That pitiful look on Merkel's face is not a plea to understand East Germans. It's a plea for them to understand her.
Ahead of German Unity Day, Angela Merkel, says the issue of migration has split the country. She calls for Greater Compassion and Understanding for the Concerns of East Germans.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper on Saturday that although German reunification was largely "a success story," many communities in the country's former communist east harbored resentment.
"Much of what happened in the early 90s is once again facing people (today)," Merkel said, referring to the period of upheaval that followed the reunification of East and West Germany on October 3, 1990.
Merkel said there had been a "certain amount of nervousness" in Germany since the 2017 federal election, which reduced her authority and saw the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) emerge as the third-largest party. The chancellor said the challenge of migration, in particular, had opened up divisions in the country.
The recent violent protests that gripped the eastern city of Chemnitz following a fatal stabbing that was blamed on asylum-seekers served as an example of how damaging such divisions can be.
Merkel argued that was one reason to do everything one could to make the anti-migrant AfD "as small as possible."
"For me that means addressing and solving the problems people are worried about," she said, adding however that there was a need to draw clear boundaries "where there is hatred, where there are general suspicions, where minorities are marginalized."
2018 Chemnitz Riots
For starters, it was indeed asylum-seekers that killed a German man leading up to the Chemnitz Riots.
In the early morning of 26 August, after a festival celebrating the city's founding, a fight broke out resulting in the death of a German-Cuban man and serious injuries to two other people. Two Kurdish immigrants, one Iraqi, and one Syrian were named as suspects. The incident re-ignited the tensions surrounding immigration to Germany, which had been ongoing since 2015 and the European migrant crisis. In response, mass protests against immigration were ignited by far-right nationalist groups. The protests spawned riots and were followed by counter-demonstrations.
The protests seemed reasonable enough. Immigrants have killed, murdered and raped German citizens.
The German citizens are fed up, and rightfully so. That the protests got way out of hand is a separate issue.
Merkel still does not see herself as the primary catalyst for this mess. It was her asinine immigration policy that fueled these protests.
Let in millions of people who cannot speak German, have no skills, and who cite religion as giving the a right to attack women, and what the hell do you think would happen?
Merkel, in her ivory tower, calls for "compassion" for the East Germans. That smacks of blaming them.
Merkel talks of "solving the problem". She should look in the mirror. She is the problem.
It's no wonder AfD is rising in the polls.