Museum of the GDR

Who I am
Thomas Proske

Author and references

Up to the 1989 Berlin it was a city divided in two, on one side West Germany with the Western bloc, on the other East Germany with the Soviet bloc. To understand and touch those times, which today seem to belong to another era, it is necessary to visit the Museum of the GDR in which there are many objects and scenarios that recall life in the Soviet bloc.

What to see inside the museum

The most successful element in the DDR Museum is certainly the Trabant , amicably Trabi, the mythical two-stroke utilitarian that has become an object of worship and symbol of the regime and whose waiting times, once ordered, reached up to ten years. A display has been mounted instead of the front glass, and it is possible to guide it through the virtual streets of East Berlin in the 70s in a truly fun experience.

The reconstruction of a typical East Berlin apartment, perfectly furnished in the style of the time and with a television that broadcasts Soviet-era programs such as the newsreel the eye witness, or "The eyewitness".

Books, alarm clocks, radios, huge turntables, food products with Mocca-Fix coffee, Vita-Cola and the very famous Spreewald gherkins arouse the so-called Ostalgie, or the nostalgia for socialist Germany.

Another wing of the museum is dedicated to school and education, as well as the numerous youth organizations of the party, which had the aim of forming the youth in the values 鈥嬧媋nd principles of socialism.

Finally, in addition to other rooms dedicated to the numerous cult objects of the time, there is an interesting section dedicated to the Berlin Wall, which separated the city into two parts like a wound from 1961 to 1989, and whose border was constantly guarded against Stasi, the infamous secret police, which kept the entire population in a glass vial, controlled, educated and frightened by the presence of the fascist West.

Historical notes

Inaugurated on 15 July 2006 on the bank of the Spree facing the Berlin Cathedral, the Museum of the GDR was born with the authentic premise of reproducing the daily life of East Germany with absolute objectivity.

In the years preceding the opening of the facility, more than 300 residents of the former East Berlin contributed to the cause, donating personal effects and souvenirs. The museum attracts around half a million visitors every year, including many foreigners but also many German citizens who lived in the Western Bloc during the Cold War years and who did not imagine how hard life in East Berlin was.

Useful Information

The DDR Museum is located in the Mitte district at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 1, opposite the Berlin Cathedral on the opposite bank of the Spree. The museum is open all year round at the following times:

  • from Monday to Sunday: from 10:00 to 20:00
  • Saturday: from 10: 00 to 22: 00

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