Individer i en historisk brydningstid - Østtyskerne efter Murens fald

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Stine Hougaard Andersen
4. semester, Historie, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The title of this project is: “Individuals in a historical time of unrest and upheaval – the East Germans after the fall of the Berlin wall”.
The focus of this project is to examine, how the citizens of the former GDR, experienced the time after the fall of the Berlin Wall and to the time leading to the German reunification in October 1990, also known as die Wende. Therefor the research question of this project is: “How did the citizens of the GDR expirience the time between 1989 and 1990?”
The theories used in the process of answering the research question is; Emile Durkheim’s theory on anomy and the theory of historical consciousness discussed and used by the historian Bernard Eric Jensen. Durkheim’s theory on anomy revolves around the effects of unrest and upheaval in society on humans. The theory of historical consciousness revolves around the connection between humans’ interpretation of the past, the understanding of the present and the perspectives of the future.
In order to understand the backstory of this period in time, I have written a review on the development in the political situation as well as the development in the economic situation and finally a review of the development of the society in general. This will give an understanding of the changes that are occurring in the GDR, which is necessary to know in order to understand what the conditions were for the citizens of the GDR.
The main part of the analysis is based upon quotes from citizens who lived in East Germany at the time of die Wende. I have personally made an interview with a former East German citizen who lived in Berlin. Beside the interview I have used dairies and a research project, containing quotes from interviews with former citizens of the GDR. There are also quotes from other sources.
The analysis of the quotes is made with reference to the two theories mentioned earlier. The purpose is not to confirm the theories, but to use them as a tool in the process of understanding the experiences made by the East Germans. In course of the analysis there will be references to the changes in the GDR as mentioned earlier in the project.
The conclusions made in this project is that there in this time in the history of the GDR, are very big changes occurring, which has had huge impact on the everyday life of the East Germans. The impacts made on the East Germans varies much due to different factors of life. Some of the factors examined in this project was age, which seemed to make a difference in the experience. This may be due to the fact; that the older generations have been living under the communistic system for a longer time, and therefore have a harder time adjusting to the changes and the new way of living. Not all young people had an easy time, as well as not all the middle-aged people struggled. Another factor seemed to be how involved in state activities the citizens were. The more committed the citizens were in the state activities, the more upset they seemed to be as result of the changes around them. Beside age and commitment, the job or study situation seemed to make a difference. Some lost their jobs while others felt more secure in their positions, which also leads to a unique experience of the time. There is no overall experience for the East Germans, but some felt happy at the time, while others felt anxiety due to the changes, and others did not express their feelings regarding the experiences. All in all, there will be as many experiences as there is East Germans, but this project has uncovered some of the experiences.
Udgivelsesdato1 aug. 2017
ID: 261157974