Date of Thesis

Spring 2023


The Unification of East and West Germany ended one of the Cold War’s longest divides, but only on paper. After decades under a unified German state, former East Germans face lower standards of living, economic opportunities, and access to national utilities compared to their Western counterparts. This inequality stems from the bifurcated German identity, which remains largely unaddressed amid German state ambitions for a central role in international institutions. The failure to properly acknowledge East German identity and the suppression thereof demonstrates the failure of Unification to unite the German nation. Political ambitions outweighed a true reconciliation of German nationhood, and differing histories and paths of identity undertaken by Easterners and Westerners created a divide only resolvable through intense state attention and support.


reunification, identity, Germany, 1990, Cold War, Berlin Wall

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts


German Studies

First Advisor

Rebekah Slodounik

Second Advisor

Bastian Heinsohn

Third Advisor

David Del Testa