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The Takeover

How East Germany became a Part of the Federal Republic

by Kowalczuk, Ilko-Sascha

Thirty years after the wall came down, it is time to take stock. What exactly happened in East Germany when the West took over? How does Eastern Germany continue to differ from other regions in the Republic? Why have populists and extremists been successful here? Eastern German historian Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk is unafraid of difficult facts; and as next to personal experience, he delivers the political book of the moment.

Revolution in the GDR was a total surprise. Nobody had anticipated the fall of the Berling wall in 1989, and when it happened, German reunification followed at break-neck speed. Almost nothing in Eastern Germany remained the same. People had to rebuild their everyday lives from scratch practically overnight. The social consequences were enormous and, to this day, almost completely unknown in the West. In this lively essay, Kowalczuk explains the process of change in Eastern Germany, the gains and losses it brought to people living in the East, and how the East German present is shaped by its post-1989 past. The book offers its readers a political, economic and social panorama rich with peaks and troughs, and full of surprising outlooks thus guaranteeing a vigorous debate around these topics. 

Ilko-Sascha Kowalczuk is a historian. He has published numerous books on GDR history. 

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