New Eastern Europe: Opinion polls that were conducted in Germany at the beginning of the Russian full-scale aggression against Ukraine indicate diverging perceptions of Western Germans and Eastern Germans concerning the war. Attitudes differ when it comes to the underlying reasons for the war, the role of USA and NATO, the role of sanctions or the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. The legacy of Germany’s division, but also a variety of images of Ukraine shaped by various cultural and historical factors help to explain these different positions in Germany towards the war. They influence the political debate on how to react to the aggression and support the Ukraine.
Likewise, the war in Ukraine also exposed considerable divisions on attitudes towards Russia between the EU member states and within them. Some cleavages stem from different historical experiences of Central European countries and Cold War divisions but also from today’s political and economic relations of EU countries and their neighbours to the East.
This conference seeks a better understanding of these complex European and German realities. The debate will focus on the different perceptions of the war against Ukraine in Germany and its neighbours (Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands and Poland). We will ask how the German national debate and images on Ukraine are interpreted in the neighbouring countries.
The event is organized within the framework of the EU-project “rEUnify: A comparative study of national perceptions regarding German reunification”. It is accompanied by contributions from student participants as well as the presentation of a special issue of the magazine New Eastern Europe dedicated to the legacy of the reunification of Germany. We thank the City of Dresden for their support and cooperation.