The State of German Unification 30 Years after the Fall of the Wall

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On November 29th, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in collaboration with the Institute for Far Eastern Studies organized the special lecture on the status of German unification 30 years after the fall of the wall, the historical background and current problems at Pyeonghwagwan of IFES, Seoul.

The guest lecturer, Dr. Henrik Bispinck, is a research fellow at the Humboldt University Berlin and has worked as a scientific associate at the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR. In his lecture, not only did he present the complexities of reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but he explored how reunification processes still impact and influence people's lives to this day.

Bispinck argued that 30 years after the end of the German division, an inner unity still has to be achieved. While the gap between East and West Germany with regards to the economy has narrowed considerably, it is still large. Furthermore, the mental divide between East and West Germans even seems to have widened in the last years. It can be said that the realization of “inner unity” is not a linear process and that the merge of two societies may take longer than the duration of their separation.

The special lecture was followed by a very stimulating discussion on, among other things, the acute challenge of the internal migration flows after the fall of the Berlin wall to West Germany. Above all, valuable insights were gained from the German experience for Korea's present state and future development.

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