A record of hunting
There was a joke: »everything is available but not always, and not everywhere and certainly not when you need it.« The most advanced of the Eastern Bloc nations, the GDR economy produced goods of international quality. However, these goods did not find their way into the shops of East Germany.
The chronic shortages were the result of the planned economy, the inflexibility of which led to inefficient production and a cumbrous and sprawling bureaucracy. Goods were distributed by a central authority; many were sent to the wrong destination. A number of products never made it into East German shops, as they were needed to boost exports.
Ingeborg Lüdicke made a careful record of this systematic paucity - her diary of shortage is an important and unique document of everyday life in the GDR.