East german identity

These accounts and others from the period often emphasise that the Suebi and their Hermione kin formed an especially large and mobile nation, which at the time were living mainly near the Elbe, both east and west of it, but they were also moving westwards into the lands near the Roman frontier. Pomponius Mela in his slightly earlier Description of the World [26] places "the farthest people of Germania , the Hermiones" somewhere to the east of the Cimbri and the Teutones , and further from Rome, apparently on the Baltic. Strabo however describes the Suebi as going through a period where they were pushed back east by the Romans, in the direction from which they had come:

Ostalgie and the emphasis on a distinct East German identity ( Ostidentität ) are neither pure nostalgia nor a desperate attempt at trying to distinguish oneself from “them”-meaning the West Germans. When the slogan “Wir sind das Volk” changed into “Wir sind ein Volk” at the turn of the year 1989/90, people were driven by several motives (internal ones having to do with the disappointment and anger about the communist regime, and external ones, mainly in form of Western temptations) and they had different aspirations in mind. Few of them, however, had any idea how deeply attached they were to the socialist pattern they were voting out, and how quickly and extensively the culture of the GDR would be depreciated by the West and disappear. Despite the fact that parts of this farewell were desired, necessary or at least seen as inevitable, it does remain a far-reaching and radical severance, which happened quickly and without any prior time of inner preparation.

East german identity

east german identity


east german identityeast german identityeast german identityeast german identityeast german identity