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Topic GDR | November 30th, 2016

In order to satisfy their daily consumer needs, the citizens of the DDR / Soviet occupation zone had a number of possibilities to do their shopping. Already in December of 1945, a consumer cooperative with the simple name of “Konsum” was established. Only three years later, almost 300 independent consumer cooperatives existed in different cities. The German Consumer Cooperative Union (German: Verband Deutscher Konsumgenossenschaften / VDK) had the task to satisfy the needs of the population, covering as large an area as possible and establishing as low prices as possible. The selling organizations were substantially different. There were larger stores and supermarkets called “Kaufhalle”, whereas village consumer cooperatives dominated more rural areas. There were also Konsum shops adjacent to larger factories which were gladly used by the shift-working employees. For the villages which did not have a Konsum at their disposal there were selling busses which delivered groceries to the inhabitants of the village. In the 1950s, there was even a Konsum-ship called “Kambala” for the inland sailors in the DDR. Since 1954, Konsum stamps were given out as trading stamps. Like that, members of the consumer cooperatives were able to receive an annual refund for a part of their turnovers at the selling organizations.

Shopping diversity in the DDR – HO, Konsum, Centrum Warenhaus and co. - Bild1

Topic GDR | November 23rd, 2016

You probably all know the term „goulash“. But have you ever heard about the Hungarian phrase “pörkölt”? To be honest, I have never heard of it before, either. Pörkölt is the equivalent to the dish goulash, as it is referred to outside of the Hungarian area. The texture, however, is slightly thicker since it is being cooked for a longer period of time.

Deer Pörkölt with red wine - Bild1

Topic GDR | November 16th, 2016

The border between the two German states did not only divide the people into East and West, but also the product world. Some of the articles which were developed in the DDR have survived the transformation after 1989 and have their fixed place in today's supermarkets in western and eastern parts of Germany.

What remains from the DDR? Part XIII: DDR products - Bild 1

Topic GDR | November 9th, 2016

 Rügen is located in the Baltic Sea and belongs to the German state of Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. With an area of 976 m² it is the largest island in Germany. It offers beautiful open-air baths with fine, long sandy beaches, making the island a popular vacation location. The so-called Rügen bridge connects the island with the mainland which is why the city of Stralsund is also called the „gate to Rügen“. Many tourists are drawn to the area by sights such as Prora, Kap Arkona or the chalk cliff.

Tourism in the DDR: The island of Rügen - Bild1

Topic GDR | October 19th, 2016

In order to keep motor vehicles sustained with fuel, an area-covering net of gas stations is required. As a result of the Second World War, the existing net of gas stations was divided along the different occupation zones after the West German brand „Gasoline“ was running all gas stations in all of the occupation zones in the beginning.

Fuel for the DDR – the brand Minol and the Minol Pirol - Bild1

Topic GDR | September 16th, 2016

Who can seriously say no to scrumptious desserts? Even more so if they look as yummy and sound as tasty as the two recipes from the collection of the DDR Museum... definitely worth a "sweet sin"!

Junket Lorraine and icecream pears - Bild 1

Topic GDR | July 6th, 2016

Today we would like to introduce to you one of our tours, which of course is also suitable for school groups. The Karl-Marx-Allee Tour is a combined tour, meaning that it will start with a one-hour visit of the DDR Museum, followed by a two-hour walk along the Alexanderplatz as well as the socialist boulevard.

Educational Programs: Our Karl-Marx-Allee Tour - Bild1

Topic GDR | June 29th, 2016

When World War II ended with the unconditional surrender of the German Reich, the Allied Forces occupied the different occupation zones. From the very beginning, the official instrument of payment was the Reichsmark, which had been introduced already in 1924 and which had survived the turbulent times of the Weimar Republic as well as the Third Reich. The old bills and coins continued to be in use during the transition period until June, 1948. On occasion of the currency reform which took place on June 20th in 1948, the Deutsche Mark was introduced in the occupation zones. In order to prevent a massive inflation as well as to limit the entire amount of money within the Soviet occupation zone, bills of the Reichsmark with glued on coupons were distributed to the population since June 24th in 1948. This was necessary because the now worthless bills of the Reichsmark were still a valid currency in the Western occupational zones as well as in the Soviet occupation zone and many Germans took advantage of this confusing situation. The bills with their makeshift coupons were soon called "Sticky Mark".

From the "Sticky Mark" to the Mark of the GDR – money through the ages - Bild1

Topic GDR | June 8th, 2016

The Soviet magazine "Sputnik" (Russian for companion) has been published by the state-owned news agency "Nowosti" since January 1967. It was designed as a digest of the Soviet press and was not only adressed to Russians but also to readers from other socialist and western foreign countries. Therefore the magazine was translated into different languages such as Danish, English, Finnish, French, Greek, Portuguese, and of course German. It was available both in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in the GDR.

The magazine "Sputnik" as a paper-based ambassador of the USSR - Bild1

Topic GDR | May 18th, 2016

Every technology enthusiast in the GDR was well accustomed with the products of the company ORWO. No wonder: The company used to have the monopoly on the production of chemical data mediums in the GDR. The history of the production site, Wolfen, however, is only familiar to few.

"Original Wolfen" magnetic tape and film production in the GDR - Bild1

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