Upon analysing the results of the recent German Election, which has been a huge victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), I came across this fascinating graph. It’s one of a series showing where each party has its base (Social Democrats in north-west, CDU in the south – and everywhere else, really) and this particular map shows where votes for the ‘Die Linke’ (Left) party are concentrated. Just as I discovered with religious observance, there’s a clear east-west divide along the former border of the Iron Curtain.
I can see two immediate responses to this. A Marxist might say that the Communist government of East Germany so successfully instilled its ideals into the population that, as with religion, they continue to advocate the state’s beliefs long after it exists. Others might argue that this is merely the inevitable result of increased poverty in the east as a result of inefficient rule, or due to the difficulties the region must be facing in adapting to a capitalist system.
Either way, I continue to be fascinated by how history is so clearly alive today in the most surprising ways. Do you know of any other examples of these ‘ghost borders’? Please let me know!