The Harz Mountains once divided the two Germanys, but today there's a popular national park there. Where barbed wire once stood, a primeval forest is growing. Now climate change posing serious challenges.
An eastern German state premier, Bodo Ramelow, has said Germany should have a national anthem that all the country can sing along to. For him and others, the Nazi associations linger, and East Germans never got a choice.
The far-right AfD has emerged as the strongest political party in Germany's formerly communist east. With the Greens winning big among young and urban voters, though, the east-west divide looks set to deepen further.
Germany's Interior Ministry was reportedly obliged to ask for millions in extra funding after forgetting it was due to stage a massive celebration in 2020. The event will mark 30 years of German reunification.
Green party co-leader Robert Habeck is touring eastern Germany ahead of crucial state elections. The region is rough terrain for the liberal Greens, far away from the urban centers where most of their supporters reside.
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