Anna Saunders
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Civic loyalties in the wake of unification
in Honecker’s children
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This chapter examines the longer-term effects of patriotic education in the GDR and its influence in united Germany in order to understand better the nature of both the GDR state and the concept of patriotism. While young east Germans rapidly adapted to western lifestyles in Germany, many of them maintained a critical stance towards the society of united Germany through their political behaviour and support of ‘eastern’ values. The attitudes of young people demonstrate that patriotism and civic unity cannot be imposed from above, but are instead formed through personal experiences on the local level.

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Honecker’s children

Youth and patriotism in East(ern) Germany, 1979–2002


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