Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany and Weep – Part I, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Most Germans are statist and collectivist to the core. From Hans-Hermann Hoppe at

Part 1 Transcript

Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany—and Weep: Part I: Germany: East and West, Reunification, and the US

Hans-Hermann Hoppe

(Based on a speech delivered at the Property and Freedom Society 16th Annual Meeting, Bodrum, Turkey, Sep. 18, 2022, available at

So the title of my speech today is “Growing to Understand Contemporary Germany—and Weep.” And it comes in two parts.

If you ask me what was the most important year in world history, I would have to say it was 1949, because that was the year when I was born. And then there occurred also a few other important events such as Mises’ magnum opus, Human Action, which was published in 1949, and coming closer to the topic that I want to talk about: East Germany and West Germany. West Germany, called BRD, and East Germany, called DDR, were also founded in 1949, as was NATO.

I grew up in the West, but my parents were refugees from the East, both of them, and my mother’s family had been expropriated by the Russians in 1946, and they were expelled from their estate that they had. Most of my relatives, however, lived in East Germany.

As a child, we were extremely poor. My parents had absolutely nothing as refugees, but only in retrospect would I say that I was poor. Then, I thought that was all perfectly normal. And at the time, too, I thought it was perfectly normal that things would get better from year to year, not only for my family but also for the village in which we lived. I did not understand the reason for this. I simply thought that was perfectly normal. That’s how things go.

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