Report on German Reunification

A Threatened Peace

In this Aug. 21, 2015 photo police stand beside demonstrators outside a former DYI market that has been converted into a shelter for asylum seekers in Heidenau, south of Dresden, eastern Germany, as dozens of people block the road to stop the migrants from moving in. (Arno Burgi/dpa via AP)
Violence broke out at a protest against taking in refugees in Heidenau, eastern Germany, one of a growing number of such incidents over the last year.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Rising right-wing extremism could be holding back the economic development of eastern German states.

  • Facts


    • The per capita GDP of states in former East Germany is still 25 percent less than the western states.
    • An annual report on German reunification says in 2015 extremist crime reached its highest level since counting began in 2001.
    • Right-wing attacks happen five times more often in some eastern states than in the West.
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More than 25 years after German reunification, the federal government has drawn a sobering conclusion. The East still lags behind economically, and is experiencing an alarming surge in right-wing extremism.

Every year, the federal government issues a report on the state of Germany unity. The findings are not usually a cause for exuberant joy, and this year’s report, released Wednesday, is no exception.

The economic gap between East and West continues to close. But 26 years after reunification, the East’s economic performance is still more than a quarter below the level of Western states. Per capita gross domestic product, the report says, rose from 42.8 percent of the West’s in 1991, to 72.5 percent in 2015.

However, the report contains worse news – a rise in racially-motivated violence in East Germany.

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