East and West Germans Differ in their Views on Russia

Mon 24th Jul, 2023

A recent survey conducted by the Yougov polling institute on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur reveals a notable divide in opinions between East and West Germans concerning their views on Russia and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR).

The survey highlights significant differences in attitudes towards Russia between citizens living in eastern and western regions of Germany. When asked about the appropriate approach towards Russia, 37 percent of respondents agreed that the German government should maintain a good relationship with the country. On the other hand, half of the participants expressed a negative stance. Interestingly, a considerably higher proportion of people in the eastern states showed support for a cautious approach towards Russia, indicating a greater inclination towards diplomacy. However, it's important to note that this preference does not necessarily translate into approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin's policies. The survey suggests that concerns and anxieties may also be influencing opinions, as it revealed a higher number of respondents in the former GDR who perceive Russia as a threat to Germany.

The survey further shows that only 28 percent of Germans view Russia as a potential partner, with 62 percent expressing dissent. Among supporters of the far-right political party AfD (Alternative for Germany), there was a higher proportion advocating for friendly relations with Russia, followed by voters of the Left and FDP parties. For all other parties represented in the Bundestag, the percentage of those in favor of cooperation with Russia was lower.

Shifting the focus to views on the GDR, nearly half of the respondents from the eastern states believed that the political system of the GDR provided more advantages for citizens' professional lives compared to the current Federal Republic of Germany. In contrast, only about one-third of respondents from the western states held the same view.

Similarly, perceptions of private life under the GDR regime were more positive in the eastern states than in the western states, despite the lack of freedom to travel being a prominent aspect of life in the GDR. Nonetheless, both regions acknowledged more drawbacks than advantages when reflecting on the GDR's impact on private life.

It is important to note that the survey's findings represent an overall tendency among adult Germans, and the varying perspectives can be attributed to different experiences and histories in the two regions.

This survey sheds light on the existing differences in perspectives between East and West Germans, particularly concerning relations with Russia and the views on the former GDR. As Germany continues to navigate its complex historical legacy and international relations, understanding these regional disparities is essential for fostering unity and cooperation within the country.

Write a comment ...
Post comment