Poll: Half of East Germans Positive on Communism

Nostalgic Germans believe life was better before the Berlin Wall came down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2009 7:20 AM CDT
An elderly woman walks down a local street in Wittstock in the former East Germany.   (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
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(Newser) – They may not be pining for the Stasi or the Trabant, but half of people recently polled in the former East Germany are thinking, in hindsight, that Communism wasn't so bad after all, Der Speigel reports. Nearly 20 years after the Berlin Wall came down, the poll finds  that 49% believe East Germany had more good sides than bad sides, only 35% say the converse, and 8% are agreed that life was "happier and better" under the dictatorship.

Germans nostalgic for Communism—including many young people with no experience of life in the old East Germany—praise the solidarity of life behind the Wall, and downplay the role of the secret police. "I'm better off today than I was before," says one former East German, "but I am not more satisfied." Before the Wall came down, he says, he had never seen beggars or homeless people.