United Germany Today: Still Searching?

November 5, 2009

Please join the Deutsches Haus and AGI for a lecture with Johann Legner, deputy chief editor for the Lausitzer Rundschau, and Linda Teuteberg, Member of the State Parliament of Brandenburg, on “United Germany Today: Clearly Western, Still Divided, or Still Searching?” The discussion will take place on Thursday, November 5, 2009, at 12:00pm in the Deutsches Haus; a light luncheon will be served.

The joy following the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification at first camouflaged the fundamental differences between East and West Germany. Since then, the political culture in Germany has undergone a lasting change. The experience of two dictatorships has left its marks. Now, twenty years after the fall of the Wall, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) faces an existential crisis. At the same time, the Left Party, a political movement which fundamentally questions democracy, is gaining influence on political culture and process. In this political climate, the fundamental question of whether western values were adopted or if eastern opinions in certain instances prevailed becomes even more important.

Mr. Johann Legner, a German journalist, is the deputy chief editor of the Cottbus daily newspaper Lausitzer Rundschau, once the district daily of the SED – the ruling communist party in the GDR – and today owned by the Holtzbrinck media group. He was the spokesman of the Commissioner for the Stasi Files from 1996-2000. The office of the Commissioner (formerly also known as the Gauck Authority) is responsible for the hundreds of miles of Stasi (East German secret police) files.

Ms. Linda Teuteberg (FDP) is a member of the Brandenburg State Parliament where she is the chairwoman of the Committee of Interior and Justice, member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Interior and Justice, and National Vice Chairman of the Young Liberals of Brandenburg. She is also a Board member of the Forum for Critical Discussion of GDR History in the Land Brandenburg.