Blog

A Trip to the DDR - "The Journey of my Life"

Chapter 5: Welcome to the DDR

17 Oct 2017 by Michael Geithner
A few weeks ago, Shimelis sent a shout-out for his old friends, and one heard the call. Constanze Prehl was still an amharic student, when she was sent to Pionierrepublik "Wilhelm Pieck" as an interpreter for a delegation of young ethiopians. Shimelis remembers her from the second on he stepped out of the Interflug airplane.
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A Trip to the DDR - "The Journey of my Life"

Chapter 4: Take-Off with Interflug

10 Oct 2017 by Michael Geithner
Do you remember your first ever flight? After Shimelis' father never came back from war, he went to a special camp for children. For years he hoped to get chosen as part of a delegation to visit another country. Finally the day came and he was sent to the DDR. How do you travel from Ethiopia to the DDR in 1987? Shimelis still remembers very well...
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A trip to the DDR - "The journey of my life"

Chapter 3: New Horizons

3 Oct 2017 by Michael Geithner
Shimelis Haile Aga was born into Ethiopia's chaotic times of war. He was sent into a children's camp with many other kids who's families became the victims of the war. Some chosen children were allowed to join an exchange program to other socialist countries in the world. After years of waiting, he was finally chosen too, but everything went different to what he expected.
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A Trip to the DDR - "The Journey of my Life"

Chapter 2: Living on the Battlefield

26 Sep 2017 by Michael Geithner
Shimelis Haile Aga visited the DDR in 1987. He still remebers his journey vividly, also because his story began far less memorable. It all started in the troubling times of war between Ethiopia and Somalia. As many young men, also Shimelis' father was sent to the battlefield, and thousands of families and children were left behind.
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A Trip to the DDR - "The Journey of my Life"

Chapter 1: Born into Chaos

19 Sep 2017 by Michael Geithner
Meet Shimelis Haile Aga, 44 years old, born and raised in Ethiopia. The only other country he has ever seen, does'nt exist anymore. Today he tells the story about his trip to the DDR - the journey of his life - a story, that begins in Ethiopia's troubled late 1970s.
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A Trip to the DDR - "The Journey of my Life"

Introduction: Looking for old Friends

12 Sep 2017 by Michael Geithner
A trip to the DDR changed his life: This is the story of the ethiopian Shimelis Haile Aga, who visited the DDR in 1987 - the only other country he has ever seen since. In a series of ten articles, he will tell his story of war and confusion, and the short escape with Interflug to a wonderland named DDR.
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Looking for guidance experts!

We are looking for you!

10 Aug 2017 by Michael Geithner
As of now, we are looking for guidance experts, who can perform tours in Danish and/or French for the DDR Museum?
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Zero-Euro-Banknote in the DDR Museum.

7 Jul 2017 by Melanie Alperstaedt
It's adorned with a big zero, nonetheless everyone wants a copy. The Zero-Euro-Banknote has arrived in the DDR Museum. How did this come about? Text by Nina Krasemann. (03.07.2017) Translation by Rebecca Hall. (07.07.2017)
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The DDR Museum unpacked

#unboxingDDR - Pocket Calculator "konkret 200"

4 Jul 2017 by Praktikant
The DDR Museum presents the first unboxing series of historical objects. One minute clips show the diversity of original DDR artifacts. This time we unpack the pocket calculator "konkret 200", commentated by Head of Collection Jörn Kleinhardt.
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Review

Schaufuß: Ferienzeit mit Spiel, Sport und Abenteuer

20 Jun 2017 by Praktikant
Thomas Schaufuß presents the different forms and uses of holiday camps in Germany, while mainly focusing on pioneer and company-funded holiday camps in the DDR.
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Review

Wiebke Janssen: SED and youth in the 50s

16 Jun 2017 by Praktikant
The SED observed concernedly how the adolescents of the late 50s were drawn to Rock `n´Roll and studded pants. The aim of the socialist education was to mold youngsters into “new humans”. The party wanted to influence the first generation of the “Children of the Republic” through a restrictive and repressive policy. By Elke Sieber (08.06.2017) Translated by Lisa Laubner (09.06.2017)
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What remains

The Schwalbe

15 Jun 2017
Nowadays, the moped »Schwalbe« is iconic. This article explores its history and survival through German reunification in more detail.
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Event

What we wanted – what we are: Stephan Hilsberg speaks at the DDR Museum.

9 Jun 2017 by Praktikant
The DDR Museum welcomes Stephan Hilsberg and Dr. Christian Booß for a discussion on the turbulent final months of the DDR.
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Cook yourself

Tasty barbecue recipes for men

31 May 2017 by Maria Bartholomäus
On occasion of Father’s Day, today we would like to present you some delicious grill recipes out of the DDR cookbook “Was Männer gerne kochen” (German for “What men like to cook”). But I am convinced that, during a barbecue for example, you will be able to impress the female guests, as well!
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What remains

And what should stay? Thoughts on remembering the DDR

24 May 2017 by Elke Sieber
Until the present day, remembering the DDR has many diverse facets and the relics from the past are powerfully present, as they are still keeping it alive. Some thoughts on commemorative culture.
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Karl Marx made of ceramics and Curry-flavoured peanuts: New products in the museum shop

18 May 2017 by Maria Bartholomäus
Whether you are looking for a gift, a souvenir or a little something for yourself – the museum shop of the DDR Museum holds a wide variety of products related to the DDR. In the following text we would like to introduce to you some of the special highlights.
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Interview

"Die Normalität des Absurden" Interview with Dr. Heinz Schneider

18 May 2017 by Melanie Alperstaedt
A few weeks ago I had read the book „Die Normalität des Absurden“ from Heinz Schneider with great interest. I was pleasantly surprised to get the opportunity to interview him in person. Heinz Schneider and his wife Thea Schneider kindly offered to welcome me in their lovely flat in Mahlow! Here is the transcript of our conversation for you to read.
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Architecture

Berlin - the Socialist city

10 May 2017 by Praktikant
After the Second World War, more than 30% of the housing stock, 85% of classrooms and 80% of hospital rooms in Berlin were destroyed. What was to rise up from the ruins of the capital? The Socialist Unity Party (SED) saw a chance to include the rebirth of the city into the newly founded German Democratic Republic.
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History

Topic traffic: The Trabant

2 May 2017 by Maria Bartholomäus
The Trabant was the unchallenged symbol of everyday life in the DDR, meaning “companion” – and this car truly played a significant role in the life of many citizens of the DDR, just like a good friend. As a dream at first; for the waiting time for a new car was no less than 16 years, later as a status symbol, a set of wheels and hobby.
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Review

"Die Normalität des Absurden" - Heinz Schneider

27 Apr 2017 by Melanie Alperstaedt
„Die Normalität des Absurden” tells the story of Heinz Schneider, who lived through two German dictatorships. Even though the book mainly focuses on his personal life, many universal themes are uncovered: how is one meant to behave in a dictatorship? How is our identity formed? How should the DDR be remembered?
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