for only a bit over one generation after three or more generations of domination, first by the Nazis and then by the Soviets.