|From the Economist|
Now The Economist has a great map about the difference between the former West and East Germanys. While eastern Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) has jumped, doubling in fact, GDP still pales in comparison to GDP in the west. Also, except for Berlin State which does include the former West Berlin, all states of the former East Germany have all lost population. While birth rate has had a minor impact on population levels, the true case of the population drop is migration from east to west.
The combination of comparative poverty and out migration have made those who remain in eastern Germany those who were left behind. This provides an explanation why radical groups like The Left Party (basically the communist Socialist Unity Party of Germany alumni club) and the National Democratic Party (wannabe Nazis) have such popular appeal in the east.
Of interesting note: western states like Saarland and Lower Saxony have recently seen a rise in support for radical parties. These states have unemployment levels that resemble the east.