I grew up learning the old spelling and learnt the new one in university. One of my profs was even on the reformers' board. I say, yes there is a division, but it has nothing to do with the actual reformations, that took place. Most of them are quite concise and make a lot of sense and many unknowingly make much fewer mistakes. But that is not the question here. The division has to do with the fact that conservatism is a strong political force (I am not talking parties here, I'm talking about politics as a social phenomenon). People feel intimidated by new stuff they don't know the first thing about. There is a huge number of people from age 35 (I'm 34, that's why I choose this number) upwards, who will blame every single grammatical or spelling mistake they make on the reform (I experience it professionally every single day). The reform, like the Euro, the "Wiedervereinigung" or the European Union has become a sort of scape goat. The younger ones, having grown up with all this, naturally accept it as part of their lifes. To them it's no issue at all, they don't even stop thinking about it and that's exactly where the division draws its line. Mind you, I'm not saying every change is for the better, it's a complex issue, all I'm saying is yes, there is a division, there is a clash of generations, which is only going to be finally resolved by the old generation dying out eventually. And to address your further questions: Yes, people were expected to pick up on the new spelling and there was tons material out there for almost a decade to facilitate it. But there are still distinguished publishers and newspapers out there who refuse to accept the new spelling. This is well accepted as a statement. Generally I would say, the principle of consequence is most accepted. That means if you stick to the old rules, great, if you stick to the new rules, even better, but if you mix them, you reveal yourself as not really mastering any of them.