The Past in the Present: The Emergence and Implications of a "Montagsdemo Culture" in Leipzig, Germany



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In 2004, an economic recession and high unemployment, coupled with a welfare reform, Hartz IV, altering the money an unemployed individual received, sparked protests in several German cities, most notably in Leipzig, Germany, located in former East Germany. Although the 2004 Leipziger Montagsdemonstrationen (Leipzig Monday demonstrations) directly protested Hartz IV, they were the product of a Leipzig protest culture that claimed ancestry to the 1989 Leipziger Montagsdemonstrationen, which were a contributing factor to the fall of the Berlin wall. Subtly, these 2004 demonstrations revealed the problems of German reunification and Western influence in the former East Germany, because they highlight economic, political, and cultural differences that persist along the Cold War boundaries.



Leipzig, 1989, 2004, Hartz IV, Mauer im Kopf, Montagsdemonstrationen