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Women ruled in bed.

Do Communists Have Better Sex? [SLYT]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jul 30, 2013 - 14 comments

Tests and the Dead

A recent German television documentary, Tests and the Dead, has revealed that, between 1983 and 1989, the East German government sold its citizens to Western pharmaceutical companies for research, with firms such as Hoechst and Sandoz having paid the cash-strapped dictatorship as much as €430,000 for the ability to test experimental drugs on selected patients in special clinics. The patients were not informed of the tests, and at least several have died as a result of their treatment.
posted by acb on Dec 5, 2012 - 21 comments

Hate mail from in front of the iron curtain

During the cold war Wartburg and Skoda exported cars from the Eastern Bloc to the United States. An action that was . . . controversial. One dealership received both love and hate mail.
posted by Mitheral on Oct 17, 2011 - 20 comments

Way-oh-way-oh-way-ooo-aaa-ooo...

In the early 1960s, East German Karl Peglau came up with the idea to put hats on pedestrian crossing signal figures. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Der Spiegel has posted pictures of two dozen crossing signals from around the world.
posted by gman on Oct 12, 2011 - 24 comments

Awesome times in East Germany

Secret Spy Photos from East Germany Revealed! All kinds of awesome from the time that the Berlin Wall fell. [coral cache]
posted by Eekacat on Aug 19, 2011 - 14 comments

Simon Menner: Images from the secret STASI archives

Simon Menner: Images from the secret STASI archives.
posted by chunking express on Feb 8, 2011 - 13 comments

Wolves, neo-Nazis and Germanys population crash

Due to population decline, Detroit plans on bulldozing roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city into semi-rural farmland. It is a worst case scenario in America, but pales to the problem of Eastern Germany, where demographic collapse in some towns is so severe, urban-wolves and neo-Nazis are the new order of the day. The mayor of one town says: "You can't go into the forest without a knife anymore." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 19, 2010 - 114 comments

Jelly Donuts or Bananas?

"In hindsight, it’s often seen as inevitable that the two Germanys would reunite. But this, too, is a somewhat revisionist view. " Tim Mohr writes about the "awkward twist" about the fall of the wall, many of the protestors did not seek unification.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 12, 2009 - 17 comments

Back to Stasiland

In 1965, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel was arrested by East German border guards and spent nine months in solitary confinement in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, the notorious prison run by the Stasi [previously]. Starting today, Holzapfel is back behind bars in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen to remind people how they felt before the Wall came down 20 years ago. You can ask him about his campaign and watch him live here. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Oct 29, 2009 - 7 comments

1989, revolution in Eastern Europe

The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2009 - 20 comments

East Germany, up close and personal

Photo essay of East Germany. Karlheinz Jardner traveled through East Germany to catch some things on film which he thought were on the verge of vanishing forever. (via) [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Apr 20, 2009 - 17 comments

Those barricades can only hold for so long

Twenty years ago this week, the biggest escape ever over the Berlin Wall took place, but the event went nearly unreported outside of the two Germanies. The 182 persons who jumped over the Wall in the early morning hours of 1 July 1988, instead of leaving East Germany, fled in the opposite direction (scroll down to "Wolfgang Ritter") to escape the West Berlin police. East German border guards waited with trucks on the other side of the Wall in the middle of the death strip to pick up the wall-hopping protesters; they were driven to another location, served breakfast, and then taken to the Friedrichsstrasse crossing to West Berlin with the admonition to "use the usual border crossing next time." [more inside]
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy on Jul 3, 2008 - 16 comments

Commie Kids Telly

One rather strange minor cultural phenomena you experienced as a kid growing up in 60s and 70s Britain was a number of television programs that originated from beyond the Iron Curtain. Most infamous was the downright scary The Singing Ringing Tree from East Germany (Radio4 doc), later spoofed by the Fast Show but there were several others... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 13, 2008 - 25 comments

"That half-destroyed paperwork is a tantalizing secret."

"That half-destroyed paperwork is a tantalizing secret." The Stasi fostered a pervasive and justified paranoia. And it generated an almost inconceivable amount of paper, enough to fill more than 100 miles of shelves. The agency indexed and cross-referenced 5.6 million names in its central card catalog alone. Hundreds of thousands of "unofficial employees" snitched on friends, coworkers, and their own spouses, sometimes because they'd been extorted and sometimes in exchange for money, promotions, or permission to travel abroad. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Stasi tried to destroy its records. Now, with the help of computer science, the "billion-piece puzzle" is finally coming together. The article is an interesting update on the one featured in this 2003 Metafilter post . [more inside]
posted by amyms on Jan 30, 2008 - 29 comments

East German (DDR) RC cars

DDR-Modell Autos.info meticulously catalogs radio controlled and flywheel powered cars made by East German (DDR) toy makers such as Presu, Elmes, MSW, Anker, Piko, Gevo, Plasticart and Sommermeyer.
posted by riffola on Jan 7, 2008 - 5 comments

Is This Utopia? Are Ruins Beautiful?

Shrinking Cities (virtual and real): Analysis and Interventions. [more inside]
posted by salvia on Nov 29, 2007 - 12 comments

Jamel, The Town Controlled by Neo-Nazis

Right-Wing Rot: A Village In the Hands of Neo-Nazis Houses torched, pets killed and outsiders chased away: Such is life in the Eastern German town of Jamel. For years, it has been controlled by the neo-Nazis who live there. Even the mayor says he has given up. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

Worker and Parasite (Рабочий И Паразит)

Recollecting a culture : photography and the evolution of a socialist aesthetic in East Germany.

"in contrast to Western histories built upon a foundation of works by modernist and early-modernist masters, the history of East German photography was built from a body of images by amateurs and artists, largely unknown outside Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, whose photographs depicted the world from the class perspective of the worker."

From a 1999 exhibition held at Boston University. 100 images, 10 essays. Sadly, a bad interface and small reproductions. Out of control : photography from East Germany. A 1993 project documenting "the uses of photography in Eastern Germany after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR)" also, with small pictures.
posted by arse_hat on Aug 5, 2007 - 17 comments

East German Commercials

East Germany suffers from a posthumous image problem. People think that life in the former GDR was a dreary round of dodging the secret police and mandatory attendance at Boy-Loves-Tractor films. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life in the GDR was fun. You could take pictures with ORWO Film (mildly NSFW. Five seconds of toplessness at 1:15). You could zip through the countryside in your MZ. You could fit every soccer ball in the neighborhood in your Wartburg. And for the ultimate in class-conscious, revolutionary mackitude, there was the Trabant. If these little clips aren’t enough, if you want a whole bunch of East German commercials, here’s a long video called Flotter Osten (Again, mildly NSFW: Same topless shot for about five seconds at 8:07).
posted by jason's_planet on May 6, 2007 - 42 comments

Katarina Witt's Stasi connection.

Katarina Witt's Stasi connection. SECRET police files on Katarina Witt have revealed that the most glamorous and popular sporting figure in the former East Germany was so close to the Stasi that she considered them a "partner".
posted by skallas on May 12, 2002 - 9 comments

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