German Unification Case Study

Goals and Issues - Group B



Historical Background


Goals &




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Goals B

As is the case for other communist states through out Eastern Europe, East Germany or the German Democratic Republic (GDR) faces massive social and military upheaval in the initial post-communist years. However, East Germany's process is unique in that the country loses its sovereign status and merges with the economic and political framework of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The perspectives in which the unification is viewed range from unification as a hostile takeover to unification as the long overdue rectification of an historical tragedy.

In this part of the Web site, you are given the specific goals for you and your teammates.

As you are preparing for the discussion:

  1. think of how to present your arguments.
  2. anticipate the counter arguments to your position.
  3. envision the implication(s) of possible solutions.

Group B: Goals

I. Joint goals for your group:
  1. Keep the social costs of unification manageable. This means there has to be a trade-off between punishment and reconciliation, not only in legal matters but in practical matters as well. For example, some East German soldiers have to be brought into the Bundeswehr but not so many as to destabilize the military.

  2. Find a way to accept and acknowledge the past without destroying East Germans' ability to participate in the political life of a new Germany.

  3. Come up with a unified approach to the NATO policy. Germans together have to decide how aggressive the new Germany should be in NATO.

II. General East-German goals:
  1. Find further employment for security forces and keep West Germans from exercising a kind of victors' justice (Siegerjustiz).

III. General West-German goals:
  1. Keep social costs manageable but make sure that East Germans are held responsible for past actions and are not simply assimilated into the new system.

Click here to continue on to the issues your group will need to resolve.

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