Like all historical events, German reunification had its winners and losers. The winners included most Germans, at least in the initial euphoria, and even most other Europeans, given the liberation of the Eastern bloc and the general relaxation of tensions that accompanied the end of the cold war. Among the losers were the expellee activists, whose organizations suffered a long road to political decline following reunification. The first harbingers of change had been various public intellectuals who began to pose systematic challenges to the expellee groups and the Ostpolitik dogmas associated with them from the early 1960s on. In the course of that decade, these challenges gained growing public support, thanks in large part to broader generational, social, and attitudinal changes in West German society.
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