I think partially tried to address this question, Ken, in my last response, but I'm sure that the German cultural affinity with good order and efficiency was a big factor too. More excitable societies would have been embarking on witch-hunts and retributions, but the East Germans just got on with it, even though forced to adapt to almost cataclysmic changes.

On 14 May 2012 15:00, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Interesting accrual of a thought, there, David. When I go back over it I'm stopped at the third sentence, "How can this be?"....Do you ever come up with answers, tentative or otherwise?

Ken A

On 5/14/2012 5:32 AM, David Boyd wrote:

Similarly, in recent decades I have worked closely with the remnants of communist East German technological industry, formerly controlled by the Soviets, typically for their own  military purposes.

Although 'freedom' and a much-changed economic and legal  order prevails, it has ever intrigued me that the self-same individuals who ran the place under the former DDR regime continue to  do so under the new, integrated, German Federal one.

How can this be?, I have often speculated. When the old regime was toppled, why weren't it's state industry managers disposed-of too?

And, scratch the surface of the ordinary workers' perceptions and one finds very mixed feelings about the collapse of the DDR. From virtually zero unemployment they've gone to 20 to 30 %; decent housing is unaffordable to everyone other than employed high-earners in the new economy and many will tell you that they're far far worse off financially than under the old order, and wish they had it back.