German Unification, Role of the Media

The process of German reunification—in fact, the entire period between the peaceful demonstrations in autumn 1989, the first free elections in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in March 1990, and the unification day in October 1990—could not be predicted by the social sciences. Both the speed of this process and the peculiarities of social science research in the GDR resulted in a fairly incomplete scientific analysis of this huge historical event, in particular with regard to the role of the media. Contemporary historians dealing with the “peaceful revolution” focused on the economic, political, and ideological failure of “real socialism” in the GDR, on the developments in the other countries of Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland and Hungary), and on the changed political orientation of the Soviet ...

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