NPR

As Voters Head To The Polls, Germans Continue To Grapple With Identity

German voters will most likely re-elect the same woman who has led Germany for the past 12 years. The question of German identity, however, could remain at the center of political debate.
Mohammed Eh'tai fled Syria a couple of years ago. He has been reunited with wife Rawah, holding a doll that is one of the only items from their old life in Syria, and their daughter Rimas. Source: Arezou Rezvani

It is almost impossible to walk the streets of Berlin without running into history. It's everywhere — the physical markers of conquest, division, horror, and reckoning. I was struck by it when I first came here in 2005 as NPR's Berlin correspondent and I am no less moved by it today.

Since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Germans have been grappling with their collective identity. There is the cultural division between those who hail from what was West Germany and those who lived life under Soviet communism in the East. But it's the horrors perpetrated by Germany during World War

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