TO ANALYSE THE GERMAN QUESTION IN THIS TRANSITORY moment is risky in several respects. The German novelist Martin Walser who underwent a metamorphosis from a fellow traveller of the communists to a German nationalist put it bluntly: ‘He who does not get below his intellectual level when talking about Germany has no intellectual level at all.’ The topic has pitfalls everywhere:
— it is deeply connected with emotions, whatever the view of the writer;
— it is in flux, ‘words are already out of date in your mouth’ as a cynic put it. The increasing number of actors who claim to have a say in the German unification process makes prognosis almost impossible;
— scientific analysis of this unique event lacks concepts. Transition to democracy in a highly penetrated system does not follow the established rules of this branch of knowledge.