Life in the East: The DDR Museum

DDR Museum Living Room

I left the Stasi Museum about 20 minutes before closing time and raced across the city on the U5 underground line to get to the DDR Museum near Alexanderplatz.

This museum would be open for another 2 hours when I got there giving me plenty of time to get round it and enjoy learning more about life in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR).

You can find out about school life in East Germany; about school and work, life in the home, where they went on holiday, and an interactive screen allows you to have a go at voting in an East German election. In East Germany, to vote against a candidate you crossed their name off the list.

The computer screen told me that my ‘vote had been recorded by security forces and could have consequenses’. In the DDR, you were expected to simply fold the paper to give your approval to all the candidates: not voting, or voting against the candidates, was considered a rejection of the East German state.

And there’s a bit about the East German cars – the Trabant (or Trabi). How do you double the value of a Trabi? By filling up the tank! And why does a Trabi have a heated rear-window? To keep your hands warm while you push!

Another bit I found interesting was the section about the media – have a listen to some East German radio stations, such as DDR1, Berliner Rundfunk and DT64.

As closing time at the DDR Museum approached I headed back out on to the street and walked about a mile to the Brandenburger Tor railway station, to head back to my hotel.

Bye for now.


Fred Hart

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