Guess who's the no. 1 choice for emigrating Germans?
Our reader Jefferson forwarded this mail from his friend G. to us:
Subject: Query: German emigration and "Ostalgie"
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
An article in the August 2006 issue of _The Atlantic Times_ on page 4
may be worth a special note. It lists the fifteen main countries to
which Germans emigrated in 2005. The United States leads the list
with 12,976 and China ends it with 1,696. The latter is the only one
among these fifteen ruled by a regime bearing any resemblance to that
of the former East German state. Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea are
nowhere to be found on this list.
Does this tell us something about the prevalence and significance of
what is often called "Ostalgie"? Does it suggest that the nostalgic,
romanticized vision some harbor about the GDR is a sign of
resignation rather than a genuine desire to re-live "real existing
socialism"? Or what is going on?
In the past, as in the present, Germans have left the country for
other countries because they had to or because they wanted to. Is
there a break with pattern here?
[Ed. note: _The Atlantic Times_ is a monthly newspaper focusing on
German-American relations; it tends to reprint a great many articles
in English from _Die Zeit_, perhaps because Theo Sommer is the
executive editor. It is available only in print form, but
subscription information can be found at