Almost three quarters of Germans see the
GDR in retrospect as a Unrechtsstaat to. 73.9 percent fully or somewhat agreed with the statement. There is a clear difference in perception between East and West.
In the survey, 49.2 percent of Germans rated the East Germans the GDR as Unrechtsstaat, thus scarcely half. This compares with 80.9 percent of West Germans, who come to such an assessment.
The survey was conducted by the Opinion research institute Civey conducted on behalf of our editorial team.
GDR as a state of injustice? Prime ministers trigger debate
The debate about the historical classification of the German Democratic Republic was sparked by a statement by Thuringia's head of government, Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke), that the GDR was "clearly not a state under the rule of law" – although he avoided using the term "state under the rule of law" because, in his view, it was too directly linked to Nazi rule.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Minister President Manuela Schwesig (SPD) had also spoken out against the use of the term. CDU presidium member Mike Mohring then sharply criticized the East German minister presidents. Saxony's Minister President Michael Kretschmer stated clearly: "The GDR was a state of injustice."
Clear differences in assessment of the GDR depending on party affiliation
There are hardly any differences between the sexes in their perception of the GDR, but there are differences between the party affiliations. Among CDU/CSU members and supporters of the Greens and FDP, around 80 percent each agree with the classification as an unjust state.
They are followed by SPD and AfD supporters with 73 and 68 percent respectively. The Link, which is particularly strong in the East, is clearly lagging behind in terms of approval. Supporters of the Left Party share only 47.5 percent of the assessment that the GDR was an "unjust state".
Unemployed see GDR rather less as unjust state
While around three-quarters of employees, the self-employed, pensioners and students each share the assessment, only 56 percent of the unemployed/non-employed share it. There could be a connection with spatial differences – in many places, the unemployment rate is higher in the east than in the west.
Another conspicuous feature: the higher the level of education, the more likely it is that there is full or tendential agreement with the classification.
To the survey: In the survey conducted by Civey in the period from 7. October to 8. October online 8279 people participated. The sample size was 5016. The question was asked: "To what extent do you agree with the statement: "The GDR was an unjust state"??" (ses)