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Deutsche Demokratische Republik All things related to the German Democratic Republic 1949-1989

View Poll Results: Would you like to have lived in the DDR/Did you like living in the DDR?
No, I would absolutely never have lived there/I hated it when I lived there... 131 40.43%
I would like to have lived there, but only for a short time to get to know the place 136 41.98%
I would love to have lived/I did like living there 46 14.20%
I don't care one way or the other 16 4.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 324. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-27-2006, 05:36 PM   #46
Kozlov
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Keep going guys, this is all 100% top notch stuff that I can't find in the history books!

Slight corrections of course, not "Russian", Soviet! And they stopped being the (Workers and Peasants) Red Army in 1945, after that they were the Soviet Army. You won't have seen them much in the towns as generally they weren't allowed out on the town.

Oh and Torsten, I *love* this:

Quote:
they had to get out and leave and submit a report about their 'Feindkontakt' on their return to base...that was all in the instructions and regulations given out about going on leave...
We oh shall have to use that one!!!!
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:55 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kozlov
Slight corrections of course, not "Russian", Soviet! And they stopped being the (Workers and Peasants) Red Army in 1945, after that they were the Soviet Army. You won't have seen them much in the towns as generally they weren't allowed out on the town.
!!!!
officers were generally allowed to go out and about in town and many actually lived outside of the garrison if they had their wife and children also with them...in my hometown russian or rather soviet..;-))... officer families were actually living in two specific blocks of flats mixed with ordinary east german families...i went to the flat of one of the officers a couple of times...with regard to ordinary soldiers, you did see them out and about in town from time to time, but never really more than two together at any time, I do think they got the permission to go out as a kind of reward or similar for good conduct or achievements and i think generally the privates were not allowed to go out into town at all...Cheers, Torsten.

Last edited by torstenbel; 04-27-2006 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:39 AM   #48
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Great Thread Guys, most interesting... .
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:46 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thälmannpionier
Hmm??I have to disagree with some of the points you've made.
I know for sure,to have a Car and a Colour TV in the DDR wasn't normal at all.Then,you must have had a very good payed Work.My Parents worked both, 3 shift Systems in a big Factory for Optical Stuff and we were not able to safe enough Money for a Car nor a Colour TV. Colour TV's did cost 5000+Mark and was also not affordable for us.My Grandparents bought their first TV in the late 60's.Before they had just Radio like pre1945.
Another Example would be to have a Telephone. I come from a town with 30.000 people and in our Neighbourhood(100 Familys),only one Family had Telephone.
It really was a priveleg to have a Telephone or you was in the MdI/MfS,they all had a Telephone.But it also depended,if you have lived in a big City or in a rather small Town.
Yes,we had a lot of Homegrown Products but I cannot say it was all cheap.The Basic Food was quite cheap but then,you had not much choice to choose from.
The Bakeries Shops,usally had one sort of white Buns and 2 sorts of Bread,that was it.No dark Buns with Wreat(Körner) or sesam etc.etc.,like today.Butchers had 4-5 kinds of different types of sausages that were affordable for everydays life.Meat was quite expensive.
I gained lots of weight after 1989,without kidding.
Because there was so much choice now and everything tasted good and then,there was Mc Donalds and I kept eating on and on..
No Joke,I enjoyed the "new" Food so much and still have the Belly from 1989 onwards I remember it very well,1989-91 when the Konsums(Shops) slightly exchanged the DDR Stuff with West Food.Each morning before School,I went in the Konsum and bought a Fanta and some Choclate for the way to school.It was still very expensive then but I did get 2 Mark Pocket money every third day and did spend it on West-Food

Back to DDR Times,
Choclate was very expensive.Cheap for example was Ice Cream or Drinks,15Pf for one Ice Cream Ball and I think it was 30Pf for a Coke.
When it was Christmas,everything that was Christmas related food was counted for each individual.
Each Customer did get a Bag with 1 Orange,some apples, 2 Choclate Santa-Claus etc.So no one could buy more or less.
Again,I have to say it probably all depended on where you have lived,if you have lived in big Citys like Berlin or Leipzig,Things were much different compared to smalller Towns.I can remember we specially drove to Berlin just to get some Melons and Choclate Spread from the Delikat-Shop. Nudossi(Choc-Spread) did cost 6Mark.That was a lot Money then.
Good fashionable Cloth,you only did get in the so called Exquisit-Shops.And like the name says,it was "Exclusive" and therefor very very expensive and just a very few young people could afford to buy a Jacket or Trousers in such Shops.Same with Intershops.

I 200% agree with you on the Things like Health Care/School System/Kindergarten and FDGB Holidays The whole social system was absolutly perfect!

But if you watched west-TV Channels (Westfernsehn) in DDR Times,you did get the feeling to be poor(from the material point of view not from the social feeling).I think there is no doubt about it.
Lots of people didn't watch West-TV Channels but we did and for me,I can say you did get the feeling to live in a poor Country,as sad as it may sound.There was the feeling to be a 2nd Class type of Human.
Regards
I think we have to take into consideration the age differences when we talk about our recollections of live in the GDR. You mention that your grandparents bought their first television in the late 60ies. Good for them, because my grandma got her first one in 1975; my parents bought the first TV in 1974. Did I have a bad childhood/my parents a poor live because my parents did not have a TV - I'm know I/ they didn't. You also mention bakeries and the choice you had. I'm sure that this was down to the owner of the bakery ( as an explanation, many bakeries were privately owned!!). The Altstadt of Rostock had 6 bakeries in the 70ies/early 80ies. Two closed due the possibility to take over a village bakery (where the baker came from) and the other due to ill health. The bakery we went to (and my mother still goes to always had 6 different sorts of bread rolls and 5 different types of bread. It was also (and still is) one of the few bakeries in Rostock doing proper Schwarzbrot ( a dark rye bread). They also never stopped making bread rolls to their original recipe - to such an extend that in the early nineties all the "westerners on loan" queued to get something many of them remembered from childhood. And nobody moaned about having to wait for 30 minutes to get what they wanted!!
A similar picture was at the butchers. Yes, meat (steaks etc) was a problem at times and expensive, however, there was always plenty of choice. One could argue that some of the sausages had a rather short life (3-4 days) but that may be down to the lack of chemicals to extend the shelflife and reduce the taste.
Also, as mentioned in another answer by Dirk, I believe, I remember that it was not problem at all to buy fresh pineapples, oranges, coconuts etc at the market. Ok, they were not available all year around but I also know that in the 70ies the range in supermarkets in West Germany was also not as big as many assume today. And quite expensive, too.

As I said at the beginning, we must always consider the age of the person who reflects on the past, as this is very important to understand why there are sometimes severe differences.
You still went to school in 1989/90. At this point, I had 23 years of life in the GDR behind me; I grew up, went to school, did my apprenticeship (in Teltow, by the way) and served three years in the army. I spent my holidays in different places in the GDR, went to Hungary, the USSR and the CSSR. And from the mid 80ies I also had the chance to talk to students from the UK on a regular basis, which was very interesting.

So, compared with your experience, I have a totally different base to look at things.

I can say for myself (as I said elsewhere in the forum) I do not regret a day of my life. I did have a good life in the GDR. Maybe not in terms of consumerism (everybody has different priorities) but certainly in many other, for me more important, aspects.

I never felt poor, despite things we did not have/could not buy. But that does not mean that I did not feel as German 2nd class in Hungary!

Dag
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Old 05-07-2006, 10:04 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag

I never felt poor, despite things we did not have/could not buy. But that does not mean that I did not feel as German 2nd class in Hungary!

Dag
I had the same experience when on holiday in Romania...first question when a Romanian found out that you were German was 'Federal or Republik?' and when the answer came back as Republik then they very quickly lost interest in you... Cheers, Torsten.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:04 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag
Also, as mentioned in another answer by Dirk, I believe, I remember that it was not problem at all to buy fresh pineapples, oranges, coconuts etc at the market.
Fair enough,I did not know that those Fruits where available in every "Kaufhalle" or Shop in uncounted amounts. I remember,if the HO had "Tropical-Fruits" for Sale,the rumour went around quicker than a Fire.
but I remember those "fresh" Cuba Oranges and Pineapples quite well, it was rough Stuff without Juice and kind of felt like you would chew on a piece of wood. Igitt..Igitt
Off Course,back in DDR Times,one was quite happy and pleased with those Fruits..if you could get them....it was better than nothing and a nice change.

Regards

Last edited by Thälmannpionier; 05-07-2006 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:59 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thälmannpionier
Fair enough,I did not know that those Fruits where available in every "Kaufhalle" or Shop in uncounted amounts. I remember,if the HO had "Tropical-Fruits" for Sale,the rumour went around quicker than a Fire.
but I remember those "fresh" Cuba Oranges and Pineapples quite well, it was rough Stuff without Juice and kind of felt like you would chew on a piece of wood. Igitt..Igitt
Off Course,back in DDR Times,one was quite happy and pleased with those Fruits..if you could get them....it was better than nothing and a nice change.

Regards
Andreas, you are completely right on this one and with regard to availability of tropical fruit...that is exactly the way it was...I do also not recall that it was easy to get any of those...be it of the cuban or of the tasty variety...Cheers, Torsten.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:05 PM   #53
Thälmannpionier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag
I think we have to take into consideration the age differences when we talk about our recollections of live in the GDR. You mention that your grandparents bought their first television in the late 60ies. Good for them, because my grandma got her first one in 1975; my parents bought the first TV in 1974. Did I have a bad childhood/my parents a poor live because my parents did not have a TV - I'm know I/ they didn't. You also mention bakeries and the choice you had. I'm sure that this was down to the owner of the bakery ( as an explanation, many bakeries were privately owned!!). The Altstadt of Rostock had 6 bakeries in the 70ies/early 80ies
As I have already mentioned,you have to take into account where you have lived in the DDR!! Rostock was a BIG City compared to my Hometown with a population of 30.000 people. Things were much different in Citys like Rostock or Berlin. Those Citys had much more tourist,lots of West Tourists and also lots of VIP's from the farer East. No doubt,that these City had a different supply with Food and other Stuff..due to the Circumstances like the Tourists and VIP's.


btw,this is a good and interesting Documentation: http://www.mdr.de/doku/896327-hintergrund-1673717.html

And here a little Story about the mytery Banana and Cuba Oranges:
http://www.online-roman.de/humor/humor-079.html


I can recommend to all,if you have satelite TV and be able to watch german Channels, watch MDR!! they are showing great documentations about the DDR each week.

Last edited by Thälmannpionier; 05-07-2006 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:19 PM   #54
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Here is a little Joke I just did read:
I can laugh about it now,because the DDR is gone and is History but I couldn't have laughed about it pre1989

How can you use a Banana as a Compass???
Put it on the Wall (Border) and wait. The Side where someone does bite in it is East!!

BTW, now on german TV Shows you can still find from Time to Time someone(Comedians)who do Jokes about the "new" part of Germany WHAT I DO NOT LIKE AT ALL!!! STOP IT Mr. RAAB!!!

Regards

P.S. here are some more in german:
Stasiwitze
  • IM auf der Straße: "Wie beurteilen Sie die politische Lage?" Passant: "Ich denke ..." IM: "Das genügt - Sie sind verhaftet!"
  • Honecker und Erich Mielke sprechen über ihre Hobbys. Honecker: "Ich sammle alle Witze, die über mich im Umlauf sind." Mielke: "Mensch Erich, da haben wir ja fast das selbe Hobby. Ich sammle nämlich alle, die sie in Umlauf bringen
Warum ist in der DDR das Klopapier so hart? Antwort: Damit auch der letzte Arsch rot wird

Last edited by Thälmannpionier; 05-07-2006 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:26 PM   #55
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Here is a link where you can find some of the really TASTY Food from the DDR.

90% of it is still available today as a kind of re-make..and it's still tasty and the best Thing is..it reminds you on the good ol' days
http://www.mdr.de/doku/896435-hintergrund-1673717.html
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:33 PM   #56
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Ok...enough talking about DDR Food


Just another little Thought that came in my mind...

Can any of the east germans here remember how often you could hear planes breaking through the "Schallmauer" (Sound Barrier??) in the Sky??

I heard it alot pre1989 during my Childhood and have never ever heard it again after 1990.

I know it is not allowed these days anyway but were this russian planes testing over East Germany or did the NVA/LSK the same??
I would be very interested if anyone can tell me the background of these happenings.
Regards
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thälmannpionier
Can any of the east germans here remember how often you could hear planes breaking through the "Schallmauer" (Sound Barrier??) in the Sky??
daily
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:50 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torstenbel
daily
yep,it was the same here..oh!ok.we probably heard the same "BANG" as Schönebeck is not that far away from my Town

But do you know why? Tests etc.? or was it just for Fun?
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:12 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thälmannpionier
yep,it was the same here..oh!ok.we probably heard the same "BANG" as Schönebeck is not that far away from my Town

But do you know why? Tests etc.? or was it just for Fun?
practice runs and patrolling the border...Schoenebeck and Rathenow are not that far from the border...
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:23 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torstenbel
practice runs and patrolling the border...Schoenebeck and Rathenow are not that far from the border...
Thanks for the Info
So it was the NVA breaking through the Schallmauer with their MIGs every day?
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