Life in East Germany during the Cold War

I was glancing at several of my photos taken a few years ago from my trip to Berlin, Germany. During my visit, I stopped by the Deutsche Democratishe Republik (DDR) Museum located along the river Spree. This museum is located in the former government district of East Germany and the DDR museum is interactive and shows the typical way of life at the time in East Germany.


One can also try DDR clothes on in the recreated tower block apartment, change TV channels, or use an original typewriter. The exhibition has three themed areas: “Public Life”; “State and Ideology” and “Life in a Tower Block”. Each of them is presented in a critical light: the positives, as well as the negative sides of the DDR, are explored in this exhibition. A total of 35 modules illustrate these three themes. (From Wikipedia)


A typical apartment bathroom in East Germany during the Cold War.


Some old spy equipment was meant to eavesdrop on its own citizens in East Germany. At the time, the equipment kept close tabs on its citizens to ensure the Communist Party stayed in power.


Cell entrance. Many political prisoners were held in similar cells in East Germany.


Replica of an East German prison cell during the Cold War.


Many women worked outside the home at that time. To help increase happiness in society, it was critical to design the kitchen to benefit the woman -- provide the latest technology for the important space within the apartment. The modern design at the time in East Germany was an attempt to provide the necessary tools for meal preparations.


Most households had an electric fridge with an icebox. the juicer and mixer were also electric. Dishwashers were as rare as hen's teeth which meant the kitchen clean-up was done manually.

Cabinets, dish sink, and refrigerator round out the left side of a kitchen in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR/East Germany) during the 60s through the 80s.


Additional storage includes an oven and several electric appliances.


Dem Gegner Keine Chance (The Opponent Had No Chance)


The caption within this photograph states: They threw balls around not for fun or amusement but for preparation of war. Under the Heading of "I love and protect my homeland," schoolchildren were instructed on the use of deadly weapons. Also, during designated playtime, in many instances, the ball was replaced by wooden hand grenades.


Some Were More Equal Than Others


The statement of the DDR promoted the "classless society" but at the same time, enjoyed the privileges of the elite. Instead of the common vehicle Trabant in East Germany, many of the elite drove Volvos. They also had access to Western products, products that were unavailable to ordinary citizens.


Poor example of a luxurious car for the East German elite class during the Cold War. Those not in this special club may have had a Traban for transportation.


A general idea of what the Trabant was all about during this period.


A painted Traban in today's Berlin.


The Trade Union is the Transmission Belt of the Lenin Party


V. I. Lenin (Ulyanov) had a theory of revolution. He believed that radical social change is accomplished by control over institutional transmission belts. These transmission belts spread ideas through the dedicated organization by a minority. Lenin believed that the Russian Communist Party should use the trade union movement to influence the minds of the workers.


The number of medals won at Summer Olympic Games played from 1968 -- 1988 between the DDR (East Germany) and BRD (West Germany). You can see that some Westernized countries boycotted the Moscow games in 1980; the Eastern Bloc nations, along with the Soviet Union, did the same thing and boycotted the Los Angeles Games 4 years later (1984).


It's clearly obvious that the East Germans began to dominate West Germany in terms of the medal count starting in 1972 - 1988 (excluding 1984). This ironically began in 1972 when Munich hosted the games. This trend along with the physical transformation of certain East German athletes led the West to conclude that illegal substances were used in the East to improve their athletic performance.



Typical living room in East Berlin and East Germany. Regardless of how current electronics were at the time, the Communists used these objects in their propaganda campaigns to show the superiority of their system.



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