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Shortage of Women in East Germany Causes Turmoil
Reuters ^ | 2/26/2003 | Erik Kirschbaum

Posted on 12/26/2003 8:06:25 AM PST by BerniesFriend

Reuters Features

Shortage of Women in East Germany Causes Turmoil 2 hours, 51 minutes ago

By Erik Kirschbaum

LIEBENTHAL, Germany (Reuters) - A steady exodus of educated women is worsening a gender gap among eastern Germany's young and could be sowing the seeds of social upheaval.

Reuters Photo

There are now more than 130 men for every 100 women in rural parts of the East and demographic researchers fear the surplus will widen as educated young women continue to leave the former communist region.

Depopulation has long been a problem for the East, but the disproportionate number of women leaving has caused concerns that a dearth of females of child-bearing age will speed the decline and worries about what will happen to the men left behind.

Sociologists and demographic experts studying the phenomenon of a "surplus of men" in the East, as some political leaders prefer to call it, say eastern women seem to find jobs or partners in the wealthier West more easily than eastern men.

"Eastern women seem to be more mobile than men, and tend to have more education and skills," said Harald Michel, director of the Institute for Applied Demography in Berlin that has long been studying the flight of the East's "best and the brightest."

"Eastern women appear more successful in finding jobs or partners in the West. There are few jobs in the East, so large numbers of men and women go west. But the women tend to settle in the West and never come back while most of the men return. The surplus of men in the East is getting wider all the time."

NO LOVE FOR 'LOVE VALLEY'

"Liebenthal" is the German word for "Love Valley," but there appears to be little affinity among young people for the town of 260 people that lies in a region with a 20 percent unemployment rate 50 miles north of Berlin.

"It's deads-ville here," said Dirk Arndt, 19, who grew up in Liebenthal and is training to become a welder in a nearby town. "It's a totally boring place. There's nothing to do and no place to go. Everyone I know is trying to leave."

Apart from just one small restaurant on Main Street, there is little for Liebenthal youths to do other than plan their escape. Arndt said Liebenthal was dying and would become a ghost town.

He and his friend Tobias Seeger needed only a few seconds to name the three girls their age who still live in town.

"You never see girls hanging out in Liebenthal because there aren't many left," said 17-year-old Seeger.

For girls a good education is the most promising way to get out.

"I'm going to get out of here as soon as I'm finished with school," said Janine Heiner, 17, from nearby Liebenwalde. She plans to spend a year working as an au pair in the United States to learn English and better her chances of escape.

"There are no jobs here, no money to earn and no future. There's nothing left here." Heiner hopes to end up in France, Russia or the United States -- anywhere but Liebenthal.

Tina Brotzeit, 16, said there were girls in her school but she rarely saw any of them in town.

"You hardly ever see girls hanging around outside," she said. "Only boys, nothing but boys."

GENDER GAP MAY LEAD TO SOCIAL UNREST

A review of data from the Federal Statistics Office in Weisbaden shows that there are 279,626 more men than women between the ages of 15 and 50 in the five eastern German states -- with the biggest surplus of men (69,605) in the 20 to 25 age group, where there are 481,760 men and 412,165 women.

That is a ratio of nearly 120 men to 100 women for all of the east, but Michel said that the gap is 130 to 100 or even higher in depressed rural regions north of Berlin.

"Imagine the consequences of a third of the male population having no chance of finding a partner," said Michel. "Alcoholism, welfare dependency, poverty -- the ingredients are there for more social tension, extremism and even violence."

Depopulation has plagued hundreds of towns and cities throughout the ex-communist east. Nearly 2 million people have left since German unification in 1990, mainly because there are no jobs. The East's population is now 15 million and there are more than a million vacant apartments.

The net loss slowed in the mid-1990s but has picked up to about 100,000 each year now. About 300,000 easterners leave the region each year, most in search of jobs, while about 200,000 return.

"The first to take off are young women with skills," said Ulf Matthiesen, researcher at the Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning in Erkner. He has published a controversial paper warning the East was turning into a region of "imbeciles" because of the brain drain.

Recent testing by the Defense Ministry of armed forces recruits aged 18 to 22 seemed to confirm his fears, finding that the language, mathematical and logical thinking skills of eastern men was well below the national average.

Matthiesen said there was a danger that rural regions would one day be occupied only by "village fools without a chance of having families or female partners."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Germany; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: eastgermany; germany; socialunrest
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Wow..insert your own joke here..
1 posted on 12/26/2003 8:06:25 AM PST by BerniesFriend
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To: BerniesFriend
If the women all look like Katerina Witt, I would indeed be saddened. If they look like the runway model from the 1980's Wendy's commericals, no big deal.

"Up next.....eveningvear....."

2 posted on 12/26/2003 8:11:30 AM PST by The Dude Abides (Hey Saddam..... You're king of just two things.......)
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To: BerniesFriend
Heiner hopes to end up in France, Russia or the United States

That's an odd choice of three places to "escape to." Why would anyone want to escape to France or Russia? Call me clueless.

3 posted on 12/26/2003 8:16:35 AM PST by cantfindagoodscreenname (SAVE THE BLACK FLY)
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To: BerniesFriend
The theme of this article could apply equally to China, given its "One Child" policy that has led to a preponderance of male births because of female baby abortions/infanticide. IMO, this will be the cause of the next war in Asia as the social unrest/excess testosterone level rises.
4 posted on 12/26/2003 8:17:21 AM PST by T-Bird45
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To: BerniesFriend
Oh goody, lots of boys. Barney Frank is on his way!
5 posted on 12/26/2003 8:17:23 AM PST by Utah Binger (,)
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To: BerniesFriend
Could state-sponsored abortion have something to do with this?
6 posted on 12/26/2003 8:19:13 AM PST by sine_nomine (Protect the weakest of the weak - the unborn babies.)
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To: Thud
ping
7 posted on 12/26/2003 8:20:24 AM PST by Dark Wing
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To: BerniesFriend
Sounds like Herman, Minnesota from a few years ago. Bachelormania, East German style.
8 posted on 12/26/2003 8:20:56 AM PST by Wissa
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To: sine_nomine
Could state-sponsored abortion have something to do with this?

They could always revert to state-sponsored white slavery..

9 posted on 12/26/2003 8:22:20 AM PST by BerniesFriend
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To: BerniesFriend
...or polygamy, in reverse.
10 posted on 12/26/2003 8:24:05 AM PST by EggsAckley (......................... IT'S NOT MY FAULT ! ! ! ...................................)
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To: BerniesFriend
Interesting read.
11 posted on 12/26/2003 8:28:01 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: BerniesFriend
There are now more than 130 men for every 100 women in rural parts of the East...

Not to worry... they have plenty of sheep over there...
12 posted on 12/26/2003 8:29:28 AM PST by JustPlainJoe
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To: BerniesFriend
The East here is still recovering from the devastating effects of Communism. It was total poison for 40+ years to the nation.

If you send any America women over here, don't send this one.


13 posted on 12/26/2003 8:30:22 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: The Dude Abides
If they look like the runway model from the 1980's Wendy's commericals, no big deal.

I don't remember. Did that model look anything like those East German swimmers? :)

14 posted on 12/26/2003 8:37:07 AM PST by John123 (The Governator is gonna clear a lot of the deadwood in Sacramento!)
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To: SkyPilot
Is that Hillery on her "listening tour"? Right there she looks like she is getting ready to reply with the two words she seems to know the best: "You Know, You Know, You Know, You Know?"

Send her to the former East German Worker's Republic. It is gray and boring, just like her soul.
15 posted on 12/26/2003 8:39:21 AM PST by Lockbar
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To: BerniesFriend
This is a depressing tale. Maybe they need to apply for some of those Russian mail-order brides?

Socialism appears to be reaping some long-term benefits.

16 posted on 12/26/2003 8:40:45 AM PST by Gritty
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To: SkyPilot
Since Hillery has become part of this thread, I just have to post my favorite Pic of her. No other reason except its fun, and funny.
17 posted on 12/26/2003 8:43:18 AM PST by Lockbar
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To: BerniesFriend
< feminist rant on >

Well, if the men would quit enbracing the cradle to grave socialistic welfare system, embrace capitalism, and get off their lazy butts and produce capital (and thusly, jobs!) then the women might come back.

< /feminist rant off >

Now, since the women are smart enough (just barely) to realize that they need to go where the jobs are, and are trying to better their position, why don't the guys do it also?

18 posted on 12/26/2003 8:46:03 AM PST by Maigrey (Save the Endangered Tagline! Call 1-800-Tagline! Save the Endangered Tagline!)
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To: BerniesFriend
The very day after the wall was opened, guys that were in armorers school with me in Vilseck said that there were scores of E. German women picking up on GI's at the local bars. I would imagine that a couple thousand of these MIA E. German women are currently occupying government housing on various Army bases around the world.
19 posted on 12/26/2003 8:53:26 AM PST by Tailback
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To: Utah Binger
Oh goody, lots of boys. Barney Frank is on his way!

On a related note...

Aren't we told that 10% of the population is homosexual? Wouldn't that make this problem overstated?

...oh, I guess not, since it applies to both genders.

20 posted on 12/26/2003 8:58:10 AM PST by Egon (I'll still respect you... I'll respect you even more... Just use more whipped cream...)
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To: sine_nomine
Could state-sponsored abortion have something to do with this?

No. It's more difficult to get an abortion in Germany than in the U.S.

21 posted on 12/26/2003 9:12:44 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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To: BerniesFriend
There's a woman shortage in rural Japan and South Korea, as well.
22 posted on 12/26/2003 9:23:19 AM PST by Siamese Princess
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To: Siamese Princess
There's a woman shortage in rural Japan and South Korea, as well.

Did I read that right..there are short women in rural Japan and South Korea..oh no..wait...now I understand ;)..sorry..that was a very bad joke..

23 posted on 12/26/2003 9:25:42 AM PST by BerniesFriend
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To: Lockbar
I like it!

Here's one of my dumb Hillary photos... since you guys have hijacked this thread and turned it into a Hillary bash-fest...

But I still kinda like this one.
24 posted on 12/26/2003 9:26:12 AM PST by Bon mots
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To: EggsAckley
polyandry
25 posted on 12/26/2003 9:27:17 AM PST by Quix (Particularly quite true conspiracies are rarely proven until it's too late to do anything about them)
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To: The Dude Abides
"Up next.....eveningvear....."

"Is nice.

Is next..... svimvear...."

26 posted on 12/26/2003 9:28:01 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: SkyPilot
I think first,

that the creature has to be human.

Then, the human has to be female. Bwitches, Its, demonic gloves etc. do not qualify.

Then, presumably, the female has to act like one, sound like one and have some semblence of sweetness.

The subject of your photo seems to crash and burn on all criteria, IMHO.
27 posted on 12/26/2003 9:29:40 AM PST by Quix (Particularly quite true conspiracies are rarely proven until it's too late to do anything about them)
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To: Siamese Princess
There's a woman shortage in rural Japan and South Korea, as well.

And Laz's apartment.

Don't forget Laz's apartment.

28 posted on 12/26/2003 9:30:13 AM PST by Lazamataz (I slam, you slam, we all slam, for Islam!)
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To: Wissa
"Sounds like Herman, Minnesota..."

Where do I enlist? It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it :)
29 posted on 12/26/2003 9:30:30 AM PST by tinacart ((I STILL hate hitlery!))
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To: Egon
That's an inaccurate statistic from the activists via Kinsey.

It's more accurately 2-6% at most.
30 posted on 12/26/2003 9:31:59 AM PST by Quix (Particularly quite true conspiracies are rarely proven until it's too late to do anything about them)
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To: Siamese Princess
The Bible declares that 7 women will ask one man to marry them to take away their shame--while they will provide their own food, clothese etc.

Evidently . . . after more drama . . . in our era.
31 posted on 12/26/2003 9:33:37 AM PST by Quix (Particularly quite true conspiracies are rarely proven until it's too late to do anything about them)
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To: Wissa
Could be any rural town up here in N MN and ND - the girls graduate and leave right away.
32 posted on 12/26/2003 10:12:07 AM PST by Leeann
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To: Maigrey
Now, since the women are smart enough (just barely) to realize that they need to go where the jobs are, and are trying to better their position, why don't the guys do it also?

Oh, I'm sure they do. But as the article says, the women find getting a job easier than the men. Even if it's just a small difference, over time it will add up to a fairly large disparity.

33 posted on 12/26/2003 10:15:49 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Prodigal Son
Woman have always been more socially mobile. Could it be that these men are somehow tied to their farms? (how much can you sell a small dirt farm for?)

If these men could get the opportunity they would move too.

As for the shortage of women, look for murder rates to increase.

(compare to USA: A pretty woman at mcdonalds counter will be asked out on a date. A guy working at the same job is a "loser" if roles are reverse. No offense just example.)
34 posted on 12/26/2003 10:40:20 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory
Why isn't the focus on encouraging these German men, stuck in a situation that isn't working "TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT"!!! No, we'll just listen to liberal think tank types wringing their hands as they discuss ramifications and half-assed 'remedies' for the problem. Again, personal responsibility has no place in these matters.
35 posted on 12/26/2003 11:12:15 AM PST by raptor29
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To: raptor29
finding that the language, mathematical and logical thinking skills of eastern men was well below the national average.

Maybe the eastern men should just become homosexuals and metrosexuals. It doesn't sound like they need to be reproducing.

36 posted on 12/26/2003 11:22:24 AM PST by FITZ
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To: FITZ
Clearly, the East German women aren't all that impressed!
37 posted on 12/26/2003 11:24:56 AM PST by raptor29
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To: BerniesFriend
I, for one, could not care less that there are now 130 men for every 100 women in some parts of former East Germany because all the women left.

What I am very interested in, is that it generally follows that somewhere in the world there is 130 women for every 100 men. As soon as they write an article about THAT problem, I will become keenly interested and do my very best to alleviate the suffering of those women.

38 posted on 12/26/2003 11:29:13 AM PST by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Lazamataz; Siamese Princess
Pretty feeble attempt at obtaining an Asian woman Laz!
Sounded almost whiney. ;-)

By the way there is no shortage of Siamese women in ASA Vet's house.

39 posted on 12/26/2003 11:41:29 AM PST by ASA Vet (Having achieved Nibbana, what can I do next?)
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To: raptor29
Why isn't the focus on encouraging these German men, stuck in a situation that isn't working "TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT"!!!

*** ****

So if they go to learn to read, who will plow the field? Milk the goats? feed the pigs? If you don't watch the farm every single day it will die. There are no days off, you can't skip feeding animimals.

Even so, when your farm is 10 acres how much can it be worth. You can only sell your home once. What can you get for an east german dirt farm? 1000 euros? how far will that take you when you have no skills, illiterate, and are only trained in farm labor? Do you work oppressive hours in the city as a laboror for someone else or do you work oppressive hours in the countryside on your own, however small, farm?

I believe they should "move the mountain" they should be taught updated framing and brought into the 21st century. Like the rest of europe, the farms will become consolodated and larger more productive farms will be created. (can everyone say factory farms?) None of this will happen if the only options only include 100 year old farming methods.
40 posted on 12/26/2003 11:42:57 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: tortoise
I did find such a city but no way am I telling. (not kidding either)
41 posted on 12/26/2003 11:45:34 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory
Could you imagine if this excuse-making was applied across the board for every person facing a difficult/challenging situation? We would all sit around lamenting how deep a hole we are in, without ever endeavoring to figure a way out. And America was built on figuring a way out, and the rest of the world should go to school on that. "They should be taught updated farming...."? How about they get informed and do it themselves. It's not like information is tough to come by in 2003. These people have brains, they have just been let down by a socialist/excuse-making culture over the past 50 years, which has turned them into a mess.
42 posted on 12/26/2003 12:13:48 PM PST by raptor29
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To: SkyPilot
Wow--that looks like ONE MAD WOMAN...
43 posted on 12/26/2003 12:18:15 PM PST by DennisR
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To: Maigrey
Now, since the women are smart enough (just barely) to realize that they need to go where the jobs are, and are trying to better their position, why don't the guys do it also?

Women have the time-honored MRS Degree option as well as its cousin, the World's Oldest Profession.

Even a mediocre-looking woman can flash some T & A and get some job that gets them stared at and requires breathing [apparatus]. In the conditions described, that option is only available for the really pretty boys (a tiny tiny %).

44 posted on 12/26/2003 12:23:19 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: raptor29
I think part of the problem is that these dirt farmers don't really have enough knowledge. Their governments just keep subsidizing them without any effort to actually teach them to be self sufficient. Many of these people can't read. Few probably completed school.

There is no real independent method for them to learn other than word of mouth. There is no internet for them. Libraries are pathetic, out of date, and any good ones are too far away to be of use. Imagine if the closest library to nebraska was in washington DC. Not making excuses, but we have to see what these people are dealing with. The have their blind folds removed only to have a government which is working overtime to put blinders on them.

They have no history of rugged independence. Their schools and governments are opposed to that sort of thing. To them responsiblity is in the form of collective social interests. It is a diffrerent way of thinking when you whole country is in one time zone and barely the size of Georgia. (no open spaces there)

This could easily be by design too.

Many European banks offer 0% interest farm loans. Then the same banks go to the EU and individual governments with demands for fiscal control through cutting farm subsidies. The farmers dependend on the farm subsides, are unable to pay the principle and the properties are forclosed. The bank then groups parcels together and sells them as larger units.

The problem will correct itself. The poor saps just don't know they have always been roadkill in the EU works.

45 posted on 12/26/2003 12:43:32 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: BerniesFriend
East German sausage glut?
46 posted on 12/26/2003 1:33:24 PM PST by Flashman_at_the_charge
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To: tortoise
Actually, to find a 130 - 100 female-male ratio (or better) just go to any senior citizens center. I'm told that it is even higher in parts of Palm Beach. ;']

47 posted on 12/26/2003 8:00:58 PM PST by texas booster (Let me be the first to wish you a Merry CHRISTmas!)
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To: raptor29
German tend to turn problems in sagas...without any end to the story. My guess is that the government will be stupid enough to offer a tax credit to single women in Eastern Germany...which the EU will prompty toss out as unfair. And these German guys here in the east...aren't going to shape up or find terrific jobs. So my prediction...you are going to see around 4,000 Philippino/Thai/Russian women coming into East Germany yearly to help fix this problem. And of course, half will be there for marrying purposes...and the other half...well you can guess their occupation. This might force east German men to work harder....to have more cash to spend on these women.
48 posted on 12/26/2003 11:09:39 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: antiRepublicrat
More difficult but not impossible.
49 posted on 12/27/2003 5:43:55 PM PST by sine_nomine (Protect the weakest of the weak - the unborn babies.)
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To: sine_nomine
More difficult but not impossible.

You seemed to imply that the state advocated it, which it doesn't. Prior to unification, abortion was illegal in West Germany and of course East Germany had the standard communist abortion on demand. The laws were harmonized after unification, with the East lobby having some effect. Now abortion is legal, but only after extensive physical and psychological examination, a waiting period, and women have to sign a statement that essentially says "Yes, I know I'm killing my baby."

50 posted on 12/28/2003 5:50:43 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
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